Report Card: Ashland and Highland

Ashland & Highland in Dublin, Ohio

Ashland & Highland in Dublin, Ohio

Ashland & Highland on Urbanspoon

http://ashlandandhighland.com/

Overall GrubGrade B

 

The Breakdown:

 

Atmosphere:  Grade B+:  Ashland & Highland, in Dublin, is a fairly new restaurant.  It’s new enough that my car’s nav didn’t even think the road it is located on was finished.  I thought that my car wasn’t the only one that didn’t know where it was located when we arrived, as the place was pretty much empty.  We were a little early for the dinner crowd, and that was illustrated by the growing number of diners that were arriving when we left.  Decorated like a slightly upscale sports bar, Ashland & Highland even smelled new.  The smell was hard to describe, but it was reminiscent of a new car smell, but a little different.  Table spacing seemed adequate, but it would be hard to tell for sure with the sparse population of diners present.

High marks:   New, clean, quiet

Low marks:   So new it might be a little hard to locate

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Service:  Grade B:  Our server, Rob, seemed a little distracted when we first arrived.  However, he seemed to snap out of it once we had a couple of interactions.  We did drinks, appetizers, and a main course and it all came out within a reasonable amount of time.  It also seemed as though every time I started to look around the place to get his attention, he magically appeared.  Our service was friendly and accurate, and once Rob focused on the task at hand, he had a pleasant personality that put us at ease.

High marks:  Accurate, friendly service

Low marks:   Took server a little while to warm up to us

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Food/Spirits:  Grade B:   I usually take notes on my phone about the food and service, but I recently swapped phones and lost my notes, so the discussion of food in this case will be from memory.  That pretty much sucks for all involved since my memory is shot, but we’re going to do it anyway.   Katina ordered some sangria and a drink called Rooftop Punch.  I selected the Rogue Dead Guy ale, which I have had a few times recently and already described, so we’ll skip that part.  As for the sangria, it was good, but Katina is somewhat of a sangria savant and while she enjoyed it, she has had better.  The Rooftop Punch was very fruity and refreshing, and definitely the better of the two drinks.  For our appetizer, we ordered the calamari.  Other than the fact there were more tentacles than rings (Katina hates the tentacles, so I have to eat them), there was nothing about the calamari that was memorable.  For her entrée, Katina ordered the lobster mac and cheese.  Again, this was a dish she enjoyed, but after dining on the lobster mac and cheese at Eddie Merlot’s, we’ve found it almost pointless to eat it anywhere else – Eddie’s has set the bar too high.  I ordered the ribeye, which was cooked really well but was lacking seasoning.  If I find the need to ask for steak sauce with my steak, then usually that means the dish is lacking.  A really great steak should require nothing else but a fork and knife to eat.  But what the steak lacked in flavor it had in texture and tenderness.  I ordered my steak medium well, but I think the steak that got delivered to me was more on the well done side.  There should just be a smidgen of blood mixed in with the other steak juices if the meat is truly cooked to medium-well, but there was no blood to be found.  That did not detract from the steak’s texture, though.

High marks:   Very tender steak, decent drinks 

Low marks:   Lackluster calamari, steak was under-seasoned

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Value:  Grade B-:   We spent slightly less than I thought we were going to spend, considering I ordered a decent sized steak and Katina and I had plenty of drinks (we were kind of celebrating).  The quality of food was good but not exceptional, and portion size was adequate but not generous (we left full, but no doggy bags required).  While we probably won’t make a special trip back to Dublin to revisit, my would probably stop by again if we were in the area.  If you happen to be in Dublin, you should give Ashland & Highland a try – they were pretty good, and will probably only get better with time.

High marks:   Reasonable price considering drinks and steak

Low marks:  Portion size just adequate

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