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Mar 9, 2010 09:48 AM

Prop on St. Clair West

A new bar-resto has opened up right across from Ferro at St. Clair West and Arlington (W of Christie). It looks gorgeous -- the food is kind of modern Italian (no pizza though). I ate lunch there today -- ate a veal sandwich for $8. It was very good and the tomato sauce appeared to be homemade from fresh tomatoes (ie, orangey colour and sweet - not crayon red and metallic tasting). It wasn't open for dinner at first but now it is -- I'll look forward to going there soon. The place was quite busy for lunch on this strip (nearly half full). The service was friendly and prompt. My only complaint -- the lunch menu was a bit heavy and there were no lighter dishes positioned as mains (ie, lots of meat sandwiches, pastas and risottos but no lunch main salads or soups).

Anyone else tried this place?

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  1. Not yet but will probably soon. They took a while renovating the space and it looks great. Do they have a website up and running yet? Amy Pataki wrote a mini review of it last week:

    1. I went to Prop tonight and it was delicious. Service was fast and friendly and my cosmo was perfect and citrus infused. I didn't have desert - so can't comment on that. I actually had a hard time deciding what to order because the menu had so many things on offer. The different pasta combination sounded delicious but it will have to wait for next time.

      I had the white salad for starters - it was original and lightly dressed. For mains I had the beet risotto which was creamy and perfectly cooked - just the right amount of al dente. My dining partner had the white bean soup which she thought was delicious and the herb stuffed sardine app. She enjoyed that too.

      So glad that Prop has come to our neighbourhood - we will definitely be back!

      7 Replies
      1. re: cinnamon_girl

        Thanks for the report Cinnamon Girl. I live in the neighbourhood as well and am so pleased to see some really good food coming into the hood. Cafe Leopold really impressed us as well. We will try Prop on our next night out. How was the vibe at night? Were there many other people there?

        1. re: Arcadiaseeker

          The vibe was good. Packed - it was mostly new school St. Clair with yummy mummy types, young hip couples with some old school St. Clair thrown in. Bar was full of people and we were seated next to the bar - so it was a little loud, but that said it was fun because it was lively.

          I am a little surprised at SageThyme's review. I try to frequent St. restaurants quite a lot - just went Filipo's last week - thought they went downhill. I generally tend to think that the Rushton is *way* overrated and that Ferro's does not understand the meaning of subtle seasoning. (Always too much garlic.) But, I was very impressed with Prop - even though SageThyme and I were there on the same night. The owner/hostess was lovely and so genuine.

          Anyway - I guess that everyone is entitled to their own tastebuds/experiences. But, I do I have to say that I will be back and have talked it up to my circle.

          1. re: cinnamon_girl

            Around lunchtime, does it look like the type of place someone could bring a baby?

            1. re: phoenikia

              Yes - I think so. There was even a newborn there in a stroller the night I went.

              1. re: cinnamon_girl

                Thanks cinnamon girl, good to know ;-)

            2. re: cinnamon_girl

              We are headed to Prop for dinner tonight so I will report back tomorrow. Cinnamon Girl, I agree on Filipo's -- never have loved that place. We love the Rushton but not because of the food -- it's the vibe, friendly service and good cold draft beer! We have small kids and live in the hood so St. Clair is pretty much where we head for nights out. Very excited about our Prop night. Question - have you tried Acquolina yet? Keep seeing it but it's always empty - apparently they had good reviews when they were on Mt Pleasant.

              740 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C1B3, CA

              760 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C, CA

          2. re: cinnamon_girl

            We went to props on Thursday, the ambience is minimalist /modernist. Dark hardwood floors, resin type chairs that sort of dig into your shoulder blades, tables have a thin top, and many need the legs adjusted to stop rocking. Its these sorts details that need to be taken care of if they are to survived on St.Clair.

            The food:
            We had some soups, appetizers and mains. The soups were small in portion, not very flavorful or unique. But they were not bad tasting.

            The mussels were below average, the broth not very flavorful, nor abundant.

            The pasta mains were very simple, a bit dry, certainly needed some zip or infusion of flavor from the supporting ingredients (seafood). This place needs some unique food to perhaps give it an identity.

            The service was good but not stellar.

            I'm not sure we will be back, no this year anyway. I'm hoping they will hit their stride.

          3. Takeout lunch from this admittedly attractive restaurant was unimpressive. The mac 'n' cheese was oily, not gooey-cheesy, but sitting in a thick slick of oil that dripped out from the takeout container. The steak sandwich was overdressed with mustard, and the onions weren't cooked properly. Couldn't really taste the meat well, but it did have a vein of gristle through it. It took about 20 minutes to get my food, though the server had said 10. I don't think I'll be going back.

            1. I went to Prop last week with my family. It was great. the interior is sleek but still causal. The pasta and antipasto was great.

              we started with polenta, grilled sardines, and short ribs, and then moved on to pasta a more robust mains.

              all the anitpasti was great. the sardines in particular. for my main I had rabbit liver with rapini and rosemary potatoes. It was not the best. the liver was over cooked and the potatoes were a bit dry. But my partner's pasta was great. Linguine done simply with olives, anchovies, capers, and olive oil.

              I really liked how all the wine on the list was a flat $39. That way you choose something you like instead of something in the price range.


              1. Okay, so my SO and I went to Prop for dinner. I really like the atmosphere and the service was excellent. I had the carnivalle pasta which combines figs and ginger and onions -- it was good. My husband's pasta with cauliflower wasn't as good. The problem with the pasta is that it was obviously sitting under heat lights for some time -- the spaghettini for example in my dish was somewhat crunchy around the top bits from the lights. It really spoils what could be great pasta -- they need to get their timing right. My SO went again last night and had the same problem. We also started with the crostini which wasn't crostini as much as a slice of untoasted baguette with cheese on top. It wasn't spectacular. I will definitely go back but if they keep zapping the pasta dishes I might give up on the place.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                  Based on your review I would say fuhgeddabout dis place. No self-respecting Italian would eat warmed over pasta at home if he could help it, neither would he delude himself into thinking that a slice of untoasted bread is a crostini. To take money for such trickery might even be a minor sin.

                  It shouldn't hard to find decent cooked-to-order pasta and actual crostini 15 minutes by foot west of this establishment.

                  Honest food at honest prices is my rule.