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Despite its upmarket bistro-style in the heart of Ponsonby, Prego manages to retain the magic of a familiar neighbourhood local with a palpable buzz, earning it a loyal and lively following.
Families, business lunches and groups sit happily elbow to elbow either in the enclosed courtyard al fresco style, or inside amongst the hum of the banquet table or bar by the wood fire.
The starters are something special and do well to rival the mains - I always despair over which to have and end up convincing whoever I’m with to share a couple. My favourites are the Calamari Fritti (cooked to perfection, tender and not too oily), the Seared Tuna, with roasted veal, crispy caper and tuna mayo and the Buffalo mozzarella, vine ripened tomatoes, fresh basil salad.
Simple with no more than four fresh, quality ingredients - the pastas are just how they should be, uncluttered yet full of flavour. My pick is the Linguine Marinara – fresh seafood with white wine and chilli. And you can’t go past the pizza...hell; the chef’s been there 24 years so he’s sure had time to practice! In my many visits I’ve never had a bad meal.
Quality, fun and consistency (a rare find in an Auckland restaurant), the locals are definitely onto something - a trip to Prego is sure to be true Amore.