Friday, October 18, 2013

Pronto Caffe

Several of my friends and fellow Yelpers have recommended this tiny trattoria, and I was charmed upon entering this neighbourhood restaurant last night. The simple wooden chairs, narrow layout, and coffee bar overlooking the kitchen sparked flashbacks to my travels in Italy, and the staff were accommodating and friendly when my friend brought his baby unexpectedly and we requested a larger table. This initial charm and the great customer service were the highlights of the restaurant, however, as the food only detracted from our first impressions. 

To start, we ordered the appetizers on special which were a tomato-beef soup and a skewer of prosciutto-wrapped prawns. The soup was hearty and thick, which suited the brisk autumn night, but it was also a bit heavy. The prawns were large and well cooked, but the chef coated them in breadcrumbs after they had been wrapped in prosciutto, and this coating was soft and moist when it arrived. The flavour was amazing, but the soggy texture didn't really have us wanting more.

The mains ordered were the spaghetti pomadoro (with a side of meatballs), the gnocchi special, and the shortribs special. The spaghetti was solid, made with a fresh and vibrant tomato sauce. The meatballs were okay, dense and only lightly herbed. My friend's wife said that the kitchen cheated with the gnocchi, making them from a rolled dough rather than as individual hand-formed dumplings. This wouldn't have bothered me, personally, except for the fact that they tasted like they were from a roll of dough...a little bit tough, with sharp edges. The shortribs themselves were great - probably the best thing that was ordered - but they were served atop a Milanese (= parmesan and saffron) risotto made with long grain rice. Long grain rice?! I am not a snobby foodie, but I was kind of shocked over this, even if Pronto categorizes itself as a "blue-collar" trattoria. The flavour was good. The texture was awful. 

And the ciliegia on the cassata was that they did not have any draught beer. The negroni I ordered was very good, but Pronto is going to need to do better than bottled beer to snag some of the adjacent BierCraft crowd. Especially since BierCraft has pretty decent food.

Keywords: "Pronto cambie street", "cincin review", "Alex Dawkins"

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