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Proof, Capital One Arena, Chef George Rodrigues Replaces Austin Fausett, Who Replaced Ben Schramm, Who Replaced Haidar Kharoum, Etc. - Closing Feb 2nd

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On 1/9/2018 at 10:08 PM, DonRocks said:

Having talked with the Proof refugees, you have *no* idea how big a deal this post is. Thanks for letting us know, youngfood - this will be unfathomably big news to some in the industry.

My wife and I have enjoyed Proof every time we've gone, and I'm not so clued in to industry news, so could you elaborate a bit on your (or others') thoughts/expectations? Just trying to figure out whether it's a good thing or a "let's wait and see" thing...

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41 minutes ago, captcourt said:

My wife and I have enjoyed Proof every time we've gone, and I'm not so clued in to industry news, so could you elaborate a bit on your (or others') thoughts/expectations? Just trying to figure out whether it's a good thing or a "let's wait and see" thing...

I honestly don't know what the conclusion will be, only that Proof is a very different restaurant now than it was when Mark Kuller was running it - Mark had retained the original staff for a long time, paying them very well in the process, but afterwards, there was a mass-exodus due to a power shift which some viewed as catastrophic.

I wish I could list specific examples, but that would be ratting people out who confided in me privately.

My personal view is that Mark had a vision to make Proof into the best restaurant he could make, and whether or not that vision remains - I just don't know, but I do know that some people are very resentful, and not just ex-employees.

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On 8/16/2018 at 5:07 PM, Genevieve said:

Has anyone eaten at Proof lately? Wondering how the food is after the turnover.

I'm interested as well - may just need to go to check it out for myself.

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We went last night as we were in the area, and our dinner was quite good. Between us we had Braised Octopus (black garlic aioli, crispy potato), Trofie Pasta (genovese basil & Italian pine nut pesto), Cauliflower (lemon, tahini, garlic, mint), and Roasted Baby Carrots (whipped goat cheese, candied pepita).That's an appetizer, an entree, and two sides, and it was quite enough food as we did not have room for dessert (neither of us were hugely hungry to begin with).  We started with the gratis "flatbread" (really crackers) and labne (in a little circular dish like butter, and mixed with some things I can't recall other than a bit of jalepeno), which was tasty and a nice way to start. The octopus is a quite generous appetizer (I had it for a main with the two veggie sides, but shared all three with my dining companion and had some of her pasta). The potato disks were nicely crispy, the octopus (sliced rounds from the tentacles) was tender and tasty, and I avoided the little red rounds of hot peppers, though I had one octopus bite that was a bit fiery. (I definitely dislike when restaurants don't disclose the presence of hot peppers on the menu, because my husband cannot eat them in any amount or strength, but my dining companion last night didn't mind them. But if I'd gone with my husband and we'd planned to split the octopus as we've done in other places, we both would've been disgruntled.)

The pasta was homemade and had an excellent texture, and the pesto was very fresh and good. ("Pine nut pesto" seems like a retronym to me, but maybe the menu was pointing out that the pine nuts were Italian.)  It came with a couple of green beans and a couple small purple potatoes (potatoes with pasta makes me think of Big Night: "Maybe I should make mashed potato for another side!") The cauliflower was beautifully browned (it's always disappointing when roasted cauliflower is pale and underdone) and delicious, and the baby carrots were a beautiful and flavorful mix of colors, sweet, and well-prepared. All the cominations of ingredients were excellent.

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On 8/18/2018 at 5:42 PM, Pool Boy said:

I'm interested as well - may just need to go to check it out for myself.

Had a really good meal here. I'll be back. Overall no real misses and some serious hits.

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Breaking news: I have it from a very reliable source that Proof is closing for good Feb 2nd.

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45 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Breaking news: I have it from a very reliable source that Proof is closing for good Feb 2nd.

Confirmed by Eater.

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Interesting reasoning considering earlier in this thread there were reports of a new 5 year lease. Seems premature?

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Proof is a legendary DC restaurant. Short notice of the closing, but would be great to have a Dr.com dinner during the waning days to take advantage of some wine deals, if possible.

I will definitely be in a time or two to pay my respects.

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This really makes me sad as I make it a point to visit proof (despite the fact they've taken the gnocchi off the menu of late) before Caps games.

I would certainly be in for a DR.com throwback dinner.

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What day were you all thinking, would you be free?  Depending on the day, I could potentially join too.

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Folks, I'm *delighted* that you're getting together, but Proof is almost entirely unrelated to what it was before: different ownership, different kitchen, different front of house - I highly recommend going somewhere else; Proof has been a mere shadow of a carbon copy of itself for many years now.

Still, if people want to give the space that one, last, college try, it still has a fun bar area; I just wouldn't go expecting the same food or service as before.

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23 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Proof has been a mere shadow of a carbon copy of itself for many years now.

This sums it up.  Its closing is long overdue.

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I loved Proof back in the day. I still liked it in the last couple of years. It's sad to see it go no matter that it may not have been what it was a number of years ago. Damn.

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15 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Folks, I'm *delighted* that you're getting together, but Proof is almost entirely unrelated to what it was before: different ownership, different kitchen, different front of house - I highly recommend going somewhere else; Proof has been a mere shadow of a carbon copy of itself for many years now.

Still, if people want to give the space that one, last, college try, it still has a fun bar area; I just wouldn't go expecting the same food or service as before.

You raise a good point - my meal at Bistro Francais in the waning days was pretty poor. That said, still some gems on the list, and I'll be in the neighborhood. 

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17 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Folks, I'm *delighted* that you're getting together, but Proof is almost entirely unrelated to what it was before: different ownership, different kitchen, different front of house - I highly recommend going somewhere else; Proof has been a mere shadow of a carbon copy of itself for many years now.

Still, if people want to give the space that one, last, college try, it still has a fun bar area; I just wouldn't go expecting the same food or service as before.

I agree that its a shell of what it used to be - that said, to Keithstg's point - there is wine to be consumed :).  

...and I'm down there relatively frequently for Caps games or other things.  The space has a lot of good memories and while the food isn't what it used to be - I've found that one last time in a space where I've had good meals, good times and memories that make me smile can be as important as the food itself.

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