Wednesday, August 18, 2010

101 Downtown

The restaurant choices in Gville are split right down the middle-funky, eclectic, casual joints and more upscale, trendy establishments. (I'm not counting chain restaurants here.) Usually I frequent the former with my fellow Gvillians, but special occasions call for dressing up and hitting the later. What more of a special occasion than my bestie Christine's 25th Birthday? It's not everyday that you get to celebrate the quarter of a century mark in your partner in crime's wonderful life, ya know! 

So, per her request we dusted off our heels and wobbled (ok, only I wobbled to be fair) over to 101 Downtown whose claim to fame is as a Restaurant and Martini Lounge, plus a few stories that I can't share in mixed company (not my stories for once....I'd never been here before). 

Christine had reserved the Private Side Room which is described by the website as:

With modernized lighting, custom draperies, and a beautiful white granite table, this room is the perfect room for birthday parties, business meetings, and bachelorette parties.  The privacy created by our plush curtains, really make you feel like you are in your own restaurant.

Actually the lighting was incredibly hard to even read the drink menu dim, and the "plush curtains" make it impossible to get around the table. We referred to it as our private "linen closet" instead.

The large-sh party staggered in, so I understand that can be challenging for a server, but our waiter didn't even attempt to take my drink order for about 15 minutes after I arrived. Boo.

After finally getting my chance to order my dirty gin martini arrived, seriously lacking any "dirty." I didn't want to hassle with fixing the order, considering how long it had taken me to get my first drink, so I just delt with it. I did end up ordering a 2nd martini later in the night, and after insisting that it be "very, very" dirty, it straight from the olive jar dirty. Oh, well, I guess I got the equal amount of dirty if you averaged the two drinks together. 

For dinner I got creative and made my own entree by getting a side dish and a tapas app: Risotto di Giorno and the Sambai Shrimp

I was a little surprised when a "cake" of rice arrived with a boat of fried shrimp (now that I've looked at the menu online I realize the shrimp was my fault-it said tempura in the description) I told you the lighting was dim! Overall this was tasty, but pretty fair since I had created a bowl of creamy, rich risotto with grilled shrimp drizzled with wasabi cream sauce in my mind. 

The soup I also ordered was amazing though:

This take on a miso soup was very heavy in lemon flavor, which I abosulty adored. Surely helped make up for the martini's- 101 can get one type of liquid fare correct! 

I also enjoyed the silverware settings, which closely resemble the set I have on my fantasy wedding registry at Crate and Barrel.

See future husband of mine that I haven't found yet? 
We will have great flatware, what more do you need?

My overall feeling about 101 are mixed, but I would be willing to give it a 2nd chance. Regardless, I had a great night, because I was out with a wonderful group of people, celebrating one of the most amazing women in my life, so that is all that really matters!

Love to all,
~the "apparently I need better lighting to make good dinning choices" gal, Jess


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