A friend recently asked to try 10 01, as she had been curious about it. Naturally, I was too, and had just been giving it the customary couple of weeks to get things in order before I went in. But I was looking forward to it, as well as some well-needed girl talk.
They have a lovely large patio overlooking, well, basically traffic on Broad Ripple Avenue, but the nice thing is that it is set up high enough that the traffic noise isn’t overwhelming. But get there early or late if you want a seat out there, by 6:05 on a Wednesday, we got the last table, which unfortunately was in full sun (ok, so we were there before the straight week of 90+ degree temperatures we have been "enjoying" in Indy as of late--not sure if anyone has been sitting out there lately). We could have sat inside, but it was too cold in there for me (again, what is with the sub zero air conditioning at every restaurant in Indy?). I didn’t mind the sun, but it was getting pretty hot, and my very fair skinned friend was actually starting to get sunburnt I think, so we eventually switched tables, which they were extremely accommodating about. Although they sat the sunny table right away.
The menu is fairly large, and slightly varied, so I asked the server for some recommendations. The first appetizer she mentioned was the “Cafe’s Cowboy Caviar” ($7) which apparently is a menu item from the defunct Café Santa Fe, and which was an item my friend had really liked at Café Santa Fe. It is sort of a fancy 7 layer dip—there is a bottom layer of a creamy type sauce. By color I thought it was hummus, but it was more like a seasoned sour cream flavor. A little thicker than regular sour cream wise (maybe some cream cheese too?). This was topped with a bright green cilantro oil that I really liked. It tasted really fresh and also had a bit of lime to it I think (there was definitely lime coming from somewhere). This was topped with black beans, chopped peppers and onion (the menu said there were also olives in it, but I didn’t see or taste them). There were freshly fried corn tortilla chips to dip with. It was really quite good. Although, it is probably better to share with more than two people, but I liked that it wasn’t super heavy like a lot of dips tend to be.
For my main, I again went with the first recommendation out of the server’s mouth—the fried chicken ($14). As you know, I am somewhat picky (ok, and obsessed) about my fried chicken and this one didn’t disappoint. It was a de-boned breast and a leg/thigh combo. I was impressed that even without the bone, the breast wasn’t dried out. It was still quite moist and the dark meat was very moist. The coating was a thin crispy coating that was very well seasoned--more like a pan fry then a deep fry. I would order it again. I have actually been thinking a lot about it since eating it, which is a good thing. It was served with fontina mashed potatoes that were good-they had nice flavor, although maybe were a little gloppy (not sure how else to describe them). Normally they serve the gravy over the top, but I asked for it on the side, after being told by the server that this was the case (I appreciated the warning). There were also a nice crispy biscuit that had good crunchiness, but needed some butter. I guess if you get the gravy on the top, then you wouldn’t have the dryness issue, but I didn’t. So I dipped chunks of the biscuit into the gravy. I liked the gravy, and I often don’t. It wasn’t overly heavy or thick (I hate pasty gravy) and had a bit of Bourbon in it.
We did have dessert, although this was the low point of the meal for me. There is only one choice and it is called “Death by Chocolate” ($12). It varies daily and includes various chocolate items (go figure) served on some lovely pieces of wood that were reclaimed by one of the owners of the restaurant. Anyhow, the main feature on this night was a large slice of chocolate cake, which was cold, which is generally not how I like my cake. There were some Amaretto truffles that were pretty tasty, and some chocolate covered toffee pieces that were much like Heath bars. It wasn’t terrible, it just didn’t get me going. I would certainly skip dessert next time if this was still the only offering.
For a place so new, and so busy, I was quite impressed with our service. Our server was always around when we needed her, and told us she had tried everything on the menu. She gave good recommendations and was friendly and helpful. The restaurant also sources as much as they can locally, including the produce and meat, and I always appreciate those kinds of efforts. Indiana restaurants in the summer should be chock full of goodness and this one looked like it was taking full advantage. They are also open late nights (til 3 am according to the menu), which I can imagine is a nice change of place in Broad Ripple if you are a late night partier.
I am sort of excited about this place….I had my doubts, but as for my first visit, I was impressed. I look forward to going again and trying some of the other things.
10 01 Food & Drink
1001 Broad Ripple Avenue