As fall rolls around and the school term gets going, I often find myself experiencing a certain deterioration of my standard of living in general. Things that used to feel so easy over the summer like finding the time to work out, making nutritious meals, or just generally treating myself suddenly give way to the stuffy blanket of obligation that is academics, extracurriculars, job hunting, and what have you. Therefore, it was such a treat this week to walk the glorious 10 minutes from my house to Proof, a self-proclaimed kitchen/lounge that lives on the ground floor of the Delta Hotel near uptown Waterloo.
Now, first things first: this place is fancy. Almost everything is made out of either wood, leather, geometrics, or caught in a mason jar. Actually, I may have been lying about the last part, but the rest holds true. Handsome bartenders, waiters, and waitresses mill about like actors off-set (*cough* ladies, if it is of interest to you, there are plenty of men with beards somehow cut to the perfectly attractive length *cough*). Ladies and gentlemen, Lenore had somehow stepped out of her perfectly humdrum student life and entered the executive suite. The only strange thing was how few people there were in the restaurant; innumerable chairs and tables laid in wait for non-existent customers, save for the occasional lonely businessman. Ordering a scallop pappardelle and signature burger for myself and my companion from the handsome Josh Charles-doppelgänger/waiter, I sipped my water while contemplating the student housing that lay just outside these gorgeous, glass-covered walls.
My scallop pappardelle was beautiful when it arrived — a small mound of ricotta kissed by lemon on top of a bevy of pappardelle noodles, bacon, and kale surrounded by three medium-sized scallops. The scallops were perfectly cooked, and easily the star of the dish, as they should be. However, the rest of the dish unfortunately fell down by a mile. Pappardelle noodles are a very long and wide type of pasta noodle; being one inch thick, they are ideal for catching all manner of sauces. Unfortunately, the lemon ricotta that was meant to be stirred through the dish ended up being a touch too subtle, resulting in an oily and unflavourful pasta. The bacon was also sadly overcooked and cut too thickly, reminding me more of tiny pork chunks instead of bacon. The only redeeming touch was that the kale was pretty decent, adding a subtle intensity to the rest of the dish. Although the dish wasn’t terrible by any degree because of the scallops, the rest of the dish depended too much on its hero ingredient; unfortunately resulting in an imbalanced ratio of pasta to sauce to protein that I personally didn’t think was worth $20.
I usually try to give gourmet restaurants more credit when it comes to more original dishes, but I sadly found myself eyeing my companion’s burger that had turned out a lot more successful than mine. The Proof’s signature patty was very juicy with a slight char, mounted atop a fluffy pretzel bun (which was glorious because buns have got to be the most underrated parts of any burger). The french fries were also lovingly hand cut, delicately seasoned with thyme and accompanied by a garlic aioli that I later wished I could have taken home.
In conclusion, Proof provided a good experience with a gorgeous setting, equally attractive and attentive staff, and a decent menu. However, gourmet prices ($15 being the lowest amount you can spend on an entree may make this place exactly what it is: a treat for yourself, a loved one, or anyone else in your life you may want to impress.
From the Author:
Along with being a designer/artist by day, I also love wondering what and where I'm going to eat next. I'll go out and eat with you - just don't call me a 'foodie.'