Proof (that I have no willpower)
The last time I was at Proof, the “wine-centric restaurant” opposite the American Art Museum, a friend and I nibbled on an enormous charcuterie platter with meats and cheeses and honey and nuts and – an hour passed before we realized we were far too stuffed to try any of the entrees or smaller plates. Not to mention our indulging in the champagne cart made ordering more from the extensive wine list redundant. No matter, I thought, I’ll be back.
Friday night found me revisiting Proof with the always entertaining Don Whiteside (I have to reveal he drank only beer, dear reader, shocking!). I managed to explore one dish more, the smoked salmon flatbread, but just couldn’t pass up the prosciutto and cheese again. Nor could I really get past the bubbly. Completely failed at trying anything else, despite a very tempting variety. Oh well, this whole “wine-centric restaurant” deal confuses me anyway. No doubt it’s an economic decision to branch out beyond wine bar nibbles, and obviously it doesn’t bother me at all, I just wonder if I will ever get to try anything else on the menu. Willpower, whatever, this whole branching outside of your comfort zone is vastly overrated anyway.
A note on atmosphere – the first time I went was quite close to its opening, and it was jam-packed with your usual Washingtonian power suspects. Luckily that appears to have mellowed by now. With a sleek yet romantic design, ably managed by a cheerful and helpful staff, this is not an intimidating place to try wine. While we were there a girl asked the bartender for “just a glass of white wine” – and without raising an eyebrow he gently steered her to something she might like after a few questions. Education without condescension. Nicely done.