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Worth A Second Trip

by John Tranchina / Dallas Stars

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who attended the Dallas Stars NHL Draft party on June 26 at Hully & Mo’s Restaurant Tap Room who was so impressed with the fabulous décor, atmosphere, food and drinks that was compelled to go back.

So less than a week after getting my first taste of the restaurant partially owned by Stars legends Brett Hull and Mike Modano, I took my wife back with me for dinner. And, again, I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I was VERY glad I did, because the whole experience was awesome - again.

Modano, Eddie Cervantes and Hull
The restaurant, located in Uptown Dallas at 2800 Routh Street, has been open since mid-January and strikes a nice balance between being an upscale eatery as well as a sports bar. With several different dining areas that each have a different feel to them, from the large, main room to the more laid-back lounge area (with comfy couches!) to the outside patio, Hully and Mo’s has a place for everyone. 

“It’s a great venue, the lounge is a great spot to watch games and we have a lot of fans come in and watch hockey,” noted Eddie Cervantes, restaurant manager/proprietor. “We always turn the sound up, it’s a terrific room. We’re kind of feeding the idea for the fall, when the season starts. And not only hockey - hockey will be a bigger part of our fan base - but we have football and basketball and everything, so we’re a sports-friendly place.”

The night I visited, Cervantes was meeting with Fox Sports Southwest’s Brady Tinker, and since finalized a deal to host a weekly Dallas Cowboys radio show there on ESPN’s 103.3-FM radio station starting in September, so they are serious about becoming a prime sports-watching destination. 

Hull, a Stars’ Executive Vice President and Alternate Governor, is understandably excited about how the restaurant has been received.

“It’s going great,” Hull said. “Obviously, with these economic times, there are times when it’s a little bit slow, but it’s a great location, where lunches are always great and weekends, we have a wonderful brunch on Sunday - the Tres Leches French Toast is to die for! It’s just a great atmosphere.”

I agree. 

For those not yet initiated, once you pull open the unique hockey stick door handles to enter the premises, you will be greeted immediately by a customized Dallas Stars motorcycle and framed, autographed Stars jerseys with Hull’s number 16 and Modano’s number 9 on the wall. 

After getting seated promptly, my wife and I gazed at all the impressive sports memorabilia displayed on the walls, including framed jerseys of Stars captain Brenden Morrow, Texas Rangers third baseman Michael Young, a Dirk Nowitzki Germany jersey from the Olympics, and an old Chicago Bears Dick Butkus jersey.

Okay, so once we settled in at our table and scanned the wide variety of options on the menu, my wife issued the first exemplary comment (of many throughout the night) when her drink arrives - the bartender perfectly nailed the dirty martini she asked for. Our server Viviana was outstanding all night with quick drink re-fills and timely delivery of food, not to mention friendly, personable service. 

We started with the spinach artichoke dip for our appetizer, and again, it was amazing. I fancy myself as somewhat of a spinach artichoke dip connoisseur and this was right up there with the very best I’ve ever had. 

Then the real fun started. For my entrée, after struggling with three different possibilities, I ordered the surf and turf special - an eight-ounce grilled steak filet, grilled asparagus and the coup de grace, lump crab meat macaroni and cheese. 

Wow. Beautiful presentation, phenomenally delicious. 

Now the steak and the asparagus were good, but the crab meat mac and cheese was simply unbelievable. Get those images of a microwavable ‘Easy Mac’ out of your mind and think of something more like a casserole, with delicious crab meat blended in. As bite after bite blew me away and I had to physically fight off my wife from ‘trying’ too many, I thought that whoever came up with that genius idea should get a bonus and the coveted primo parking spot. 

Then I met the man responsible and personally thanked him. 

“That’s my recipe, I did that,” acknowledged sous chef and assistant manager Julio Escobar. “We always do a special every day, so I figured, ‘Let’s do something southwest today,’ so the mac and cheese did it.” 

It sure did. My wife had the beer-battered fish and chips with tartar sauce, malt vinegar and jalapeño slaw, which earned rave reviews as well. 

I’ll point out that the portions, while generous, were thankfully not humongous - it was just the right amount to fill us up but not overstuff us.

That allowed us room to be able to sample dessert. We opted to share an order of the unique Hully and Mo’s Chocolate S’mores Cake a la mode, and it was so scrumptious, we devoured it before Viviana even had a chance to ask us how it was. 

Then the bill came and after multiple drinks, an appetizer, two entrees and dessert, we did not have to use our son’s college fund to pay for it. Even adding in a generous tip for Viviana’s great attentiveness, we spent a shade over $100 for everything, and it was well worth every penny. 

Seriously, it was one of the best dinners out we’ve ever had, so consider Hully and Mo’s in our ‘rotation’ and highly recommended by this correspondent. 

And who knows, if you show up, you just might run into the restaurant’s namesakes in person, as they tend to drop in on a regular basis.

“Brett comes in more often than Mike,” Cervantes reported. “Mike likes his off-season time because the season is tough, Brett has a little bit more time on his hands, he pops by quite often.” 

“It’s fun, they come here and then they order what they want, you cook it for them,” Escobar said. “It’s a fun experience cooking for a celebrity like that.” 

And what are their favorite things to order?

“Mike Modano, when he comes in here, he always orders the steak, the New York strip, that’s one of his favorites,” Escobar revealed. “Brett Hull, sometimes we make him a special taco salad, that’s what he likes.” 

While Hull and Modano are involved in the business operations, they also keep a healthy distance so as not to become meddlesome.

“I don’t want to say I’m hands-on, I’m in between,” Hull said of his ownership style. “When we come in and we make sure that our friends that come, we say, ‘Is there anything that you see that you would like as a customer, whether it’s better service or is there something on the menu that you would like that’s better, or was the food okay that night?’ and we give that information to our managers and Eddie Cervantes, who is our proprietor. So we’re hands-on, but it’s a great place with a great staff that kind of takes care of itself.” 

“They’re great,” Cervantes confirmed. “We work together on stuff, they ask questions and they also help out with different ideas. A lot of the beer choices they made, and for the food choices, some of the things that they liked, we added to the menus. They’ve been very helpful with a lot of things, some of the direction - they always chip in and help a little bit. They kind of leave all the restaurant duties to me, which is good, they don’t really interfere with my job. It’s good, they like to know what’s going on. I like them coming in.” 

And whether you got an initial taste of Hully and Mo’s at the draft party or not, you will undoubtedly enjoy it too.

For more info on Hully and Mo’s, to sample their menu or even buy Hully and Mo merchandise that also has the Stars’ logo on it, visit their website at

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