Sometimes the best meals take place when and where you least expect it. I decided to meet up with a fave eating buddy (purely because he has big cameras and an even bigger appetite), Sherman.
We left my place without a clear idea in mind as to what we wanted to eat...Pho? Dim Sum? Sushi? All bets were off...and then he decided that we should check out a little restaurant he wanted to revisit on Cambie. And that's how we ended up at Pronto.Despite their small size, they have an incredibly diverse menu. There are pastas, sandwiches, various appetizers and pizzas too! Something for everyone, and at fairly reasonable prices.
We ordered four things to share, and allowed the kitchen to serve up whenever each item was ready...so our first course was the Tagliatelle Aglio e Olio. Most of the pastas are handmade, and this one was as well, simply made with garlic and smoked pancetta. The dish was rounded out with some sliced tomatoes, a just a touch of chili flakes, all topped with a showering of Parmesan cheese. The freshness of the pasta was undeniable. The pancetta gave the dish the needed saltiness, and the fresh tomatoes really freshened it up. It's plenty for one person, but it's also a great starter for two people.
We noticed that there was Porchetta on the menu, and it's something we cannot turn down, ever. The bun was warm, but not crunchy, and the pork was mild in flavour...could have used a bit more seasoning or some salsa verde to perk it up a bit. However, no complaints about the skin...I've had chips less crispier than this. It wasn't fatty, just with a great crunch. I had to take some of mine home and it reheated very nicely. Always an important note if you order more than you can eat.
Two carby dishes down, and more to come. We really wanted to try their pizzas, and decided on the Genoa. A 12" pizza that's more than enough for two to share (even if you didn't have a pasta and sandwich beforehand). How can you go wrong with salami, tomatoes and red peppers. The cheese melted perfectly, and it wasn't overly topped. The crust held up well to the toppings and this was a winner in my books. It's fresh, light and tasty, and for $15, a great deal.
Our final dish was actually listed as an Antipasto, but it was okay with us that it came at the end. After all the heavy foods we had, the light Prawns wrapped in Pancetta was actually quite a good way to finish lunch. It is a really good blend of the sweet prawns and the savory saltiness of the pancetta. At $12, I think this is a bit pricey. The sear on the pancetta is solid and this is a fun dish. I guess just adding one more prawn might have made the value a bit better, but that's just a minor complaint.