The Zizzi Ristorante in Falmouth is fast becoming one of my favourite places to eat. Located next to the National Maritime Museum, it overlooks the harbour, creating some stellar picturesque window views from within the restaurant. Whilst not the only Italian in town with Pizza Express on its toes right next door, the international pizza chain falls far short in comparison. The real competition is a couple of doors down with Rick Stein’s Fish and Seafood Bar. Albeit offering a different culinary experience, it’s certainly a strong candidate for your evening meal and I must confess that my first experience at Zizzi’s was very much by default. I had initially intended to visit Rick Stein’s and arrived only to find it closed!
Inside the restaurant is spacious, fresh and a lot larger than outside would have you imagine. One of the advantages of going out in November and out of season is that everywhere is generally quiet and there are plenty of tables to choose from, not to mention a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. The staff are very efficient and personable and you’re not left hanging around awkwardly upon entering. Given the choice it can be hard to decide where to sit with comfortable ring sofas on one side and intimate high tables by the windows on the other. Either way, with a candle-lit table beside the sea it’s now only down to the food to seal the deal for a perfect all-round package.
I have been three times over the past month and only on my third visit did I actually succeed in ordering a pizza! It sounds bizarre but for some reason the menu has proven itself to be a little misleading on my part. There are slim pizzas listed side by side with salads and calzone pizzas with rustic pizzas. Admittedly, my misreading of the menu may partly at least be down to my own personal incompetence and perhaps I shouldn’t have been too surprised to see a roasted duck salad appear from the kitchen instead of duck pizza during my first visit. It would be nice to have some guidance for Italian dining newbies such as myself on what certain things listed actually are. I was more than a little shocked to see a large pasty coming my way after ordering what I thought was a spicy meat pizza, but there can be no denying that the calzone carne piccante was a pleasant surprise and possibly all the more nicer for it. My recommended dish however is the rustica mare e monti, a pizza that impresses both with its size and taste. One half a refreshingly cool landscape of tender king prawns, mozzarella, courgette and crème fraiche; the other a sensational affair of spicy sausage, tomato, hot chillies and rocket. At last I had successfully ordered a pizza, and what a monster of a pizza it was, almost taking me aback as much as the previous two surprise orders! It was a perfect combination. When the heat of the chillies roared a little too hot for my liking I could switch to the cool tang of freshly squeezed lemon over prawns and crème fraiche.
If you’re looking for a classy dinner out that delivers on quality of food, value for money and great hospitality then the Zizzi Ristorante is a great place to go. Whether you’re a young couple seeking a romantic meal with a sea view by candlelight or a family taking a break from the home kitchen, you will not be disappointed. If it’s something new to tantalise your taste buds that you’re after and you’re anything like me, fear not as the menu offers plenty more than just margherita and spag bol!