A few years back, when Proof first opened, I heard a lot of buzz and decided to check it out. We went one weekend – early – pre-Shakespeare Theater. It was annoying, so much so that despite all the good work of mouth, I haven’t been in three years? maybe more. Would this time be different? I tiried to go in with an open mind …
What made that initial foray so disappointing? The wine list. It looked promising – a thick leather bound volume. I couldn’t wait to peruse it. I skipped the wines by the glass on the opening leaf (mistake) and went to California cabernets (another mistake). Here’s what I found: a full page of wines, with maybe 6 or 7 wines under $100. Seriously? Was it listed by vintage wines then “everyday” wines? Alas, no. The food was quite good – but I couldn’t get over the obnoxious wine list.
Fast forward to this past weekend. Again, we were there early, pre-Shakespeare. The staff was very nice and showed us to our table. The menu looked great – several things jumped out at me. The starters looked great, and I thought about just getting the charcouterie and cheese … yum! We split the house-made pates and terrines. Quite delicious.
The problem? The wine list (again) for these wine lovers. We laughed at the wine list this time – right. I can’t spend $200 for a bottle on a random night, although I wish I could. Couldn’t split a bottle – which is the usual m.o., so turned to the wines by the glass instead.
I chose a glass of Pinot d’Alsace (wonderful with the pates) and a glass of Chateauneuf du Pape (not great with my fish entree, but couldn’t resist). Bottom line? Nice service, great location. Good food. Irritating wine selections – disappointing in general, but really annoying for a wine bar. If food is the focus and wine the passion at Proof, I’d suggest switching teams. You did not satisfy these wine lovers.
Every other wine bar or restaurant charges more for a glass of wine than a bottle. Proof was just the opposite. If an average bottle pours 6 glasses and most glasses seemed to be in the $15 range, than a bottle should be less than $90? Good luck with that.
Given: I love and appreciate good food
Given: I delight in good wine
Given: I detest pretentiousness that bars me from enjoying good food and wine.
Therefore: I will not be back to Proof anytime soon.