In professional sports, the Comeback Player of the Year is awarded to the season’s most improved athlete. If the same distinction applied to the restaurant world, no turnaround would compare to Broad Ripple’s 10-01 Food & Drink, one of 2011’s most ambitious restaurant renovations. With its patio overlooking the strip, its sleek semi-open kitchen, and its lower-level bar, success should have been cemented from the start. But fumbles in the kitchen—including a change in chefs shortly after opening, as well as slapdash presentation—did not exactly portend a winning season. Stop in now, however, and you’ll see a new team on the rise.
Owner Natalie Wolfe and manager-partner Jeff Cart pulled off a coup when they brought in lauded toque Dan Dunville to rework their offerings in late September. The onetime Meridian chef had built a loyal clientele for his elevated home cooking and was ripe to reconstruct what is surely his most diverse menu to date, with dishes ranging from a gussied-up grilled cheese to a steakhouse-worthy filet. Leave it to Dunville to reinterpret the restaurant’s motto of “Midwestern comfort food with a culinary twist”—which before meant flatbreads with funky, unbalanced sauces or mealy meatloaf obliterated by bland cheese—into perhaps the most creative, best-executed cuisine in Broad Ripple.
The menu added back some recognizable favorites with “twists” we welcomed: Wagyu beef on the stroganoff and local beer–braised pork belly. Mac ’n’ cheese with a bubbling crown of breadcrumbs became all the more decadent with embedded matchsticks of housemade sausage, and tomato bisque retained a bright undertone of summer despite a generous amount of cream. Jalapeño cornbread, one of the few holdovers, seemed even more moist and flavorful, with a nice golden crust and nuggets of beer-battered Brie in a thick cranberry compote on the side. And while Indiana natives might want more of the Cajun ham and less of the kale in the “Hoosier” spring rolls, these retained their light crunch, even when dipped in an addictive, creamy Dijon mustard sauce.
But nothing proves 10-01’s status as a culinary contender like the fried chicken, which our sometimes-absent but always frank and knowledgeable waiter was quick to recommend. Juicy and flavorful all the way to the bone and served in two generous pieces atop hearty mashed spuds and an earthy mushroom gravy, this is a consummate dish that requires no appetizer or finale.
10-01 FOOD & DRINK
1001 Broad Ripple Ave., 253-1001, 1001fooddrink.com
HOURS Tues.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. (Sun. brunch until 3 p.m.)
Photos by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the January 2013 issue.