100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Proof

Foie Gras with shortcakes from Proof. The restaurant is making two dishes for the festival. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Owner Mark Kuller says he conceived of Proof as a sort of
Franken-restaurant, grafting the best traits of his favorite cafes and
wine bars into a single, low-lit space. The clearest sign of its evolution
after five years is that this sly cut-and-paste is now the model that
every new restaurant in town wants to copy.

Can you blame them? Who else does sexiness, soulfulness, and
sophistication like Proof? ΒΆ You can relax over some of the area’s best
cocktails at the bar. You can come for lunch, where $25 gets you soup and
a sandwich. You can come for cheese, charcuterie, and wine. And you can
indulge in a blowout of multiple courses. (If it’s a special occasion, ask
for table 10 or 20. These corner banquettes are the most

Haidar Karoum’s menu is a hodgepodge of styles—from meatballs
to crispy tofu to foie gras. It works because of his ability to make them
taste like the kitchen produced that item only. Don’t
Duck-liver mousse; beef-pho terrine; Mediterranean
flatbread; avocado-and-grapefruit salad; gnocchi with lamb Bolognese; foie
gras with cherry shortcake; swordfish with fennel, olives, and tomato
confit; crispy Pekin duck breast; sticky-toffee-pudding cake; cookie

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

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

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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 Logan Circle.