Saturday nights are meant for going out, but sometimes it can be a bit ticky to find your go-to hangout spot in Southern Rhode Island. Some restaurants are only open seasonally. Other restaurants cater to college kids or senior citizens or families with small children. That’s fine if you belong to one of those groups, but what about the rest of us? Proof, a self-described “prohibition-era style pub,” seemed like the perfect place for my friends to hang out on a Saturday night.
Proof is located in Mariner Square in Narragansett. It has a long, comfortable bar, and the dining room is set up with high top red leather banquettes. In the back of the restaurant, there are two pool tables in front of a gas fireplace. The walls are adorned with historic photos of Rhode Island’s shore.
One of the hallmarks of Proof is its handcrafted cocktail menu. In the interests of thorough journalism, my crew sampled a couple of these concoctions. The Strawberry Basil Bourbon ($10) was a mix of 1792 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, simple syrup, muddled strawberry, and fresh lemon. My cousin loved it. My Peach Old Fashioned ($10) was delicious: Bulleit Rye Whiskey was mixed with peach simple syrup, angostura bitters and served on the rocks. We thought $10 for these expertly made cocktails was a veritable bargain. The beer list has rotating taps of craft beer, and we had Whaler’s Rise ($7) and Otter Creek Free Flow IPA ($7).
The menu at Proof focuses on farm-to-table cuisine and emphasizes an unusual fact: they don’t have a freezer or a microwave in the kitchen, so everything has to be fresh. The menu offers small plates, so everything is made for sharing. My vegetarian cousin was excited to browse the separate Vegan Menu: Chef Joey Medeiros has one daughter who is a vegetarian and another daughter who is vegan, so he knows how hard it can be to find exciting vegan/vegetarian options.
Off of the vegan menu, we sampled the Cajun Avocado Bites ($10). Slices of avocado were breaded in panko breadcrumbs, deep-fried, and served with a spicy Cajun aioli. We all enjoyed these, vegetarians and carnivores alike. My cousin ordered the Vegan Pulled Pork Tacos ($12) and really liked them. She loved that there were so many menu items for her to choose from, and we didn’t have to play the age-old game, “What can Carrie eat?”
Off of the regular menu, we sampled Fried Lobster Tails (market price), Ahi Tuna Ceviche (market price) and Fried Oyster Sliders ($14). Our favorite of the three was the Oyster Sliders. They were served Po’ Boy-style on a soft house made baguette (cut into three “sliders”) with shredded lettuce and Cajun remoulade. The Matunuck oysters were breaded and deep-fried. The ahi tuna ceviche was very fresh, full of wasabi flavor, and served with excellent house made pita chips. The deep-fried lobster tails were tasty, and we greedily dunked the tails in the drawn lemon butter. We also shared a side dish of Truffle Parmesan Fries ($8). The hand-cut fries were good, and the truffle and parmesan yielded a subtle flavor.
Keeping with the theme of “everything is fresh,” desserts are all made in-house. On the night we were there, there was a choice of a berry parfait or a Guinness Brownie. We went with the Guinness Brownie ($7). It had a deep chocolate flavor and a nice fudgy interior. We had no problem polishing it off.
Proof provided us the perfect night out. With delicious cocktails, an interesting beer list, fresh food, and even a special menu for the vegetarian in our group, Proof lived up to everything we had wanted.
140 Point Judith Road, Narragansett • 792-4640