Saturday night on the second last week of August. I told L we were not wasting a sunny weekend evening playing guitar (L) or watching Anthony Bourdain (me). We were going out and it would be a happening hotspot.
I saw Dale’s and Ange’s review of Proof and decided it was time to check it out. When I checked Proof’s Twitter action, I was surprised to see that Proof offers happy hour all week and on weekends. Score! I love a good happy hour and to get a good deal on a Saturday is unheard of in these parts. Now Seattle, that’s a different story.
Happy hour begins at 4 pm and ends at 7 pm. We arrived around 5 pm and the bar was about half full. L chose a can of the Tool Shed People Skills Pilsner ($5) while I ordered the feature cocktail, the Wallace (2 OZ, $7).
The Wallace was a well-made drink. A nice balance of intoxicants: Writer’s Tears Irish Whiskey, Dillon’s Pear eau-de-vie, Cocchi Americano and some non-alcoholic liquid, fresh lemon juice. I thought the torched cinnamon stick, which arrived with my drink still smoking, reminded me of a smoking cigar.
I also really enjoyed the Old Fashioned (2 OZ, $7). The cocktail was presented with a big ice cube, which I prefer as it keeps the drink cold but doesn’t water it down. The smell and flavour of orange and citrus was pleasing on the palate.
For a snack, we ordered the meats and cheeses platter ($20). We received three meats, three cheeses, a bowl of toasted buttered bread, peach chutney and homemade mustard. The cheeses were top-notch. If you are like me and hate it when restaurants give you a cheese and meat platter that consists of what you can pick up at Safeway, then you’ll like Proof’s version. The orange blue cheese was smooth and not too sharp tasting. The other two cheeses were very different from each other and had unique flavours – the triangular square was nutty and the other reminded me a bit of cheese curds.
We also ordered a preserved pork belly rillette ($8). The cured pork was salty and rich, a good bite on top of the toast. I appreciated how much bread Proof provides diners. It’s a pet peeve of mine when a restaurant doesn’t provide you with enough condiments or vessels for a dish in the first place and then charges you extra when you need more.
Calgary needs more places like Proof. Fantastic drinks, good prices and a nice environment to quaff the evening away. The windows offer light and people watching. The room is small and urban chic with a touch of the old world. Cozy couch seats, tall table stools and a centre piece bar seating with a first rate view of a wall stocked with every type of booze imaginable.