Thursday, June 9, 2011

901 Restaurant in review

Inside 901 Restaurant
901 Restaurant has opened and is taking reservations; however, their official grand opening is not until Friday.  Tonight there is an invitation-only grand opening.

Penn Quarter insider tried it ahead of the grand opening to let you know if it's worth it.  Summary: it is.

901 Restaurant is a great place to meet someone for drinks.  The bar is large and open, and the menu consists of many smaller "sharing plates" that make for good bar bites.   Penn Quarter Insider tried the Thai Rice Paper Rolls.  Each sharing plate is supposed to feed four guests and the Thai Rice Paper Rolls came with four rolls.  They were stuffed with chicken, carrots, and greens and had two sauces on the side: peanut sauce with crushed peanuts and sweet ginger soy.  The sauces were delicious and the rolls did not disappoint.

The food is good, but not universally so.  The Hong Kong Grilled Chicken Salad, for example, came with great chicken, served warm on top of the salad, with whole pieces of citrus fruit.  The salad itself, however, was mostly filler and the dressing was mediocre.

The Sweet and Spicy Seared Tuna was served with a mango salsa.  The salad was greener, with real lettuce, but the tuna was smaller.  Although we expected it to be served rare  (we weren't asked how we would like it), it was somewhere a bit more well-done, but the fish was definitely of a high quality.

The service at 901 was excellent.  We were never left wanting for anything, and the wait staff could not have been nicer.  We wish all Penn Quarter restaurants had service on par with 901.  Same goes for the host staff.   As you walk up to the door from the sidewalk, someone scurries to open the door for you and welcome you to the restaurant.  Same thing happens on your way out, as they ask you how everything was. 

All in all, 901 is great.  It's comfortable and convenient.  It has a fun atmosphere, but is not so loud you have to strain to hear the other people at your table.  The menu is big and has many options, enough options that you can find something that is really good.  Not all of the food is out-of-this world amazing.  But it is all good, and there is a lot of variety. 

We will definitely be back.  Soon.

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