Less than two years old and already named Best New Restaurant in Waterloo for 2015 by local voters, it’s evident why Proof Kitchen/Lounge in uptown Waterloo is an up-and-coming hot spot for the region.
Housed within the new Delta Waterloo hotel near the city’s historic barrel yards, Proof is a pleasant surprise with its warm yet hip atmosphere and quaint menu – not your typical hotel bar lounge.
Seated near the rear of the restaurant we were exposed to design elements of natural wood, steel and leather which help Proof pull off the trendy casual fine dining vibe. Accents of complex scientific equations (that only Sheldon Cooper could appreciate) on the walls and coasters, feed into their unique theme.
Chef Jeritt Raney’s menu is just as unique; offering a distinctive but pleasing variety of appetizers and entrées. The inspiration to use locally sourced ingredients is evident throughout. Proof gives homage to local suppliers by naming courses after them; such as the Eby Manor crème brûlée, named for their local dairy supplier.
It’s rare to find Beef Carpaccio on menus, so when I see it, I must try it. Done right, Beef Carpaccio should melt in your mouth with just the right amount of acidity. So here’s the Proof – Chef Jeritt’s team has it figured out. Their version is beautifully presented with tiny dollops of grainy mustard, shavings of Grana Padano parmesan cheese, drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkled with baby celery cress. This complex beauty is a must-try.
We decided to try the Pickerel Fritters which were very mild in taste and extremely heavy for a starter with a large portion of six as a serving. The siriachi aioli garnish helped add taste to this dish, but masked what fish flavour was trying to peek through. Great concept – but a little too bland for my liking.
For the main course I ordered the Scallop Pappardelle which had three large scallops, a generous portion of noodles sitting atop a brown butter sauce and garnished with a dollop of lemon-accented ricotta cheese. As suggested by our server, mixing the ricotta into the dish completed it nicely. The salty pieces of pancetta balanced out the rich sauce. I would definitely order this again.
Sharing is caring when we decided on dessert. Their “OMG 2.0” should fondly be renamed the S.O.S 10.0! This rich, dense piece of chocolate pâté sat in a puddle of perfectly salted caramel sauce that I could have eaten like soup. I would be impressed if anyone could finish this wedge of happiness solo. I like how Pastry Chef Jen provides lighter options with her homemade seasonal sorbets and ice creams.
With two private dining rooms and a large outdoor patio that seats 100, and of course the additional banquet space within the attached Delta Waterloo, Proof Kitchen/Lounge is the perfect place to meet, eat and drink.
—Tara Wylie, CMP is a certified marketing specialist and has been a corporate planner for more than 10 years. She is always on the search for new, innovative and unique meal experiences for her clients and guests within southwestern Ontario. Tara’s love of food came at an early age, which she credits to her Mom’s cooking and encouragement to always taste new foods.