The meal began with a selection of incredible appetizers and small plates. Some of the stars of this first course were a delicious crab and grapefruit salad, amazing curried cashews, and olives prepared with thyme and citrus rinds.
The olives were my favorite appetizer because I love the way olives compliment a good glass of white wine, and I was drinking an incredible Sauvignon Blanc from France. The crisp flavor of the wine really complimented the briny saltiness of the olives.
The second course was fish-centric at my table--we tried the scallops, the halibut, and the Maryland striped bass. I ordered the halibut for myself, which was perfectly pan roasted in a delicious tomato and olive broth, adorned with a crostini slathered in an eggplant "hummus." The scallops were perfectly cooked as well--quite a feat for scallops as big as the ones at Proof. The Maryland striped bass, a regional favorite, was served with zucchini, roasted corn, and fingerling potatoes. The seasonal produce expertly accented the flavors of the bass without overpowering the fish.
From top to bottom: Maryland striped bass, halibut, and the scallops.
My favorite part of any meal, however, is not the first or second course. I am a dessert lover and a chocoholic at heart. If I could justify it, I would eat dessert after every meal, even breakfast. Proof delivered on dessert for me, and their chocolate hazelnut cake and sticky toffee pudding cake (their "it" dessert dish) were two of the best desserts I've had this year.
The chocolate hazelnut cake had a warm molten center, and was covered in delicious gianduja (hazelnut chocolate) gelato and a subtle espresso sauce. Chocolate cake is my all-time favorite food, and this is one of the best I've ever had. The center of the chocolate cake was rich and decadent without being overly dense. The gelato elevated the hazelnut flavor in the cake, and the espresso sauce brought another layer of depth to the dish.
This was my first experience with sticky toffee pudding cake, but after a few bites, I was completely sold. The cake had the texture and richness of bread pudding, and the pie-crust layer atop the cake helped to cut the sweetness of the dates in the pudding (dates are one of the main ingredients in sticky toffee pudding--they are what make it "sticky"). The toffee sauce was absolutely incredible, and I managed to completely clean the plate of the sauce, even after I had devoured the last bites of the cake. The vanilla bean ice cream provided a nice cooling component to the dish, but there was very little ice cream on the plate and the main focuses were definitely the toffee sauce and the cake itself.
My dining experience at Proof was incredible and I will fondly remember those desserts for a long time. Proof is an expensive restaurant (about $80 per person for three courses and wine), but it was worth every single penny. Proof also had a great lounge area for cocktail hour that I plan on visiting soon--based on the quality of my wine, I can only assume their cocktails are just as incredible. Save me a seat Proof.
Visit Proof at 775 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001