101 - I'm Just Not That Into Your Food

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.

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 - $$

Restaurant Info:
101 Restaurant and Lounge
215 W College Ave
Tallahassee FL 32301

101 Restaurant and Lounge on Urbanspoon


katholicchik November 19, 2009 at 2:57 PM  

I got food poisoning at One o One recently... bad shrimp. Very definitely 1 bad shrimp that I should have spit out but politely swallowed. One night in the ER later I was fine, but when we called to let them know, the manager was not available and they said they would let him know. But we never heard back or anything like that.

Anyway, never eating there again obviously. Pity that they have such nice atmosphere and less quality food products. I'd rather it be the other way around.

Tally Foodie November 19, 2009 at 6:10 PM  

Oh, wow, that's terrible! I can't believe that when you called the restaurant they didn't really seem all that concerned. I'd say you should email them, but they'll probably just send you a coupon for a future visit and you obviously don't want to eat there again!

They really should consider a complete revamp of their menu options to have more items that live up to the caliber of the environment that they're served in!

Jon December 21, 2009 at 7:59 PM  

by far the worst restaurant in tallahassee.

i got food poisoning twice but did not need to go to the er.

About this blog

This blog is dedicated to giving you honest reviews of local restaurants in Tallahassee and the surrounding area. I won't hold any punches, you'll hear about it all - the good, the bad and the (hopefully infrequent) inedible!

This blog was written from July 2009 - August 2010 and is now retired. I currently live in Sarasota, FL...stay tuned for more on my adventures there!