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Proof, Capital One Arena, Chef George Rodrigues Replaces Austin Fausett, Who Replaced Ben Schramm, Who Replaced Haidar Kharoum, Etc.

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Are these the wines that will be coming out of the machine:

Wine will include vertical vintages of California wines Screaming Eagle, Bryant Family and Harlan Estates, Bordeaux stalwarts Château Latour, Château Pétrus and Château Haut-Brion as well as Rhone varietals, particularly Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

If so, get ready for a cash-ectomy.

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I'm not at all inclined to believe any of the California or Bdx trophies mentioned there will be getting anywhere near a by-the-glass program, Enomaticized or not.

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No one has mentioned the most important element...the design? Are we in for a little D & A with our fine wines and Mediterranean flavors?

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Nope! GrizForm design (PS7's and Farrah Olivia).
Interesting. So, brown suede and oddly shiny bathroom counters...

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I think the article (by Amanda McClements and posted on page 1 of this topic) said "rustic" but don't quote me on that. :blink:

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I think the article (by Amanda McClements and posted on page 1 of this topic) said "rustic" but don't quote me on that. :blink:
Rustic seems to be correct - think antique (reclaimed, not newly quarried) limestone floors, etc...

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Thanks for clearing that up Mark. So this sounds similar to the (excellent) system used at Sonoma. For me, the most important thing about this isn't the push-button pours; it's that the reds tend to be served at the proper temperature. Also, the bottle isn't repeatedly tilted so any fine sediment remains at the bottom, right?

Cheers,

Rocks.

You are correct on all counts Don. Don't hold me to this but I believe Sonoma uses a "Winekeeper" preservation system. That and the very similar "Cruvinet" are both excellent systems made in the States and, along with the "Verre de Vin" (a supercharged commercial version of the VacuVin), they dominate the wine preservation/dispenser market. Enomatic is an Italian made system, and is patterned after the Winekeeper and Cruvinet. Besides the Italian styling and somewhat more advanced mechanical fittings, the main difference is that it does not work off of a spigot, but rather can be programmed for up to 3 premeasured push button pours. The system was introduced in the U.S by a wine store in the Bay Area called Vino Venue, and I'm familiar with other "retail" installations at the Union Square wine shop in NYC and at a few Whole Foods, including the one in Fair Lakes - in each of those they do use a fare card.

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OK, they were supposed to open in March. Then, they were supposed to open May 25 (aka today!). Now - their website says June and after a walk-by today, it isn't looking promisng. What's the real issue going on here? It's been well over a year in the making... Come on guys! Open already - the neighborhood is crying (OK, maybe just me) for good wine and a mature atmosphere without a velvet rope (yeah, I dissed your neighbor on G St. What of it?).

Signed,

Your wanna be biggest fan

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Some of the area's more interesting restaurants took a long time to open. Hank's, Colorado Kitchen, Comet Ping Pong and Ray's the Classics are the first to come to mind.

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DC guvment can be really difficult as far as permits and things - they'll hold you up at every possible turn, especially for restaurants and food-businesses. And when you're building a restaurant from the ground up, basically starting from scratch, there are a million pieces and parts that can hold you up too.

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Article by David Hagedorn about the restaurant's development from Washington Flyer mag. Note that the timelines included within are clearly out of date by now, but it's still an interesting read.

Proof2.pdf

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Looks close to ready. I walked by today and the brown paper is off the windows and tables and chairs are on the floor. Saw a number of contractors and guys with tape measures on their belts, however. Looks like opening may be down to days or weeks rather than months. Anxious to try it.

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OpenTable says online reservations may be taken for dates beginning July 10.

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Sign on the door says service begins July 5, after some private-party action.

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I have a 7:30 reservation tonight at proof. Looking forward to it. We've waited long enough. I am also going to checkout Bar Louis (sp?) also opening tonight in the Gallery Place complex. This is a sports bar, party of a small chain (based in Chicago I think).

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I have a 7:30 reservation tonight at proof. Looking forward to it. We've waited long enough. I am also going to checkout Bar Louis (sp?) also opening tonight in the Gallery Place complex. This is a sports bar, party of a small chain (based in Chicago I think).
Welcome, jordanu! I look forward to seeing your report on the meal.

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Review of Proof Restaurant

(I recommend reading the magazine article attached to a prior post.)

We had 7:30PM reservations. A few of the tables remained empty (go now before you have to wait), but the bar area was overflowing. Nice modern décor, great mood music. We were given a booth for 4, but we were only two; that is always a treat.

They serve wine in 3 sized pours – 2 oz taste, 6 oz (normal size) and 8 oz. There are about 12 red and 12 white wines available by the glass, plus a huge vintage by the bottle book (which we didn’t touch).

We had a great time doing 2 oz tastes and 6 oz glasses. We must have tried about 10 different wines. All were very decent. The sommelier (Sebastian formerly of Rasika) is always friendly and knowledgeable. But our waitress <Sarah B> was also very good about recommendations.

Proof offers crackers served with an eggplant puree drizzled with olive oil to start. This was really good.

We started with 2 glasses and 2 tastes, plus the cheese plate. The cheese plate has great accompaniments – figs, peaches hazelnut honey, raisin bread toast crackers. We ordered 3 cheese ($12) and were all decent. The winner was the Chavelle.

We then spoke with Sebastian (who totes around a Champagne trolly) who suggested a few more wines. Good for us – we ordered 4 more tastes.

Our two favorite wines were the Burgundy (Frederic Magnien Borgogne) – very earthy and unique nose and the Shiraz Mollydooker – nice full body, but round finish.

Proof has a charcutrie selection available, plus appetizers, and only six or seven entrée selections, plus side dishes and the cheeses.

After the cheese plate – whose presentation we thought was the best we’ve had in awhile – I went with the chicken and my dining partner just had the side of green beans.

I really liked the chicken. It is a breast served sliced with baked on breadcrumbs. I loved the salsa and green sauce served with it. Not a huge serving though.

We thought the entrée selections were a bit small, although they covered a good variety – steak, two fish dishes, a chicken dish. The appetizers included two salads, but then some unconventional appetizers – fois gras, sweet breads, duck – I suppose very high brow, but nothing really popped out at me.

The bathrooms are cool too. Men’s was all black (floor, walls, ceiling, sinks, stalls, urinals) with tasteful pictures of nude women above the urinals. Also modern, automatic, sinks. The women’s room (so I hear) is all grey and hot pink with steel wash bins.

For Dessert we had the muscato (very tasty) and the toffee pudding cake with vanilla ice cream. Pretty good, but a small portion. Nothing that special, but decent. Coffee was very strong and thick - French-pressed. Seems like they used a too fine setting for the grinds. Courser grinds should be used for pressed coffee.

All in all we will be back many times. It was such a pleasure to order 10 – 12 tastes and find wine that we really liked (we are going to order bottles of the two identified above on the Internet). I look forward to more fun tasting sessions at this restaurant and will be back just for the fantastic cheese plate.

We chatted with the owner (see the article) after and he was very friendly and enthusiastic about Proof. He showed us the wine cellar and explained how he got the art from the portrait gallery to be displayed on his flat screen TV’s over the bar.

Look forward to hearing other diner’s thoughts about the appetizers and entrees we didn’t try.

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Waitman and I stopped by today after the Shakespeare Theatre. Lovely space, great wine list, and a charcuterie plate worth ordering again. It was great talking to Sebastian, and his recommendation (a Rhone-like blend from the winery he worked at) was spot-on, even for a couple of self-described Burgundy whores.

I can't speak to the men's room, as Waitman refused to sneak me in, but the wallpaper in the ladies room is very amusing.

ETA: Waitman got to eat his words too. Apparently they went down pretty easily. ;)

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Washingtonian's Best Bites gave a nice write up to Proof. Apparently the sablefish is well loved in-house as well:

When asked their favorite dish, Kuller and sommelier Sebastian Zutant (who has overseen the wine at both Komi and Rasika) both rave about Karoum's sablefish—a hit from his days at Asia Nora that he's tweaked for Proof.

As for the decor, critic Sara Levine agrees with jordanu:

in the mens' room, there's an arty black-and-white nude that takes up an entire wall

proofmensroomzb2.jpg

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