Editors' pick

Proof

Nouveau American
$$$$ ($25-$34)
Proof photo
Allison Dinner
It's easy to fall in love with Proof: a restaurant that offers top-notch fare, a great beverage program and an elegant dining room.
Mon-Wed 11:30 am-2 pm
5:30-10 pm; Thu-Fri 11:30 am-2 pm
Sat 5:30-11 pm; Sat 5:30-11 pm; Sun 5-9:30 pm
(Chinatown)
Gallery Place-Chinatown (Red, Green and Yellow lines)
202-737-7663
72 decibels (Must speak with raised voice)
'

Editorial Review

2009 Fall Dining Guide

By Tom Sietsema
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009

Here's my fallback for any number of restaurant scenarios. When friends ask where they should go for drinks, Proof and its excellent wine and spirits program leap to mind. (My refresher of choice: tequila, white port and chartreuse.) When strangers want to know what's hot but not too expensive, I tell them that the average dinner entree in this light-by-day, dim-by-night leather-and-brick playground is $25. When visiting foodies ring me up, I'll frequently introduce them to Proof. Lunch there finds a terrific, Indian-seasoned lamb burger and a dewy tuna tartare served between airy seaweed crackers. Evening yields such temptations as roasted wreckfish teetering on a hash of chanterelles, spaetzle and pea shoots. And a plump chicken breast defies the boring stereotype with its stuffing of goat cheese and wild mushrooms and sidekicks of spicy rapini and soothing polenta. "I like the sides and sauces best," a newbie to the restaurant says, an opinion that mirrors mine. Chances are, owner Mark Kuller will be hanging out at his restaurant if you show up for dinner. Chances are, the lawyer-by-day will be leaning against the front wall, sipping a glass of wine and looking very content. I would be, too, if I got to be the host of this warm and softly lighted Penn Quarter watering hole.

Four-course tasting menu per person: $56.