Thursday, September 6, 2007

I'm in need of more convincing

I've never seen so many beautiful people in one restaurant. The hipster staff, the trendy clientele, the massive stacks of wine, Proof, the new wine bar/restaurant across from the Verizon Center is more of a status symbol than an eating destination.

First off, kudos to Agatha for landing us reservations. Jill, myself, Steve and Ags arrived pretty much right at 8:30 (when our reservations were), with Steve and Ags actually arriving about ten minutes ahead of time. With our entire party there on time, we still waited about fifteen minutes - which does happen, but during this time we were pretty much ignored, which was pretty hard considering we were standing right in front of the host stand.

Upon sitting down we were faced with a massive wine list. We all chose to get a glass of wine and an appetizer (except for Steve who got a beer and three courses).

I had a very good 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (from a vineyard in Napa that I can't remember) and paired it with the first course portion of Wagyu Beef Sashimi. Topped with "Asian greens", ginger, soy sauce and various chili oils, on the surface it was a solid dish.

However, upon further reflection, I was fairly disappointed in this dish. The beef was pretty much just a Carpaccio with pretty typical Asian flavors drowning it. Ginger, soy sauce, lime? I could have done that at home. Also, several pieces of the meat were incredibly chewy - to the point where I really had to work at it. Real sashimi should be smooth, this wasn't it.

The meal was saved by the dessert, which for me was a double chocolate bundt cake with hazelnut sauce and banana ice cream. The cake was wonderfully light, which is surprising for anything "double chocolate". Though through all of that, the real winner was Agatha's cheesecake, which I could have for any meal of the day and be happy (and fat).

Sadly, Proof in my mind will not be remembered for the great glass of wine or the chocolate cake, but for the relatively bland food and off putting sense of exclusivity.

We weren't the best dressed crew in the restaurant, and we were probably the poorest kids there, but we were probably the only table that the sommelier didn't visit. While this may not be that big of a deal, it's a wine bar - come and talk to us about our wine, come and explain to us what we're supposed to be tasting.

I love this concept, and I want it to succeed, but I never like walking out of a restaurant feeling like I was slighted. You've got a good thing going Proof - just remember to let the rest of us poor slobs join in on the fun.


Anonymous said...

You can't judge a restaurant on one appetizer. what the hell!

Anthony said...

I didn't judge the restaurant on a single appetizer - in fact, I thought the food was decent - regardless of what could have been a better dish.

My main issue was the atmosphere. Dining out isn't just about the food, it's about the experience. You can have incredible food, every dish and bottle of wine on the menu, and if you don't feel comfortable, if you don't enjoy yourself, then what's the point?

Like I said; I love the concept, and I want it to succeed. I'm just in need of more convincing that its pros outweigh its cons.

Jillian said...

jill here-- we had more than one appetizer, too, between the four of us. we threw everything around the table, and while i was very impressed with all of it, it wasn't worth the price, in my opinion. i'm very willing to pay lots and lots for really good food, but i think price inflation for the sake of exclusivity is silly.