First Taste

Proof, the Comfort Food Restaurant at Four Seasons Scottsdale, Lacking Evidence So Far

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Restaurant: Proof Location: 7337 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale Open: About a month Eats: Elevated diner food Price: Between $11 and $30 per person

Proof, the new comfort food restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, is the Warren Buffett version of an American diner. A high-ceilinged, expansive room done up in polished wood, decorative tile, and bare-bulb lighting with doors tall enough for a professional basketball player to pass through with ease.

See also: Brews and Chews at Fate Brewing Company and Abe's of Scottsdale Shakes Up the Jewish-Style Deli Scene

There's even a soda fountain surrounded in colorful reclaimed wood to keep the nostalgia level dialed to "upscale high."

In the former space of Crescent Moon, the breakfast, lunch, and dinner restaurant promises elevated home-style American classics like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and oyster po'boys, and chicken and waffles with bacon and bourbon syrup.

But, unfortunately, a month into opening, Proof's offerings are proving better on paper.

The smoked brisket hash ($18) with peppers, onion, and Yukon gold and sweet potatoes is not very good -- overcooked with very little beef brisket to be found in the mix.

Faring better, but not by much, is the slow-cooked pork sandwich, called a Smoked Babe on a Bun ($17). The pork, cooked for five hours, was indeed tender but lacked its stated smokiness and was upstaged by a highly sweet and sour coleslaw. The handful or two of warm, crispy, and nicely seasoned housemade chips proved to be the best item on the plate.

Sadly, the soda fountain fare was more of the same. A shake called The Cerealist ($8), made with housemade vanilla bean ice cream, Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, and Frosted Flakes, sounded outstanding; however, it too, failed to deliver. Too thin in consistency and with a scant amount of the promised cereals, the shake was more or less vanilla soup with a small bit of colorful crunch.

Elevated comfort food is an appealing concept for many restaurant-goers. If Proof wants guests to try (and come back for) its version of it, the Four Seasons eatery will need to do a better job bringing its menu promises to the plate.

At this point, the food is, like Proof's much-touted railroad track running through its dining room, barely notable.

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