It was a beautiful Friday night. My friends and I decided to go have a few drinks and dinner at 101 in Bay Ridge, located on the corner of ...


It was a beautiful Friday night. My friends and I decided to go have a few drinks and dinner at 101 in Bay Ridge, located on the corner of 101st Street and 4th Avenue. The menu is a mixture of traditional American and Italian food, catering to Brooklyn's guido chic (fake tans, rolex's and $80k cars owned by people who still live at home). When you are in 101, you feel as though you are in a sports bar, not restaurant. There are a variety of 42 inch LCD televisions and 90 inch projection screens. The air conditioner was pumping inside but my friend and I opted to sit outside and enjoy the blistering heat.

A hostess shows us to our table. I got stuck sitting in the chair with the view of a 101st Street instead of 4th Avenue, where all the "action" happens. I had two bottles of Pellegrino Water and a Jack and Coke. As always, I am indecisive about what to order as I'm scanning through the menu. The menu has a variety of fish, pasta, sandwich and meat dishes. I have been to 101 several times and my favorite dish on the menu is the grilled chicken sandwich. I also like the penne vodka but because I am on a health kick, I decided to order the grilled chicken sandwich and cheat with the coconut shrimp.

The service at 101 is always good but it was slow this time. I didn't mind because I was with good friends, the weather was great and I was about to enjoy good food or so I thought. My coconut shrimp arrived. At first glance my shrimp looked to be over cooked. To my surprise, the shrimp was perfect! It was crunchy, moist and the honey mustard sauce was a nice compliment to the shrimp. One thing I have to say is that I did not taste any coconut. It might have been due to the sweetness of the honey mustard sauce. So I tried one without the sauce and the shrimp tasted bland. My friends ordered the calamari for two. The calamari tasted like it was from "the frozen bag kind". However, I didn't expect much from the calamari. After all, if I want good and fresh calamari, I go to Rocco's or Casa Calamari also located in Brooklyn.

My chicken sandwich consists of grilled chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, onions and lemon pesto sauce, which is served on a lightly toasted pocketless pita. It came with fresh cut fries on the side. Yes, I know I said I was on a health kick but a few fries wont kill me. Or will they? As I take a few bites of my sandwich and try to deconstruct the taste of my dish, I observe that the chicken was moist but tasteless. The lemon pesto sauce tasted more like mayonnaise. I felt like I was eating a veggie sandwich with mayonnaise from Subway. The fries were rather greasy and bland. My friend ordered the same dish and agreed the sandwich was bland. So I knew I wasn't going crazy.

Fried shrimp, french fries?? I ride my bike 10 miles a day, go to the gym 5 days a week, so I figure I deserve some dessert. I'm not really big on sweets but my weakness is anything apple (i.e. apple pie, apple strudel, etc...). So I ordered the baked apple crisp. Crushed oatmeal cookies, apples, baked and topped with ice cream and whip cream. Good thing I did those 5 miles on the elliptical machine that day.

Another disappointment, the crushed oatmeal cookie topping was burned and the ice cream had ice crystals in it. I took a few bites and just couldn't finish eating it. The food at 101 has a good consistency. Maybe it wasn't the right night for the grilled chicken sandwich or apple crisp. Maybe the cook preparing my dish was tired that night. Who knows! The bill came out to $145 for a party of 4 people. I recommended 101 and give it a rating of 2 out of 4.

Edited by m.o