I hope it’s smoother sailing for the restaurant after their first day. They opened at 11:00 AM on Monday and by noon ice was falling from the sky in prodigious amounts. The motley crew at the table next to us claimed to have beaten us by a few seconds as first customers, but we were second and happy to share the glory. By the time we left, there were quite a few lunch customers despite the deteriorating weather conditions.
Holly’s 135 is the latest project of Holly Hambright whose culinary skills are widely adored. The latest project will only enhance that reputation. The food is as delicious as you’d expect and the service was very good. Lots of cool touches on the walls and at the table made it a fun experience.
At our table two of us had the Quiche Lorraine. One of us paired with a Caesar Salad and one with an African Peanut Soup. The quiche featured Benton’s bacon and we both agreed it was fabulous. My friend had the salad and loved it, “simple but delicious,” while I had the soup and it was as good as any soup I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant. Really. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was over-the-top good food.
Urban Woman had a half-sandwich and an asparagus and mushroom soup which she loved, but I found just a bit too spicy for my taste. We each had a perfect, small pasta salad with our main dish. Everything was served on paper plates which were sturdy enough we debated if they were wooden. From photographs I saw later, I think dinner is served on more formal china.
Given that it was opening day, we had to try a dessert. Desserts are made by Magpies and we all went with the chocolate pie. If you know Magpies and you know chocolate pie, I shouldn’t need to tell you how that went.
We also ordered coffee, which always makes me nervous because it’s often the weak link in a restaurant meal. It turned out to be very good. Clearly they also pay attention to the coffee, which I really appreciate. They were using a temporary bean on the first day, but the plan is to use Jeff Scheafnocker’s Three Bears coffee, which pleases me greatly.
So, the meal was excellent, the atmosphere casual and the emphasis where it belongs – on the food. Eating Holly’s food means eating dishes prepared with quality ingredients and made-from-scratch is automatic.
That said, you need to be prepared to pay a little more than you might elsewhere for lunch.We drank water with the meal, but had two coffees ($4), Quiche and soup ($11), Sandwich and soup ($10) and we split a dessert ($6). Add tax and a tip and lunch came to around $40 for the two of us. Not something we can do all the time, but you pay for the quality of food you get and we wouldn’t normally get the dessert, which would reduce the bill a bit.
They have numerous taps and our friend sampled the Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA ($6) and a Finch’s Threadless IPA ($8), so if beer is your thing, they have you covered on that front.
The space hasn’t changed much since it was Shuck. It’s comfortable, if a bit snug, and already feels like a neighborhood spot. I saw posts on FB after the icepocalypse and it seemed that it served as a gathering spot later that evening for the 100 block as most restaurants around downtown closed because of the weather. I’m very happy to have Holly downtown. Be sure to drop in and see what she’s up to.