Friday, April 14, 2017

Proper 21

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Proper 21 brought to DC from the New York City restaurateurs Rob Zahn and Will Strozier that own Manhattan Proper and Proper West, opened in early October 2016 and is a high end sports bar that offers "a proper twist on American classics".  Closest Metro is Metro Center.

We were invited in to check out their new Spring menu.  I ordered the Patron Spiked Red Sangria made with red wine, Patron Citronge float, topped with a splash of Sprite, a splash of orange juice, and fresh fruit garnish.  It was sweet and easy to drink.  We also had a sneak peek to one of the upcoming summer cocktails - the Proper Lady made with strawberries, liquor and topped with champagne. It was dangerously smooth and light.

For food, we started with the Tuna Tartare with avocado, nicoise olives, cucumber and sesame oil.  The wontons were super thin and I preferred eating the tuna without the chips.  The avocado provided extra creaminess, and overall this was a nice starter.

A classic bar menu item was the Four Cheese Truffle Mac made with orecchiette pasta, roasted garlic, and toasted breadcrumbs.

Keith tried the Stuffed Meatball with a four cheese blend inside served with red sauce and torn basil.  It had a hard, almost overcooked exterior, and the cheese blend inside was a bit odd.

For a nice cool and refreshing bite, try the Brussels salad with shaved brussels sprouts, onions, red grapes, pork belly croutons, grana cheese, and a roasted shallot vinaigrette.

As a main entree, we sampled the Ponzu Salmon with a spicy ponzu reduction poured over the fish and crispy rice cake.  Topped with a pickled daikon radish and carrot slaw, similar to what is found on a Bánh mì.  The fish was cooked perfectly and I liked the pickled veggies on top, but the reduction/broth was a bit overpowering.

Some fun desserts are available such as the S'more Lava Cake with fudge, graham crackers, and toasted marshmallows. I really enjoyed the Not Your Father's Root Beer Float made with alcoholic root beer and vanilla ice cream.

Overall, the menu reflected items of upscale "bar food" yet the atmosphere is still that of a loud and boisterous sports bar.  Proper 21 is more appropriate for Happy Hour with coworkers or friends, but I would not recommend it for a first date or special occasion.

Total Rating: 3.48
Food: 3.5, Price: 3, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 3.5, Accessibility: 5

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