Review: Proof

9 June 2017

I headed out of Omaha, disappointed by that poor experience at The Grey Plume, for neighbouring Iowa — my third time in this state this year. I spent the day exploring the northern part of the state, places that few see. Yes, lots of farmland, but there are also surprised along the way. I got to Des Moines on a rather warm day knackered.

I had planned for dinner at a place downtown called Proof. I wasn’t sure why the hotel rates in Des Moines were so crazy this weekend, which left me at a distant suburb. Nevertheless the minute I sat down at the bar at Proof I knew the trek into town was worth it.

The bartender was a class act all night, and reminded me of some of the best mixologists I’ve seen — humble yet knowledgeable, willing to experiment, and a good person to chat with all night — without missing a step in service. I relaxed with a cocktail and looked over the menu. Cool little place, I can get to really like this like Boiler Room in Omaha.

I moved onto a second cocktail when my starter appeared — a halloumi salad.

1-halloumi

Now you think halloumi in Iowa? Yes, and it was good — as halloumi always is. Throw in some grains, shoots and radish and you got a wonderful little starter. Nice! Then the main course, and I smiled.

2-pork chop

This is a wonderful pork chop cooked perfectly from a wonderfully sourced animal. Lovely taste, bringing out the best of the pork without smothering it in some over-cheffed fashion. Excellent!

I was enjoying myself so much with the food, drinks and banter I ended up staying for quite a long time, and started the “test my bartender” thing by having him use me as a guinea pig for drink ideas. That was fun, and led me to order a dessert…well, my kind of dessert…

3-charcuterie

Yes, a nice meat and cheese plate. The sausage of the day was excellent, as were the cheeses — especially the prairie breeze. Worked so well with the cocktails. Perhaps a few too many, but a lovely evening with some excellent talent here. A cute place to enjoy an evening!

sign

If you ever find yourself in Des Moines I seriously recommend this place. Fab food, excellent drinks, wonderful folks. It’ll surprise you, and you’ll never think about Iowa in the same way again!

Proof
1301 Locust Street
Des Moines, Iowa

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2 thoughts on “Review: Proof

  1. Pingback: Review: Table 128 | melhuang1972

  2. Pingback: Review: Soby’s | melhuang1972

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