PREZZO'S new Christmas menus don't go in for turkey and sprouts, and hooray for that.
Instead of the usual festive fare and tired trimmings, Prezzo offer a varied selection which is packed with delights and pleasingly easy on the pocket.
In addition to the usual offerings, there are three set menus for Christmas 2013 — Classic with three courses for £16.95; Premium with three for £19.95 and Signature, with four courses and a glass of Prosecco for £24.95.
Each offers plenty of choice for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
We were a party of four, and enjoyed an evening in the calm and pleasant surroundings of Prezzo's restaurant on the harbourside at Torquay.
It's a lovely building that lends itself to Prezzo's style, and the service was first class.
Between us we covered all of the set meal menus, and were all very happy with our choices.
Starters included lightly-fried Camembert with a roasted pepper tapenade; pane con cipolla, which is a garlic bread pizza with caramelised balsamic onions and melted mozzarella, and a handsome bruschetta with sliced cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, red onion, basil pesto and garlic.
For main courses, with a majority of vegetarians among us, we had vegetable risotto, Queen Margherita Pizza, a classic vegetarian pizza and, for the carnivore, pollo al funghi.
The risotto was beautifully cooked and spiked with plenty of goat's cheese, while the Margherita was actually three pizzas in one, boasting cherry tomatoes, asparagus, spinach, basil pesto, rocket leaves, bechamel sauce and buffalo mozzarella.
The vegetarian pizza came with everything you would expect and was again wonderfully cooked, while the pollo al funghi boasted a rich mushroom sauce over a chargrilled chicken breast.
Portion sizes are generous, and not everyone went for dessert.
Those who did enjoyed creamy profiteroles with vanilla cream, a white chocolate and tangy raspberry ice cream bomb and a rich chocolate orange cheesecake served with mascarpone.
It's a tempting menu, and excellent value for money.
If you think a Christmas meal has to include the seasonal standards, think again. There's nothing dull and routine about this sparkling selection.