Uckfield News Fabulous Food writer Beverley Butler visits Pizza Express following refurbishment and says: “Lovely restaurant, excellent food, wonderful staff, great ambience”. Read her review here.
Pizza Express re-opened on June 23 after being closed for ten days for refurbishment. A considerable amount of work took place and the new restaurant looks amazing.
The ‘meet and greet’ section works well, the bar area with seating looks very welcoming and the whole vibe and ambience of the restaurant makes you feel at ease upon arrival.
Relaxed and friendly
Brendan Kavanagh, restaurant manager, and his staff are relaxed and friendly and, although extremely busy at times during our visit, they were attentive and great hosts.
The transformation throughout the restaurant has been tastefully carried out with new furniture, commissioned cinematic themed artwork, relaxed lighting and new wooden flooring to help distribute the sound throughout the 108 seated dining area.
Colourful bench seating and attractive lighting and planting to the outside seating area makes dining ‘al fresco’ appealing especially on a warm summer evening.
Upon looking through the menu I was impressed with the variety on offer. Carefully selected choices for those on special diets, be it low calorie, diary free, gluten free or vegetarian it all sounded very inviting.
We started our meal with a bowl of tasty olives and sun dried tomatoes, a glass of Pinot Grigio, and Merlot for my husband, Richard, to enable us to make the difficult decision from the menu!
Once the choices were made we sat back and soaked up the lovely atmosphere within the restaurant.
By 7.30pm it was filling up with a good mixture of customers, some families were dining with two or more generations around a table, couples (both young and more mature), small parties of women that had been, or were to, attend a film performance at the cinema, and although the buzz from voices was noticeable it was by no means intrusive.
There is nothing worse for me than having other customers conversation dominating my meal from the table behind or next to me. This certainly wasn’t the case so I am guessing the carefully planned new flooring has helped spread the noise level throughout the restaurant with the desired effect.
My choice from the menu after much deliberating came from the Leggera Pizza section. For those wishing to have a meal under 500 calories there were some good choices to cover vegetarian needs and spicy options. For me it is the perfect pizza as my appetite will not allow me eat a whole pizza.
The Leggera is a classic sized pizza made from thin and crisp Romana dough with a hole in the middle that is filled with fresh salad, which had been perfectly dressed.
The Cajun spiced chicken, light mozzarella, sweet Pepperdew peppers, tomato, garlic oil and red onion made for a really delicious pizza. With the option to ‘Superboost’ the pizza I took the decision to upgrade my salad to include a mixture of quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, and edamame beans. It was absolutely delicious.
My husband’s choice also looked great. A Calabrese Pizza with a mixed salad.
Pizza Express offers the perfect scenario for me with the dessert menu. I don’t really have a sweet tooth and often find that having enjoyed a meal all I really need is something sweet but very small to finish the evening.
My choice for this evening from the Dolcetti section was a Fresh Mint Tea (which was perfect) and a slice of Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie.
Sometimes gluten-free options containing a wheat flour replacement can be dry and crumbly but Pizza Express Brownies are amazingly good.
My husband had a de-caffeinated coffee (another nice feature – all coffees are available de-caffinated) and a Lemon Posset Crunch. The portion sizes are just right to finish an excellent meal.
During the evening customers were using the outside area which now looks inviting and comfortable for summer evening dinning, with patio heaters for the odd cold summer evening.
We had a family of seven sitting beside us inside the restaurant and the children were getting chilly. The staff appeared and offered them small shoulder warming sized blankets – designed for those seated outside – which I thought was a lovely touch.
The children were then able to sit comfortably and enjoying their evening in the company of their family. Colouring sheets, pens and crayons were also supplied.
Attentive and alert
Nothing is too much trouble and all members of staff were very attentive and alert to customer needs. Everything is delivered with a smile and a relaxed approach. Despite the restaurant being very busy the night we visited our meals were delivered to our table in very good time.
Pizza Express work closely with local schools and provide children’s ‘make your own pizza’ parties, which are great fun and every restaurant nationwide is helping raise money for the worthwhile Macmillan charity.
Lovely restaurant, excellent food, wonderful staff, great ambience. What more do you need for a great dining experience? Ticks all the boxes for me!
If you haven’t already visited the new look Pizza Express I would thoroughly recommend you do. A voucher for 30% off food is available. Just print out the voucher below for all day Monday-Friday and after 5pm on Sundays.
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