New bistro slated to open in Oregon District tonight

Emily Mendenhall and her staff at Lily’s Bistro spent the past few days serving family members and friends a limited selections from its food and drink menu.

Tonight will be showtime for the Historic Oregon District establishment featuring seasonal fare.

The restaurant at 329 E. Fifth St. — the former site of Boulevard Haus/Cafe Boulevard — will celebrate its official grand opening 5 to 10 p.m. today, May 9, Mendenhall said.

She wanted Lily’s to open in time for Urban Night, a ‘street party’ in and near downtown Friday.

Executive Chef Mariah Gahagan is prepared to serve “fresh, fun seasonal food,” she said.

“I think of it as new American food,” said Mendenhall, who will manage the restaurant owned by her parents,

Lisa and Robert Mendenhall. “We will change the menu four times a year.”

The Mendenhalls also own Blind Bob’s, a nearby restaurant and music venue.

Emily Mendenhall said the restaurant is inspired by two others she worked at — Cochon in News Orleans and Jane’s in Chicago. Mendenhall said there will be a high level of service.

“We will make serious food without being too serious,” she said.

The space has been transformed.

Boulevard Haus’ German-theme has been replaced with a light, airy feel. The walls in the 42 seat main dining room are now light green and decorated with framed prints.

The bar area is now blue.

The back patio, one of Dayton’s most attractive, can seat as many as 50 and a semi-private dining area features a long wooden table.

The front patio will be dog-friendly, Mendenhall pointed out.

She said highlights of the menu include the gourmet deviled eggs ,$7; Ohio nachos (house made potato chips topped with Gouda Alfredo, melted blue cheese and scallions), $7; a charcuterie plate, $12; surf ‘n turf (soy glazed Berkshire pork belly and seared scallops with wilted spinach, pickled cauliflower and miso mousseline sauce), $24 and a sorted fresh salad, $6 to $10.

One of Mendenhall’s favorites is a mix of chopped orange segments, sugar snap peas, fennel, mushrooms and asparagus tossed in ginger-miso vinaigrette.

The most expensive dish is the $25 grilled lamb chops served with couscous, asparagus and a red wine reduction.

Mendenhall said Lily’s will serve locally produced food when possible, including fresh free range chicken.


Lily’s Bistro

329 E. Fifth St., Dayton

(937) 723-7637

Monday to Thursday — 5 to 10 p.m.

Friday to Saturday — 5 to 11 p.m.

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