By Rebecca Combs, Foodable Contributor
The long awaited Proof + Pantry has finally opened in Dallas and it is sure to live up to everything it promised. Located in the One Arts Plaza in Downtown Dallas, P + P is serving up delicious food and some seriously fancy craft cocktails.
The Man Behind The Concept
You can owe this new Dallas hot spot to liquor mixing master (and James Beard nominated barman), Michael Martensen. Responsible for two other popular places in Dallas (Smyth and The Cedars Social), Martensen definitely knows his way around a bar. His goal for P + P is to bring unity to the Dallas dining scene and the arts community. Being walking distance to many venues, Proof + Pantry is the perfect spot for a pre and post theatre dinner (and of course a cocktail!) According the Michael, the goal is to bring “progressive American fare” and bold flavors to the One Arts Plaza.
Who's Behind The Bar?
Drinks like the “Pickled Cobbler” or the “If You Were Here” are sure to grab your attention. But, who are the men behind the stick that are so confidently handing you your beverage? The same talented bar crew from The Cedars Social – Josh McEachern, Julian Pagan, Josh Hendrix and a few others. The cocktail menu is cleverly divided into three sections: “No Proof”, “Low Proof”, and “High Proof”. According to Julian, “the no proof cocktails are cool. I haven't seen anybody else in town doing that”. And it's true! Concoctions like the “Bermuda” with lime curd, ginger beer, and mint will make you forget that you are not even drinking a cocktail. Plus, it's a lot less awkward to order a “James N' the Peach” instead of a “virgin cocktail,” Right? But, the full proof beverages will definitely not disappoint. With ingredients like Ginger Infused Vermouth, Tonka Bean, and (one of Martensen's favorites) Framboise, how can you go wrong? As Josh Hendrix puts it, the drinks are “adventurous infusions and modern interpretations of some classic drinks."
Who's In The Pantry?
Chef Kyle McClelland leads the P+P culinary team and knows what goes into making a menu spectacular. From Dallas' Driftwood and The Cedars Social to NYC's Michelin Starred Caviar Russe, Kyle has an impressive resume and is sure to leave diners wanting more. The menu is uniquely divided into “Soil”, “By Land”, “By Sea”, and “Bulk”. It's sophisticated and yet simple with a focus on “clean flavors, impeccably sourced ingredients and inspiration from seasonality and global cuisine." You will find familiar dishes like a “Tomato Salad” or “King Crab.” But, there are selections for the more adventurous diner as well. Things like “Day Old Duck” with lamb belly or “Bone Marrow” with savory onion marshmallow are definitely not your typical bar food fare. Not only is the menu approachable but, it's also affordable. And, for Josh McEachern, that is something special in Dallas; “I would say it's one of the few places where you can get a great drink and great food, all without spending a fortune.”
What Dallas is Saying
Since it's official opening on August 27th, the P + P and “fancy drank” craze has taken over social media. Things like “legit”, “da bomb”, and “amazing experience” are all coming from Dallas' finest foodies. But, it's more than just hand crafted cocktails and great food. It's the entire experience that makes a trip to Proof + Pantry memorable. According to Michael, “We are not trying to be anything or anyone that we are not. We work hard and really care about our guests and friends experience. There are a lot of little details...those that notice will truly appreciate them and come back more and more.” The attention to detail is evident in every aspect of Proof + Pantry and that is what makes it great for Josh, “there is thoughtfulness that goes into each plate of food, glass of wine that is poured, and cocktail that is served.” Not to mention, the fun and engaging staff. As Julian says, “honestly, I think it's a group of really talented people.” Dallas' finest bar talent, combined with a killer chef is a winning combination. It's more than just a place to “hang out," It's a culture, an experience, and it's definitely the start of a new Dallas “bar-mance.” Try it for yourself. After all, the proof is in the pantry.