by Andrew Morrison | A new Italian eatery called Pronto is opening next week at 3473 Cambie (formerly Art’s Flowers & Gifts). The design of the charming, 37 seat room is by Stefan Gagnon (Les Faux Bourgeois, Jules Bistro) and Scott Cohen (Gastropod, Les Faux Bourgeois, The Waldorf). They’ve really done a lovely period number on it. The interior look and exterior branding (in Futura font) gives it the feel of a cool, modern restaurant in the East Village, circa 1950. I half expected Al Pacino to slink in and make a b-line for the revolver behind the toilet when I stumbled upon it a few days back (without time or a good camera).
Owner Angela Maida (an Italian) is borrowing the food concept from the intoxicatingly aromatic Porchetta on East 7th St., specifically by copying their namesake porchetta sandwiches to the letter. The menu is brief and done in changeable white letters on a slatted blackboard, similar to what you’d come across in an old diner (see Cafeteria on Main). From what I was told, chef Brian Fodor (ex-Pinnacle Hotel, Zin, Dockside) will be keeping it very simple: mostly soups and sandwiches with a few specials and sides. For booze, it’s beer and wine only.
A note on the name: when we employ “pronto” as a colloquialism, as in “get it done, pronto”, we are saying “get it done, fast”. In Italian, however, it means “prepared” or “ready”, as in “È pronto per ordinare?”, or “are you ready to order?”