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Jul 5, 2007 02:17 PM

Proof has opened

After the long wait, Proof opens tonight... I went to mock service with some friends, thought I'd share a little about the experience.

The space is very comfortable, handsome... Not big and loud like some of the new places that have opened lately (like Central and Beck's). One feature that's unique is that they have a champagne cart that the sommelier rolls around throughout the night. Nice touch.

The menu is diverse is a good way, and organized by charcuterie, 1st courses, entrees, cheese/dessert. The concept is to share charcuterie and 1st courses. Of the ones we tried, the prosciutto, flatbreads and fois gras were good -- but the standout was the hamachi crudo... fantastic. The entrees are pretty good. Desserts need some inspiration, though the ice creams and sorbets are very nice. They say the menu will grow as the restaurant picks up speed.

Overall a fair experience, also taking into account that the start for any restaurant is tough. Pricey, but an interesting add to DC... Looking forward to hearing how others' experiences are.

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  1. Glad to hear about the food, but let's face it, the anticipation was the wine. How is the wine list? Prices, size, quality?

    1 Reply
    1. re: dinwiddie

      We went last night. The champagne service person was great. We had a glass of cheap proseco while we perused the menu. Wine by the glass list was very interesting - prices from $9/glass and up. S.O. did the wine selection - a Portuguese Torriga with the salumi platter and an Italian white (sorry, I know that's not very was recommended by the champagne guy) with the tuna tartare and the smoked salmon flatbread. I didn't get a careful look at the entire list, but S.O . said it was a very nice list. Proof was pretty quiet last night, but I don't expect that to last, given its location and our (admittedly) limited experience. Try it!

    2. Can you further define what you mean by "pricey"? Thanks!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        You can get 2-oz, 6-oz, and 8-oz pours of the wines by the glass - the 2-oz pours start as low as $2 and the full 8-oz glasses can go upwards of $15. Similarly, the charcuterie and first courses are in the $11-$21 range. The main courses are around $20+. Do the math: I split seven plates of charcuterie and first courses with a friend and six 2 oz. pours, plus a three-cheese plate ($12) and dessert. Our bill was about $180. But it was all delicious. Agreed - the hamachi crudo was divine and the tuna tartare had a refreshing take on an old, staid standby. The foie gras was fantastic - so we ordered an encore, as was the gnocchi. But overall, everything I tried was at least quite good. I would try to list the wines I had but I was a bit tipsy - I recall a viogner, a gewurtztraminer, the more expensive of the red burgundies, a riesling, a cabernet sauvignon and the last I don't know.

        The reason it was quiet on opening night - the 5th - was that they were trying to keep reservations fairly quiet and small. They did not, however, expect the bar area to be packed.

      2. I visited Proof with a friend this evening after work, and I am quite disappointed to say that we've little to report. We came to get drinks, but the bar was full. When we asked at the front if it would be all right if we sat at one of the many open tables to have some wine, we were told we couldn't. I could see if it were crowded... or any day other than a Tuesday... or a restaurant that's established enough to know they've got a crowd that'll be coming in in 30 minutes... but the new kid on the block? Really? It left a bad taste in both of our mouths.

        A bummer, too. I was really looking forward to checking out their wine list and trying the yummy fois gras.

        3 Replies
        1. re: laurelee

          The tables were probably reserved already. The place has created quite a buzz over the past few months and the neighborhood residents have gone completely ga-ga over it. All the more reason NOT to go to a new restaurant until it's settled down, management learns a few chops, staff gets its act together, etc.

          1. re: monkeyrotica

            Went last night. Was it just me or was the staff all very young? Even the Sommeliers'? All were very nice and service was good. Not judging on age but more so on experience--there were some expensive bottles on that wine list! Just a thought...However, I will say that we enjoyed the Champagne trolly very much. We ordered the Charcuterie board-felt it was over priced ($28) for what was offered and found the toast stale. Overall our bill was in the three digits, expensive for a Monday night for sure!

          2. re: laurelee

            Laurelee: It's irrational, I know, but I have a similar grudge against Montmartre after being turned away from the place when it was empty. A brief explanation that makes sense along with the "No" could go a long way.

          3. I'm going tomorrow night with my Book Club. Any recommendations for yummy appetizers or main courses?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Elyssa

              Definitely get the Gnocchi! I've been twice and both times the people I was with, and I loved it. We also enjoyed the raw fish selections, particularly the hamachi crudo and the tuna tartare.
              There was also a sablefish entree which was amazing--very similar to a chilean seabass. This is the only entree I've tried in the two times I've been there but it melted in our mouths and was served with delicious, buttery pureed potatoes. I understand that the menu does change daily (at least to some extent) depending on what is fresh, so the sablefish might not be an option, although the waiter explained that there usually is some variation of this entree on the menu.
              The heirloom tomato salad that the neighboring table seemed to enjoy looked beautiful as well.
              I would suggest staying away from the flatbreads. At least the one we tried--with the ricotta--which came highly recommended by our waitress, was a bit of a let-down. It just needed more flavor. And the flatbread base itself wasn't really bread--it seemed like more of a flat cornmeal cake.
              The cheese platters are a nice course to enjoy as well. And the one dessert we had--a molten chocolate cake--wasn't as "molteny" as we like. But it was a sweet and rich way to end a fun meal. It could've used one less minute in the oven and it would have been perfect.
              I really enjoyed the wine list too. There is a wide variety of selections by the taste/glass/quartino (sp?). And the rose champagne was a good value. Just be careful with the champagne selections as the pricing is not listed on the menu. My husband ended up with a $18 glass to toast with, and he's not a huge champagne drinker. He would've been just as happy with my $8 glass! Oh well--we know for next time!

              1. re: KWynn

                Well KWynn you hit the nail on the head. Gnocchi is pretty much my favorite food ever and when I hear that a place does it well I almost always try to order it. Thanks! I'll report back and let you know how it goes.

            2. I went to Proof with my Book Club tonight. Overall I really liked it. Our waitress was knowledgable and friendly. The place has a cool vibe and was very busy. (Just so you know we made a reservation. From the looks of things, if you want to sit and eat you have to make one...even on a Tuesday night! The place was hopping at 7pm).

              To drink I got a glass of the Pinot Gris. It was pretty good...nothing too special but it was only $7 so I was happy enough. I would have liked a stronger taste. Guess I should have gotten the taste and then ordered a full glass if I liked it.

              For the table we got 3 cheeses, 1 from each section. It was more then enough to share as a starter for the 4 of us. We really liked all the cheeses and they serve it with yummy fresh honey and some sort of toasted bread with either figs or strawberrys (we couldn't figure it out). Very nice.

              To eat I got the Yukon Potato Gnocchi with hen of woods mushrooms and sweet corn. It was delicious! Tons of flavor and the smell of the fresh corn was so strong and sweet smelling...I wish I could market that stuff in a perfume! My only gribe is the price...the gnocchi cost $14 for a small dish. And quite honestly it was small----an appetizer size. Certainly seems like it should have been more in the range of $9-11.

              My other friends got the beet and goat cheese salad. It looked good. And the other 2 shared the roasted (?) wild mushrooms and olives.

              Overall it was nice...especially the spaced out tables etc. My only issue is the price of the food seems a bit steep for what you are getting. But I would certainly consider returning. The menu looked really good and there were other things I wanted to try.