If you’ve ever heard of Proof, you know that this is one of the most prestigious and award-winning restaurants in Louisville. Consumers flock there not only for the gourmet food and exquisite ambiance, but for a museum full of avant-garde modern art: the 21C Museum Hotel in Downtown Louisville. Proof provides an eating experience unlike any other.
My family and I decided on this restaurant for my sister’s birthday, just like we had the year before. The staff has always been very accommodating, although it did take around ten minutes to get our bread. I was starving when I arrived, so I immediately ordered the first course that caught my eye—which happened to be the butternut squash soup. When it arrived at the table, the presentation was beautiful. There were chunks of squash and chips of brioche waiting in the bottom of the white oval bowl. Our server poured the warm orange broth over them, and I dug in. The soup was very soft and very rich, and I understood why the portion was so petite once I had finished it—the sumptuous chocolate and pungent vegetables fill you up quickly.
For the main course, I ordered the pan-roasted sea scallops, made with diced grapefruit and in a creamy sauce. The combination of citrus and dense sauce was perfect, and the scallops were extremely tender and juicy. The only issue with the dish was that it cost $30 and came with only three scallops. Of course, these types of portions are expected from such a high-end restaurant, but it was a slight let down; I was looking forward to a hearty meal. The scallops did seem to give me the feeling of being satiated, though I think that may have been the richness of the food rather than the shellfish itself.
My dad ordered the Pacific Sturgeon, which was light, simple and delicious. My mom ordered the Iowa Berkshire pork, which she fell in love with and complimented numerous times throughout the dinner. The pork was flavorful and cooked to perfection, and the portion was reasonable for $28. My sister is a vegetarian, so she opted for a simple dish: pasta with tomato sauce. She really enjoyed it, but I thought the taste was a little odd—then again, I’m a meat eater. For a side, we ordered the Wiesenberger grits with cracked black pepper and Parmigianino cheese, which were absolutely scrumptious.
Overall, the food was delectable, despite the large prices. To justify the expense, I keep in mind that the restaurant largely supports the region’s sustainable farmers and producers, and all of its food is always fresh and pure. If you’re looking for a fancy, upscale restaurant to dine in with friends and family, this one should definitely be your first pick, with extraordinary food, impressive service, and an intriguing, modern art museum all in one. This is not a place you come across every day, so Louisvillians, do not let the chance pass you by!