When Justin Flit and Matt de Pante quietly opened Proof Pizza & Pasta in the former Copperbox space at the beginning of October, they had one goal: to become a neighborhood place. Fast-forward nine months and it’s safe to say Proof has become the casual go-to pizza, pasta, and macaron ice cream sandwich place in midtown. But even with all the success of the ever-rotating weekly specials and a menu that includes mainstays like oxtail pizza, crab angel hair with lemon breadcrumbs, and calabrian chili pasta, there was still something missing: lunch.
"Our original plan was to serve lunch everyday when we opened," says Flit. "But it's now that we have enough staff to pull it off." Taking things slow has surely worked for the team behind Proof, and they're in no rush to roll out the lunch items. "We’re starting with some dinner favorites that are light enough for lunch and a few new dishes. But we'll be adding thing as we go along and, of course, as the seasons change."
You can get lunch Tuesday through Saturday (Proof is closed on Mondays) from noon to 3 p.m. Here's what you should order:
There was no way the shaved Brussels sprout salad ($12) with apple cider vinegar, gorgonzola, pecans, and dried cranberries wasn't going to be on the lunch menu. Why? You never need to feel bad about eating it.
Like dinner, lunch will feature specials depending on what's fresh and local. In our case that was a fava bean salad with whipped ricotta, olive oil, lemon infused bread crumbs, and pickled onions that had the table fighting over the last bean.
It's lunchtime — cheesy focaccia bread is completely acceptable.
A dinner favorite, the crab angel hair, has gotten a makeover: bottarga, caviar, and lemon zest ($17).
You no longer have to wait until 5 p.m. to get this rustic and earthy creste zucchini crema with artichokes, haricot certs, and lots of lemon ($13).
But it's this baby — Proof's first calzone stuffed with salumi, ricotta, tomatoes, and basil — that will steal your heart and make this your new favorite lunch spot. Priced at $12 and easily enough for two (if you order the Brussels or dessert) it'll hold you over until dinnertime.
More of a sandwich person? Go for the roasted and way moist pork sandwich topped with aioli and vegetables and served with a side salad ($12).
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