Paley's Got the Proof

Paley's Got the Proof

This is a restaurant at the crossroads of New York style and Louisville grace, but what makes Proof an important restaurant is its food, and for that you can thank executive chef Michael Paley. He's a product of Myriad's stable, but before joining that team, he worked for famed chef Daniel Boulud as part of the original culinary team that opened Cafe Boulud Palm Beach.

With Myriad, he served as sous chef at Lucca, a Tuscan-inspired restaurant at the Boca Raton Resort and Club.

With Proof since it opened early last year, Paley brings his Tuscan-inspired food, and with it an Italian approach to cooking—using only fresh, seasonal ingredients that are simply prepared and presented. A current menu included items such as yellow-fin tuna crudo, hand-made cavatelli, simmered pork osso buco and rabbit cacciatore. On top of all that, he makes most of the restaurant's cured meats in house.

Esquire was so impressed that the magazine put Proof on its list of 2006 Best New Restaurants. Paley's food also has been featured in Food & Wine, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Southern Living.

Paley proves that a restaurant need not be at the epicenter of a great restaurant city. A young chef, with a skilled hand and the support of a solid organization, can make magic anywhere.

On the first Saturday in May, Louisville becomes the most exciting city in the country. On that day, for the last 130 years, one of the world's great sporting events takes the national stage. But before and after the Kentucky Derby, Louisville is, let's just say, not as exciting. The same can't be said for the city's dining scene, which is as exhilarating as a photo finish.

No small contributor to Louisville's vibrant dining scene is Proof on Main, a restaurant that could hold its own with any in New York City. Myriad Restaurant Group, the brain trust behind Tribeca Grill, Nobu and Montrachet in Manhattan, manages the place, which helps explain its urbane cool. It also doesn't hurt that owners Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson are art collectors who have outfitted Proof with a stunning array of art.