11.15.2006

Coming Soon: Proof

I often hear Washington wine fans bemoan the lack of wine bars in town. Oenophiles will have another spot to sip and swirl when Proof opens in Penn Quarter at 701 Eighth St. NW this spring. It's the brainchild of local lawyer Mark Kuller, who hopes to have the doors open in March.

On the wine front, a state-of-the-art Enomatic serving system will offer measured pours, including a tasting-sized serving, of 16 white and 16 red wines. And my favorite part: a champagne trolley will greet diners when they sit down, carrying five sparkling wines on ice, at the ready to get your evening started. A reserve wine list will showcase some of Kuller's extensive personal collection.

Fans of former Rasika sommelier Sebastian Zutant will be pleased to hear that he'll serve as the new restaurant's wine director. (I got to catch up with a tan and grape-covered Zutant in California last month, where he has been working at two wineries.)

And Kuller has plucked chef Haidar Karoum of Asia Nora to head the kitchen. On the menu: about 15 or so Mediterranean-inspired small plates, a handful of large plates and flatbreads. Cheese and charcuterie selections will be on display, along with the antique Berkel slicer Kuller found.

The design plans, which are in the capable hands of GrizForm Design, call for a wall of 1,000 or so illuminated bottles of white, antiques blended with contemporary touches, and a 23-foot custom pewter bar. Bare wood tables will keep the vibe casual. (Kuller also promises a few surprises for the restrooms.)

The restaurant will seat about 84 people in the dining room, with an additional 35 in the bar area and future plans for a roomy patio. Plans also call for weekend brunch and a late-night menu.

8 comments:

Michael said...

sounds too good to be true ... all very cool except for surprises in the bathrooms ... I prefer the uneventful toilet visit.

thanks for the news!

Amanda said...

I have a feeling it will be more visual surprises that physical - no spinning toilets or anything. =)

Anonymous said...

I take it you've heard about the new law enabling restaurants in commercial zones--despite proximity to schools--to receive liquor licenses? Any word on when Vegetate will apply for its license? This is GREAT news for the Restaurant movement east of Logan...

see http://lifein.mountvernonsquare.org/index.cfm/2006/11/15/Liqour-License-to-be-Allowed-in-School-Areas

Amanda said...

I have indeed - a major victory for the restaurant biz. I'm glad Vegetate has hung on this long. But I'm not sure what their timeframe for applying, etc is...

gpliving said...

Great piece - we're very excited to be able to sip wine while gazing at the Smithsonian across the street.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me what happened to Proof opening? I walked past there today and they look nowhere near completiong.

Amanda said...

As usual, there were some building delays, and May is now the ETA. I'll report when I know more specifics.

Chris said...

I was there last night. Pretty good meal, but the wine certainly adds to the experience. More here: http://winewithdinner.wordpress.com/2007/10/27/proof-livin-the-dream/