Restaurant review: Prezzo, Edinburgh

WHEN Cult Clothing relocated from its North Bridge store at the end of last year, many of us feared the site would remain empty for countless months.

But our worries that yet another eyesore would make its presence known in the city were cast aside when, in a relatively short period, builders came in and a transformation was under way.

From that came Prezzo, an Italian restaurant that has quickly developed a following thanks to its quality, choice and reasonable pricing.

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The restaurant is, of course, not exclusive to Edinburgh, with the first Prezzo opening in London 12 years ago. A further 150 or so have since sprung up across the country.

The beauty of the chain lies in making each of its branches feel unique through individual design, tailored to suit the building in which they are situated.

North Bridge is no exception, with all memories of the former clothes shop completely banished. Its full windows offer great views out across the bridge to The Balmoral and Princes Street, while its rich wood-centred interiors feel modern yet cosy.

As for the food, diners should expect good choice and prices to reflect that, making a meal at Prezzo an affordable one.

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Starters include tiger prawns cooked in a tomato sauce with garlic, chilli and spinach served with focaccia bread (£5.65) and an antipasto platter to share (£10.50).

For mains, there is the usual pasta and pizza diners would expect to find in an Italian chain restaurant but, unlike many of its rivals, Prezzo’s choices seem more diverse thanks to its salads and risottos.

Well worth a try is the generously portioned Arrosto salad of goat’s cheese and plum tomatoes baked on focaccia bread with roasted peppers, caramelised balsamic onions, chargrilled artichoke hearts, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, marinated olives, mixed leaves and balsamic glaze (£9.65). Delicious.

Prezzo, 7–9 North Bridge, 0131-557 5346,