Houlihan’s is back in town.
The Kansas-based restaurant chain has been in business since 1972, but its last central Ohio location on West Dublin-Granville Road closed in 2007.
Now the upscale-casual restaurant is back with an Upper Arlington location in the Kingsdale Shopping Center. Open since March 11, the restaurant prides itself on quality food and is committed to using sources with responsible growing practices, Houlihan’s General Manager Anthony Roberts says.
This interior has a bar/lounge area separated from the dining room by an indoor fireplace. Stage track lighting at every table provides a unique dining experience, and hand-blown glass globe fixtures add to its modern atmosphere.
“It is a blend of our guests’ nostalgia. They’re reliving memories of the old restaurant in an updated setting,” Roberts says.
That goes for the food too. Guests can still enjoy old favorites such as the Jumbo Stuffed ‘Shrooms, a mushroom dish that has been around since Houlihan’s started. New specialties include the Tuna Wonton, sushi-grade tuna in a wonton wrapper with wasabi mayo, flour, Japanese bread crumbs and house-made horseradish sauce. The S’mores Fondue Crock – a dessert including chocolate ganache, marshmallows, crystallized graham cracker sticks and warm strawberries – is another favorite.
“We try to create the trends that other restaurants follow,” Roberts says.
These trends include buying raw ingredients from small farmers. The company partners with farms across the country, including Ohio farms, to have the freshest and “most responsible” meat and produce for its patrons, Roberts says. That includes some organic and whole grain items.
One thing guests can expect from Houlihan’s is that every item on the menu is made fresh daily in the Houlihan’s kitchen.
“Refined items, from scratch, are quintessential Houlihan’s products,” Roberts says.
The restaurant also sports a large selection of wine and spirits – including more than 40 wines. Some of these are new takes on classic drinks. Guests can choose from seven different miniature martinis to create their own Martini Trio flight. Choices include the Adam and Eve Apple mini, Key Lime Pie, and Cosmo mini, among others. The restaurant also has a selection of more than 35 beers on tap and in bottles, including selections from Ohio breweries Rockmill Brewery and Hoppin’ Frog Brewing.
Happy Hour, from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, is a favorite with guests thanks to half-price well cocktails and drafts and reduced-priced appetizers. A Tuesday special offers half-price bottles of wine from open to close.
Allison Dalrymple is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
White Bean and Artichoke hummus
2 cups cooked Great Northern or cannellini beans
½ cup artichoke hearts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. roasted garlic
2 tsp. kosher salt
Puree all ingredients together in a food processer until smooth. Serve garnished with marinated olives, basil oil and grilled pita bread.
2 cups Kalamata olives
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. orange zest
¼ tsp. hot red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. fresh thyme
Combine all ingredients and marinate for 1 hour.
¼ pound fresh basil leaves
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Add basil leaves and blanch for 10-20 seconds. Remove basil and immediately plunge into ice water. Remove basil from ice water and squeeze out as much water from basil as possible. Add basil and olive oil to a blender and puree. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter.