100 Best Restaurants 2012: Proof

Restaurants On the Rise


When Proof opened in 2007, it was seen as a wine bar, a stop for a charcuterie plate and a flatbread. Four years later, this fashionably dim spot by the Verizon Center is one of the area’s most interesting places to eat.

Chef Haidar Karoum, in the kitchen since day one (he also oversees Estadio), has built a repertoire of excellent menu staples–beautifully spiced meatballs with goat-cheese agnolotti, a scene-stealing side of cauliflower with tahini and lemon–but he changes the rest of the menu with the seasons. The impressive wine program includes big-ticket Champagnes and Cali Cabs but also good choices for the value-minded.

What to get: Duck confit with salsa verde and slaw; miso-glazed sablefish; squid-ink pasta with calamari, chili flakes, and white wine; halibut with curry and jasmine rice; caramelized-banana ice cream; cookie plate.

Open Tuesday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday through Monday for dinner. Expensive.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.