Kebabs, Des Moines, and James Beard. What do all of these have in common? Proof. Chef Sean Wilson is a 2013 James Beard semifinalist in the Midwest region, and understandably so. Proof is a unique restaurant nestled in downtown Des Moines. They pride themselves in offering an extensive menu with Mediterranean influenced flavors. Service is prompt and thoughtful.
The interior is modern; the East and South walls are glass. When you first walk into Proof, the bar is immediately on your right hand side. It’s a small place, but run efficiently, making the most of their space. The atmosphere is intimate. It’s a wonderful place for a date or a business meeting.
Both my wife and I ordered drinks. She ordered their Dapper Apple, with apple vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice.
I ordered the Actor, 10 year Glenmorangie, apritivo, house aromatic bitters, Sambuca, orange peel, and clove. The clove was pierced into the orange peel.
We started with their house bread, which was served with olive oil and vinegar. We also ordered Manchego, Grayson, and Valdeon cheeses, which was served with a side of honey. We loved the pairing of honey with the cheeses as it gave the cheese a nice pop of flavor and brought it all together.
We decided that we’d share the Kebab Board, which does occasionally vary. Ours came with tabbouleh, lamb meatballs, koftës, and both chicken and veggie skewers. Everything was incredible. I don’t think either of us could choose just one favorite.
We were going to also split their falafel but were running short on time, so we skipped right to dessert. They had several options but we both concurred that the Madeleines sounded perfect.
These classic French mini-cakes were done perfectly. Somewhat unique, but certainly appreciated, they had an orange flavor (often times you might find them lemon flavored). They were paired with a wonderful chocolate sauce.
We’d heard many great things about Proof and it’s been on our short list to try for sometime now. Everything was exceptional. Our friends have mentioned their Submit — something you need to call ahead for. This is where you “Submit” to a special menu, curated just for you that evening. They continue bringing you course after course, until you “Submit” and throw in the towel. This would be a great experience for a birthday or any other special occasion. Imagine being stuffed to the gills by a James Beard Chef with a series of dishes made especially for you. Is this possible to get outside of Chicago or New York? Yes, it is possible, and it’s something you can get right here in Central Iowa!
Proof is an easy recommendation. If you’re looking for a nice dinner look no further than Proof in Downtown Des Moines.