Food - Prezzo

A few weeks ago my colleagues and I had an over-long and over-heated debate about the pronunciation of the word ‘bruschetta’. I pushed for the Italian way, with a hard ‘c’; the others for a kind of hybrid ‘brooshetta’, which they said had become the accepted English pronunciation. We were eating in Ask and on the way back we noticed that a new restaurant was being furbished on the High Street, and the name ‘Prezzo’ was already up on the wall. It was immediately dubbed ‘Prez-oh’ and I’ve been waiting for it to open ever since, while worrying whether Lewes could sustain five Italian restaurants.

On Tuesday lunchtime we all went to try it out. Boy did they know what they were doing. Smart decor, great-looking pizza oven, attentive staff and a rich menu of choices generally priced around £9. I chose a calzone, something I haven’t had for years: I’ve always thought if I want a pizza, what’s the point of having it folded up? When it came it looked amazing, like an inflated croissant covered in tomato sauce. A waiter grated parmesan on top. Inside was chicken, bacon, cheese, and what tasted like chorizo. It was delicious. It stayed hot. It was nothing like any calzone I’d ever had in Italy, but somehow… better. Like the English pronunciation of ‘bruschetta’ it had been subtly altered to suit our way of things. Lewes' Prezzo is the 82nd franchise in a UK-wide chain. They know what they are doing. It is bound to thrive. For at least one of the other four Italian restaurants, sadly, this might just spell ‘disastro’. AG

Chain gang: can Lewes sustain five pizzerias?

173 High St, Lewes
When? Noon - 10pm
How Much? Mains £7-£9

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