A couple of weekends ago, we decided to try a place we'd heard a lot about: One Thirty One East. It's in Carnegie, across from Carnegie Coffee and next to the public parking lot. We were seated on the first level in the bar area. It's welcoming and cozy. The colors are deep blues, silver, and brown and there was a hint or sparkle/glitter to the curtains covering the windows. I ordered a glass of Chenin Blanc/Viognier, SP ordered iced tea and a Barrel Aged Last Word cocktail. I can't remember the description other than it was a gin cocktail. SP likes gin so he liked it a lot.
Here's what else we enjoyed:
Marinated Olives - we like olives, so these were yummy, and there was a strip of orange peel in with them as part of the marinade.
Bread and Butter - Basic but tasty and the bread was perfect for mopping up olive marinade, salad dressing, and main meal sauce.
We shared an appetizer called Bob's Basket - Popcorn Shrimp with Fried Green Tomatoes (caper remoulade, 131 hot sauce, lemon brown butter). I really liked this.
The fried green tomatoes were firm and the breading crispy and crunchy.
The popcorn shrimp had a delicious light breading and the shrimp themselves were still juicy and flavorful, not fried so long they were tough and tasteless like tiny shrimp sometimes is. The sauces on the plate were delicious, too, very good accompaniments to the shrimp and tomatoes. We mopped up all of the sauces - the caper remoulade was so darn tasty.
We shared a salad from the daily special sheet, a Spring Salad (heirloom tomatoes, arugula, basil, gorgonzola, peppers, onions). The salad had many of my favorite salad ingredients so I thought this was excellent. The dressing was a very tasty Italian like dressing but happily not garlicky.
SP ordered the soup of the day, Thai Vegetable Noodle. He said it was very good, and a little bit spicier than he expected for a non-Thai restaurant but not as spicy as you would get at a Thai restaurant. He liked that a lot.
For his entree, SP ordered the Day Boat Sea Scallops - house pancetta, crab bolognese, wilted greens, Brussels sprouts, pappardelle, zucchini. There were 3 large scallops that were nicely cooked and a lot of pasta. I was surprised he ordered this because he usually doesn't get such a carb heavy meal but he said he wanted the scallops. He ate about half the pasta, which he said was very good, and ate the rest for lunch the next day.
I ordered a daily special: Braised Short Ribs. A large portion of tender, easily pulled apart by a fork short rib plus asparagus, squash, and orzo risotto.
This was really good short rib. The gravy was so good I kind of wish there had been more on the plate - short rib swimming in a pool of gravy! I ate all the vegetables, most of the orzo, and about 2/3 of the short rib and took the rest home fr a small lunch on Sunday.
I was really full and didn't want dessert but SP looked so hopeful about sharing the Peach Bread Pudding that I agreed because I didn't want to make him sad. It was lighter than I expected and very good with the peach flavor coming from a sauce as opposed to chunks of peaches.
We both enjoyed the dishes we tried. Our server was very friendly and helpful. We noticed that on the receipt next to my entree was the note "no garlic" so I appreciate her being so thorough about that. The salad arrived split onto 2 plates for us without us asking. She kept SP's iced tea filled which is no small feat since he drinks a lot.
We'll be back. Plus, it's a non-chain and non-downtown delicious restaurant close to us. I would suggest reservations, especially if, like me, you cannot climb stairs to the second level, which is where most of the dining is. There is space for about 6-8 people next to the bar area on the first level, which is where we dined and where another table of 3 dined.