It’s not just burgers and fries anymore at River Forest Country Club in Allegheny Township.
Lily’s, the revamped restaurant at the golf course and country club, offers a fresh take on classics like chicken wings and sandwiches while adding in dinner entrees like a broiled rib-eye and shrimp scampi.
“We try to offer a little bit of everything so that we get a nice variety, but yet still please the people who used to frequent here,” said co-owner Jamy Rankin, who manages the daily operations of the restaurant. “And maybe attract some new people who are interested in some really nice entrees.”
The restaurant opened this spring after a change in ownership and reopening of the country club. It’s lead by executive chef Earl Wilson, who has been a chef for more than 20 years, including a stint cooking for Arnold Palmer.
“It’s exciting to see what the trends are and to work with fresh items,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to be current.”
Rankin said that when they purchased the club, they wanted to make sure they used all of the space and made it available to everyone. The restaurant features a dining room and bar, patio area and private party room with an outdoor deck that overlooks the golf course.
“We decided, instead of making it a grill room where golfers would come afterwards, we would make it a full-service restaurant open all year round and it would give the communities another place to go over the winter months in addition to during the season,” she said. “So far, it’s been pretty well received.”
She and her husband, Robert Rankin, named the restaurant after their dog, Lily, a 17-pound pug.
“The other thing is this whole thing is majority women-owned and, so, we wanted to have a feminine name, so Lily’s just kind of made sense,” Jamy Rankin said.
A popular item on the menu is the turkey wrap, made with chipotle aioli, red peppers, greens, tomato, red onion and Swiss cheese, all in a garlic basil wrap.
“It gives it a nice new flavor that just your average wrap wouldn’t have,” Jamy Rankin said.
Another big seller is the seafood salad, which is an item that was kept on the menu from the previous restaurant. It features shrimp, crab, blue cheese, walnuts, cucumbers, mixed greens and raspberry vinaigrette.
“People come requesting it,” she said.
Desserts are delivered daily by local pastry chef Jen Christy of Sweet Treats Bakery in South Buffalo.
Golfer Mark Hadley comes to golf at River Forest once a week and usually grabs a bite to eat. He gets the seafood salad with extra shrimp.
“I think they’ve maintained the quality of the food,” he said. “It’s nice to see something available.”