The second of three eateries planned for the Pleasanton Hotel, Lily’s Spirited Dining, pays homage to the town’s fascination with the paranormal. Patrons will be thrilled that the old, musty smells that haunted the building for decades are gone. The dining room, which is to the left when you enter the hotel, now possesses an elegant ambiance that lends itself well for a relaxing evening out.
You don’t have to be a believer of things that go bump in the night to enjoy an evening at Lily’s, though guests will be amused at the cocktail names, like the “Lady in the Mirror,” the “Spirited Manhattan” and “Lily’s Dirty Secret.”
My table started with the Mexican shrimp cocktail with white prawns. Chipotle gave the cocktail sauce a rich, smoky flavor.
With crab still in season, Dungeness crab risotto is a good choice. It’s prepared with a mix of shiitake and crimini mushrooms, capers and lemon basil oil. It was surprisingly lighter than many risottos I’ve enjoyed.
If you’re a fan, Lily’s braised lamb shank is a home run. Fork tender and full of flavor, it’s accompanied by braised carrots and thinly sliced, crispy rosemary polenta cake.
I would be remiss if I didn’t call out the service for being notably attentive, making Lily’s a first-rate dining experience.
If you go: Entrees start at $22. Full bar. Open Wednesday-Sunday, 5-9pm (10pm Friday and Saturday). 855 Main St., Pleasanton.
A condensed version of this review appeared in the March 2019 issue of Your Town Monthly magazine.