Soulshine in New Albany maintains formula of affordable comfort food

Gary Seman Jr.
Special to The Columbus Dispatch
The family style blackened chicken Alfredo available at Soulshine Kitchen & Tavern in New Albany.

Soulshine Kitchen & Tavern continues to enjoy its status as a comfortable New Albany restaurant serving unpretentious, homemade comfort food.

“We were trying to find that space between fine dining and casual national and local brands, and I think we did,” said Andrew Arthurs, who opened Soulshine with his wife, Shanda, in June 2017.

A prime example of a comfort-food entree is the blackened chicken alfredo ($17), a rich creamy sauce twirled with cavatappi pasta, broccoli and diced tomatoes.

“It’s simple, straightforward and very good,” Arthurs said.

The restaurant has had to roll with the shifting tide brought on by COVID-19, so it started offering family meals, serving four to six, to go.

The blackened chicken Alfredo family meal ($44), for example, is served with salad and garlic bread.

The hot honey chicken mac and cheese ($15) is another satiating dish, using deep-fried chicken dipped in hot honey sauce, served over mac and cheese with crumbled blue cheese spread across the top.

“It’s not spicy at all,” Arthurs said, “it’s more sweet. It comes together great, served in a cast-iron skillet.”

The avocado toast

He said there’s nothing fancy about the house beer-battered cod ($15), but it has earned its place as a customer favorite, with fries, coleslaw and tartar sauce on the side.

“We sell a ton of it,” Arthurs said. “People love it when it’s done right.”

Some type of burger has been on the menu since the beginning. The latest version is a smash burger ($12) — 7 ounces of ground beef sourced from local Butcher & Grocer —  pressed firm against the grill until it develops some texture. It’s garnished with horseradish garlic aioli, tomato jam, bacon and American cheese.

All sandwiches are served with a side of house-made potato chips.

Unctuous, slow-cooked pork shoulder anchors a sandwich ($12) with Carolina Gold barbecue sauce and coleslaw on top for some earthy crunch.

“That’s not come off (the menu) in four years,” Arthurs said. “We typically are keeping our staples and rotating a third or half (of the menu per season). If it’s not identical (to the original pork sandwich), it’s real close.”

Some might consider deviled eggs the ultimate bar snack. At Soulshine, they have a center of horseradish-whipped yolk and bacon bits on top for salty bite.

“It’s one way we’re unique,” he said. “We’re not a chain. We can do some twists on comfort food.”

Brunch, canceled last March because of COVID-19, was reinstated in September.

The avocado toast ($10) offers creaminess, a bite from red onion and crushed red pepper, heartiness from hard-boiled egg and freshness from a simple salad.

“To have our spin on a healthy entree is great,” Arthurs said.


At a glance

Where: Soulshine Kitchen & Tavern

Location: 266 E. Main St., New Albany

Hours: 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday

Contact: 614-450-1298,