I really want this place to be really, really great. I really do. (Really!) The atmosphere is chic and contemporary, the servers are attentive and it's usually rather easy to get a table without a reservation. But every time I eat at 101, a trendy little restaurant and lounge in Kleman Plaza, I'm always a touch disappointed. The drinks are expensive (unless you take advantage of their 50% off drinks from 4-7pm) and the food isn't any better than average. They have a rather extensive menu, and I've tried a number of the dishes, hoping I was just a victim of POS (poor-ordering-syndrome) but alas, that is not the case.
Posted by Tally Foodie Friday, November 13, 2009
Now, don't get me wrong, many of their dishes are edible. I just haven't had anything OUTSTANDING there yet. It makes me wonder if instead of offering every food option under the sun - sandwiches, salads, soups, pizza, pasta, tapas and entrees - they should just focus their efforts on making a smaller number of dishes infinitely better.
We started out on this night with a Seared Tuna Sashimi appetizer, which wasn't half bad. The tuna seemed fresh, had a nice texture and it was served with a pear cucumber salad that had a nice tangy little vibe to it. But was I given a first class ticket to OMGville? Definitely not.
For our entrees, hubby made a rather surprising choice - he selected the Lemon Basil Chicken. He generally goes for seafood, steak or if he can't find anything he likes in those two categories he opts for a burger or sandwich. He rarely orders chicken when we're out at restaurants. (Probably because I cook so much chicken at home during the week!) But I digress. His dish was a marinated chicken breast topped with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, portobello and coated with a lemon Beurre Blanc sauce. It sounded rather tasty on the menu, but ended up rather underwhelming on the plate. Although the chicken was moist, it just wasn't anything special. If this chicken went out on a first date with my hubby (not that I encourage that sort of thing)....she probably wouldn't be asked out on a second one!
As far as my main course goes, I selected the Black and Blue Salad. Featuring mixed greens, tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles and asparagus all topped with blackened steak and a homemade balsamic dressing, it had the all the makings of an amazing salad. Except the steak KILLED it. The steak wasn't marinated in anything, nor was it coated in any spices (except maybe a little pepper) before it was cooked, so it lacked any semblance of flavor. And whatever cut of meat they used was very fatty and chewy. What a let down! The rest of the salad itself was actually quite good - the dressing had a nice flavorful zip, the asparagus was crispy and the blue cheese was sharp. Too bad they couldn't spring for a nice quality cut of meat to go with it.
Now, just so you know I'm not being unfairly harsh on this place - I've also eaten their Steak Tips 101, Lettuce Wraps, Calamari Two Ways, Sauteed Mussels, Bruschetta, Spinach and Artichoke Dip and Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon. And besides the calamari and the mussels, nothing else was really that good. It's a fun, swanky little place to go for Happy Hour, and with their 50% off deal, it makes their drink prices more manageable. But I'd say steer clear of the menu, unless you're willing to take your chances!
Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - A
Taste - C
Presentation - B+
Service - A
Price - $$
101 Restaurant and Lounge
215 W College Ave
Tallahassee FL 32301