Wine is proof that God loves us. — Benjamin Franklin Diner's Choice Winner 2009

Proof employee on ladder grabbing a bottle of wine

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Brittany Garrison


100 Very Best Restaurants 2016

By Ann Limpert, Anna Spiegel, Todd Kliman and Cynthia Hacinli

February 8, 2016

Steadiness is not one of the sexier virtues in the restaurant world. But settle into this dark-lit lair and you’ll appreciate what so many flashy newcomers lack: a maturity and poise that are evident at the outset, with a warm welcome and expert cocktails. More


The 38 Essential D.C. Restaurants, January 2016

By Missy Frederick

January 5, 2016

t's time to update the Eater 38, your answer and ours to any question that begins, "Can you recommend a restaurant?" This highly elite group covers the entire city and surrounding areas, spans myriad cuisines and budgets, and collectively satisfies all of your restaurant needs, except for those. More

Washington Post

Gamay, the grape sommeliers love, is front and center in May

By Dave McIntyre

May 16, 2015

If you’ve tried wine samples in a local store this month or ordered a glass of red wine in a restaurant, you might have tasted an unfamiliar grape variety: gamay. More

100 Very Best Restaurants 2015

By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Anna Spiegel and Cynthia Hacinli

January 9, 2015

These days, it’s not much of a surprise to find a menu listing both Vietnamese Wagyu-beef carpaccio and nonna-inspired chicken meatballs draped in tomato sauce. What is a revelation is finding a kitchen that can nail a repertoire of dishes from an atlas’s worth of places. For the most part, Haidar Karoum’s team can. More

100 Very Best Restaurants 2014

By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Jessica Voelker and Anna Spiegel

January 28, 2014

Reading the menu in the dark dining room here can be trying, but your server is ready to assist—by proffering a tiny flashlight. And if you think a bathroom ought to be a purely utilitarian space, pre-pare to be taken aback by the black-and-white erotica in the men’s room. More

Food and Wine

America's Best Riesling

By Megan Krigbaum

October 2013

Joe Quinn's 1,000-bottle list has 22 Rieslings that cost less than $75 a bottle. More

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Jessica Voelker and Cynthia Hacinli

February 19, 2013

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. More

Washington City Paper

Washington's Top Wine Lists

Kara Manos

At a restaurant whose wine selection is as meticulous as its food preparation, Nicolas Joly's Coulee de Serrant and Zind Humbrecht's array of Pinot Blancs and Gris are the outstanding varietals on the menu. Sommelier Sebastian Zutant finds biodynamic wines "fascinating, and if it produces amazing wine, then so be it." More

Washington City Paper


Jessica Sidman

July 25, 2012

Chef Haidar Karoum had never professionally cooked Spanish food before the 2010 opening of Estadio in Logan Circle. But his tortilla española with sweet hot peppers could give the real deal a run for its money. More


9 Sexy Bathrooms From Restaurants Around the U.S.

Zagat Staff

July 11, 2012

Sex-o-meter rating: 9
The men's bathrooms at this wine-centric New American hot spot are covered in photos of naked women and its bathroom sink fixture is a sculpture of a naked woman. Scandalous! More

Recipe Sleuth: Proof's Crispy Cauliflower With Tahini-Lemon Sauce

Anna Spiegel

June 22, 2011

When chef Haidar Karoum was growing up, his Lebanese-born father always brought the same dish to potlucks and parties: crispy fried cauliflower topped with tahini sauce and chopped fresh mint. More

Washington City Paper

10 Luxurious Gifts to Give

1947 Château Cheval Blanc

As proprietor of Proof, one of Washington's most wine-centric dining establishments, Mark Kuller knows a good vintage when he tries one. "I am fortunate to have had the 1947 Cheval Blanc once, and it remains the greatest wine I have ever tasted." That is no small endorsement, considering Kuller has tasted thousands of wines and has one of the most compelling collections in our area. More

100 Best Restaurants 2012

Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Rina Rapuana

January 13, 2012

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. More

Best of DC 2011

Washington CIty Paper Best Restaurant 2011

Melissa E. McCart

I've just been served an iridescent pinkish cocktail in a martini glass at Proof. I had asked bar manager Adam Bernbach for an herbal concoction and was greeted with a number made with Blue Gin, Velvet Falernum, and grapefruit juice, garnished with a twist and a sprig of sage. The drink is a lovely balance of bright citrus and herbs; the combination hits notes that resonate with the in-between season of late winter, early spring. More

100 Very Best Restaurants 2011

By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg and Rina Rapuano

January 18, 2011

At first glance, the impressive charcuterie and cheese selections might make you think this Penn Quarter wine bar is best for a grazing dinner, where food plays second fiddle to wine. Chef Haidar Karoum shows it’s much more than that. More

Washington City Paper

Standout Summer Cocktails

Hilary Weissman

Head to bustling Penn Quarter to indulge in Proof's "War of the Rosés," a summer special lasting through Labor Day that features a long list of premium labels for $35 a bottle, exclusively on the outdoor patio and in the bar and lounge. Wine director Sebastian Zutant favors the 2011 Ameztoi Rubentis Txakolina, from the Basque region of Spain. More


Karoum Kaboom: Proof/Estadio Chef Wins Capital Food Fight

Jamie R. Liu

November 11, 2011

Chef Haidar Karoum (Proof, Estadio) was crowned the champion of last night's Capital Food Fight, triumphing over Chefs Jeff Black (Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Black Salt, etc.), Todd Gray (Equinox, Watershed), and Brian McBride (recently of Blue Duck Tavern). More importantly, the event raised over half a million dollars for DC Central Kitchen, which provides food for the homeless, utilizes excess food from local businesses, provides culinary job training and caters meals for businesses and D.C. public schools. More

Great Bars 2011: Proof

February 7, 2011

Proof is a mecca for wine connoisseurs, and proprietor Mark Kuller is among Washington's most knowledgeable wine geeks. The see-and-be-seen dining room has walnut floors, floor-to-ceiling plate-glass windows, and a rotating panel of images from the Smithsonian above the bar. Chef Haidar Karoum serves up classics such as veal carpaccio as well as highbrow twists on lowbrow food: a Wagyu-beef Philly cheesesteak and a shrimp burger that's good enough to have warranted a visit from Michelle Obama. More

100 Very Best Restaurants 2010

By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg and Rina Rapuano

January 1, 2010

Of all the wine bars that have opened here, this one has the most ambitious and interesting kitchen. Still, it has often seemed better for grazing on the cheese and charcuterie boards than for splurging on a full dinner. But chef Haidar Karoum is better than ever. More

100 Very Best Restaurants 2009

By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Rina Rapuano and Eve Zibart

January 21, 2009

In most of the area’s new wine bars, vino comes first. Proof says that food is job one. In addition to a lengthy charcuterie board and what can only be called an exhibition cheese bar, it offers a broad assortment of Asian-inflected fish and meats confidently paired with root vegetables, mushrooms or nuts, and citrus. The wine list, primarily from co-owner Mark Kuller’s own collection, is large, but management is helpful. More

100 Very Best Restaurants 2008

By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli and Dave McIntyre

January 1, 2008

Eclectic, trendy fare—small plates that nod to Asia and the Mediterranean, plus a long roster of cheeses and charcuterie—to mix and match with wines from an impressive list, including some from owner Mark Kuller’s 7,000-bottle collection. More