I always yak about how I want to go to Poste, and I want to go to Proof, and I want to go to Cork, when Poof! Yesterday, my best friend took me to Proof. And I'll definitely be returning.
First of all, I was able to make a reservation for 2 on OpenTable just 24 hours in advance. Good luck going to Central or Zaytinya on that timeframe--ain't gonna happen, folks. With 2.5 Stars from Our Hero, it's an obvious choice for a post-work meet-up. And with AVAILABLE SEATS, you can't really go wrong. I've degressed. Enough.
T started with a cocktail called the Heretic--I believe it contained at least strawberries, basil, and jalapenos. I know, who would drink that? T would. I had the Rosé du Jour. I don't know what it was, but it was great--T hit the nail on the head when she said the following pearl of wisdom: "Some rosés taste like whites with a little bit of red--this tastes like red with a little bit of white." So true, and that's what made it yummy. It didn't taste watery or washed out, it was just right the way it was. Glasses of wine at Proof come in 2 oz tastes, 6 oz, or 8.5 oz for a regular "glass." They are priced accordingly. Go ahead, and try a bit of 6 different wines! You can't be stopped! You're an animal!
The cheese options looked great, but ladies watching their figures will save the calories for a shared dessert. To start, T and I split the sautéed veal sweetbreads. I'm personally not afraid of sweetbreads, and tried them for the first time at Citronelle (generally not a bad place for a "first taste"). These had a much different texture, reminding me more of a seared scallop than a soft cheese. The combination of black pepper, spinach, dates, and bacon with the sweetbreads was a sweet/salty/smoky fiesta on my tongue, complete with party favors and those little pointy hats. According to Tom's review, the flatbreads are tasty. T and I just couldn't justify playing it safe (Mediterranean flatbread anyone?) when we had the opportunity to try something new. Our server said the braised little meatballs are also delicious, but not as interesting as what we ordered.
Dinner brought the roasted Alaskan halibut with caramelized sunchokes, glazed rainbow carrots, and almond mint pesto for T, and let me tell you for her, it sounds a lot more exciting than it really is. It's not that it didn't taste good, it was acceptable. But the fish was naked. If she wasn't getting that dish, I was sure to order it because the phrase "almond mint pesto" is like music to my ears. I LOVE pesto. I LOVE mint. But alas, the veggies were sort of dull and brown-looking, sitting under the naked fish while a few swipes of the yummy-sounding sauce tracked the plate. A bit bland for an otherwise funky place!
My dinner was delish. I had the crispy panko chicken breast with lemongrass jasmine rice, napa slaw, roasted peanuts, and Thai salsa verde. To me, the rice didn't really have a place on that plate. I would have preferred a crunchy or otherwise green vegetable to go along with that chicken. The chicken was sliced but then reassembled so I didn't even realize it was already cut for me. How thoughtful, Proof! It was moist, with a bit of a crunchy outside, but not at all greasy like typical fried chicken. I really enjoyed the salda verde, but there wasn't enough! Again with the stripes of sauce! I definitely don't want my dish to get soggy with sauce, don't get me wrong, but it was a lot of chicken and just two skinny lines of the very interesting salsa verde!
For dessert, T and I shared the goat's milk cheesecake. No, this was not a commercialized cheesecake of yore, conforming to a triangular wedge of tasty yet boring redundancy. It was in a mid-height round glass, and had the thinnest lacing of tartness on top (was it raspberry?), just beneath a soft top layer of what tasted like softer and unsweetened graham cracker crumbs. To appreciate the tiny tart layer, we dug in deep with our spoons. By the way, we used our baby spoons that came with our espressos, because if even one of us used the enormous spoons they gave us (think "big spoon," not proper dessert spoon) we would have finished in a bite and a half. Totally obscene spoon size.
Decor at Proof is interesting. The red bathroom walls are patterned with black boustiers and fishnet-clad gams. The toilets are the tiny metal ones you'd find on an airplane. And the heart-shaped mirror made me laugh.
Although our server was top notch, the two hostesses were chatting with each other and neither bid us adieu...
775 G St NW
Metro: Red, Green, or Yellow Line to Gallery Place/Chinatown or Red, Orange, or Blue Line to Metro Center