Let it be known that I’m a sucker for housemade ricotta. When whipped into cloud-like perfection, ricotta can be a source of divine inspiration, the kind of thing that inspires visions of unicorns and angels strumming harps. I swear I saw all manner of visions when I first tried the delicate poof of ricotta that tops Proof’s gemelli pasta. Beyond the subtle flavors of the ricotta and tender gemelli, the dish is truly a thing of pitch-perfect flavors — the plate’s rich bolognese sauce seals the deal.
Proof opened its Midtown doors in October 2014, and has been wooing locals with its Neopolitan-style pizzas and homemade pastas ever since. I was hooked from the moment I dove into slices of margherita pizza with fresh bufala mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil, and basil, followed by snarfing pieces of the oxtail pizza, and its explosion of mozzarella, black garlic, thyme, caramelized onions.
Proof is owned by Justin Flit, (formerly of Daniel Boulud’s DBGB in New York City and Bourbon Steak) and his parents, with Matt DePante (New York City’s Gramercy Tavern and Miami’s The Dutch) as chef de cuisine. The duo designed the menu with affordable plates that can be shared, though you’d be forgiven for hogging a plate of gemelli all to yourself (god knows, I have been).
The menu changes somewhat regularly, though other standouts that seem to be menu-mainstays include the angel hair with crab, calabrian chili and lemon breadcrumbs, and the house-made burrata served with herb pesto, olive oil and fresh focaccia.
The restaurant serves a variety of craft beers, and has a tasty selection of wines at various price points. Thankfully, the friendly staff is more than willing to let you try a sip of whatever bottle you’re considering quaffing.