Handles Gastropub in Pleasanton

A new restaurant in Pleasanton stands to become a old favorite.

We have seen different restaurants coming and going in the Pleasanton Hotel.

A new restaurant, , has recently checked in and if I were a betting person, I would put money on this place sticking around for a while.

With four partners coming together to bring this restaurant to fruition, it is not surprising that it has a well-thought-out plan to please almost every diner who might walk through the doors.

Right when you walk in, it's clear the dining atomosphere has a little something for everyone.

Partner Dave Ritterbush explained that at Handles, if you want a more upscale dining experience with linen tableclothes and a quiet, calm atomosphere, you would chose the dining room.

But you could want a more lively area with a bar, and for this you would chose the "public house" section of the restaurant. They also have a beautiful patio area for outdoor dining.

Ritterbush explained that they are a pub in the sense of having lots of beer. The beer selection includes lots of craft beers, rather than domestic brands. Knowing that some of the focus was going to be on the beer, they didn't want to do that with the exclusion of non-beer drinkers. 

It turns out Handles not only has nearly 40 beers on tap, plus more than a dozen of the bottled variety, but they also have quite a wine selection with 16 different wines on tap plus wines from all over California as well as Argentina, New Zealand, France, Italy, and Germany.

If you aren't a wine or beer drinker, they still have you covered with some additional cocktail selections. 

The servers are very knowledgeable about the beers and wines and can help steer you in the right direction when trying to pair a drink with your meal. Y

ou may want to start off with their flights and bites just for fun — three 5 oz. craft beers selections (they change daily) for $5. There is also a three-wine flight (2oz. each) for $6. They even have a flight and bite option in which the chef will bring out three bites to complement either flight for $11. 

You may choose a heartier starter and Handles has you covered. You might try Drunken Calamari (pale ale, buttermilk, and cornmeal crusted calamari) for $10.95.

There are also BBQ wings for $9.95 or a artisanal cheese and fruit plate for $11.95. On my visit, we had the Fried Green Tomatoes. They were delicious with a corn relish, melted mozarella and basil aoili for $7.95.   

There are soups of the day, chili, and a very tempting Belgian Ale Onion Soup on the menu. Six salad choices include a Turkey and Spinach salad for $11.95 and a Prawn and Butter Lettuce salad for $12.95. 

There are four burger choices on the menu including a buffalo burger for $13.95 (others range from $9.95-$11.95). You can also find a Beef Brisket sandwich that is stout ale marinated and then smoked for $10.95 as well as BBQ Pork, Hot Pastrami, Turkey, and grilled Veggie ranging from $9.95 to $11.95 

Handles has a nice selection of entrees, as well. I had the grilled wild salmon for $18.95. It was a nice, large piece of salmon that was tender and juicy. It came with squash risotto which was also yummy. 

My companion had the O.M.G. Meatloaf. It wasn't meatloaf with the traditional bright red, tomato sauce, but rather a big piece of meatloaf with very nice flavors and a marinara sauce. The accompanying mashed potatoes were delicious as were the green beans with corn and tomato for $14.95. 

You can also find a Chicken Pot Pie ($11.95), Steak and Fries ($21.95), Smoked pork loin chop ($17.95), Grilled chicken breast ($14.95), plus some other options. 

A couple more fun facts about Handles; they buy local from Terra Bella Farms for produce and Brentwood for fruit. Their menu is also somewhat seasonal so plan to see up to a third of the menu change as the seasons are changing.   

You may also want to check out their website from time to time as they will be featuring different types of live music in either their public room or patio on different days and times in the future. 

One more thing I probably should mention is their fabulous carrot cake! It was served with a ginger snap that had a dollop of whipped cream and some glazed walnuts on top. Some of the whipped cream had also made it's way onto the cake which already had cream cheese frosting.

To look at this extravaganza, one would worry that you might take a bite and reach your suggested sugar intake for a month; however, it was perfectly balanced — not to sweet but simply delicious and definitely something worth trying.

Handles Gastropub 855 Main Street at the Pleasanton Hotel, Pleasanton (925) 399-6690 Sunday - Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm, Friday & Saturday: 11:30am – 1am.

Sue Dorman September 16, 2011 at 02:20 AM
So you say Andy....others may disagree! And I DO think you were attacking the reviewer!
Sue Dorman September 16, 2011 at 02:22 AM
Well said Stacey!
Sue Dorman September 16, 2011 at 02:26 AM
Great reply Stacey!
Sue Dorman September 16, 2011 at 02:30 AM
Agree Justin....you are right on with your analogy! Definitely will try this place and it'll be nice to know Andy (AKA Gem) won't be there!
Patty September 16, 2011 at 03:18 AM
Gem, the fact that you are making a personal attack on the integrity of Stacey is completely uncalled for. You can't question whether someone can or cannot "write a constructive piece" when this is a review article based off of her own opinion. If you did not like the quality of the food and/or restaurant, that is fine I'm sorry you did not feel that it was up to par with your standards, but you do not need to question whether or not the writer can or cannot do something.
Dennis September 16, 2011 at 03:34 AM
Holy moly! Is there are way to clear all of this junk out of here? Half of these comments are lame. I was just logging in to say thanks for the recommendation. Saw this review this morning as I was trying to figure out where to take my wife for her birthday tonight and decided to give Handles a try. We like Nonni's but thought we'd switch it up a bit. We just got home and let's just say mission accomplished! Excellent meal, happy wife and awesome beers to boot!!! I completely agree with the reviewer - the carrot cake was great. We'll be back on Sunday to enjoy some football. Get a batch of wings ready for us!
Denise Buonauro September 16, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Had a great experience this past weekend. The food was delicious (the fried green tomatoes were incredible) and great wines. Enjoyed staying after for the live music. Will definitely be back to try out all the beers. :)
Joanna September 16, 2011 at 05:57 AM
I went with 6 friends to Handles for a girl's night out, and we all had a great time! Our dinner was delicious...we enjoyed the flights and bites, fried green tomatoes, and a delicious dinner! After dinner, we moved to the bar, caught the Giant's game, and enjoyed a drink. We all agreed that we'd be back!!
Tina September 16, 2011 at 06:08 AM
Wow! OK, I will sum this up and offend the majority of the people at the same time. If you like chain restaurants like Chilis or TGIF, but up for something that makes you feel adventurous, then this is probably the place for you. If you are the kind of person who loves trying out new and exciting restaurants, who actually knows food and what it can taste like when properly prepared, then you would never go back to this restaurant. Either you are a foodie or you are not. I am and therefor will stay away
PTONMAN September 16, 2011 at 02:31 PM
I think what bothers me about Andy is that he does not seem to get that he started this train-wreck of a thread by provocatively impugning the journalistic integrity of the author. This is not a very productive or thoughtful way to disagree, or set any expectation for a positive tone for the resulting discussion. So Gem should not be surprised that Andy upset Stacey, or that the thread devolved into tribal silliness. Andy also readily generalized his one experience to conclude that the whole restaurant is bad and that not one server knows the beers based on his one limited and insufficiently recounted experience. Then Gem comes along to defend Andy as if he were a messenger of truth because she had a similarly poor eating experience (also not described) & because yelp, the arbiter of truth, has other people who agree with her. Gem also inflames the debate by criticizing other authors rather provocatively and patronizingly ("rainbows and butterflies for Stacey") Gem, you call others here passive aggressive and mean, but your own responses do nothing to improve the tone, they just continue it. I have eaten here twice with large parties & am acquainted with members of the ownership. I enjoyed my paid meals both times; had meatloaf once, & peppers-chick sand another time, & calamari. Others in my parties had mixed opinions, majority positive. Tina, these were not Chili's regulars I was with. This restaurant isn't striving for a Michelin *. It's pub grub! Beer was good
Gem September 16, 2011 at 02:50 PM
LOL - ok - well Happy Friday all - I am not "andy" by the way... thats like saying all those in Staceys camp (aka Luke Skywalker) are family because they agree with her. What you miss not sitting across from me in person is my tone - which is lighter than perhaps conveyed. I am passionate about food and restaurants so when I see one miss the mark on so many levels I get excited...I wish Pleasanton would raise the bar w/ places to eat. I have really enjoyed Nonni's actually and would suggest them to anyone and the Mediterranean place (the name escapes me now) is also quite enjoyable! As far as Stacey's reviews (I don’t enjoy them) nor feel she writes well enough to be considered a journalist so maybe Andy can drop the integrity bit if we put that into perspective. Enjoy your food over at Handles - they'll need you - I dont give them any longer than The Farmer if they dont improve things. Sorry if my honest feelings categorize me as “evil”… so silly.
Sean September 16, 2011 at 03:26 PM
Gem, You are truly outrageous!
H September 16, 2011 at 03:37 PM
I like that you are a regular person with regular opinions. I would much rather read about the positives in an article. Keep up the good work.
H September 16, 2011 at 03:46 PM
A true Class Act right? (cringe)
DMG September 16, 2011 at 06:17 PM
Oh my goodness! What meal could possibly be good after reading all of this, I've lost my appetite.
Wendy Smith September 16, 2011 at 07:39 PM
Stacey, love your sense of humor. May the force be with you!
Andy Halvorsen September 16, 2011 at 07:43 PM
okay "ptonman" aka co-owner of Handles. Here is my "sufficiently recounted experience" http://www.yelp.com/biz/handles-gastropub-pleasanton#hrid:EFHXUM2Itc7aqiaO8s_0FA/src:self Enjoy!
Gem September 16, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Thank you - some people are vanilla and some are rocky-road !!! :) lol If thats how you feel about hearing my honest opinion thats your deal. I dont believe in sugar coating my feelings and lack respect for those that do. Amazing how offended everyone is... be offended over REAL issues - the war, republicans, the tea party... now those are issues to be offended over! Lets move on from Handles - the subject is boring and the food is gross - at least we got a lively exchange going good to get the juices flowing - imagine that... provocative discussions!
Lin September 16, 2011 at 08:14 PM
Thank you Andy, Gem, and Stacey...you all made me laugh today with this thread!
Andy Halvorsen September 16, 2011 at 08:29 PM
Thanks for laughing along with us Lin!!! :-D
Julie Krommenhoek September 16, 2011 at 09:26 PM
No, being honest doesn't make you evil, being rude about it does. And if you aren't sure, you can always tell that your comments are inappropriate when you aren't willing to use your real name.
Cameron Sullivan September 16, 2011 at 10:17 PM
This dialogue is awesome! I think I know where I want to go on my next date with my hubby. "Cheers" -- to people who keep it real, keep it light!
Cameron Sullivan September 16, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Great point, Susan (and Stacey). And it doesn't make Stacey any less of a reporter to choose only to write reviews about restaurants she likes. She's not supposed to be restaurant pundit, a la Decision 2012. These reviews provide a service, as do the comments from people with different opinions. This one is particularly fun.:)
Gem September 17, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Julie time to pull your head out of the clouds... accusing me of being unauthentic because of my name (I realize uncommon - unlike yours) doesnt make it fake or my sentiments any less worthy of being a part of this commentary. At the end of the day Stacey (the author of this piece, now known as "Luke") is not a real journalist who has the strength to review ALL establishments so cant be regarded as a journalist at all or a person worthy of regarding (only reviewing the good ones according to her). Thats like Siskel and Ebert ONLY reviewing the movies they like - or food critics ONLY reviewing the food they like... huh?!? Makes no sense and lacks integrity and confidence/strength. How can people make their own decisions and benchmark opinions off only good reviews w.out knowing or understanding how a person values things on the other side of the spectrum? The good and the bad... if we understand what is bad in her book (which would be interesting considering what she thinks is "good") we can determine if we regard these opinions w/ any weight against our own values/standards. At least we gave the Patch some good traffic (Im happy for that), debate is healthy. Maybe Stacey will walk away w/ some “food” for thought and grow a little as a writer, the pen is indeed mightier than the sword – you should use that w/ more respect for your readers and chase rainbows on your own time.
Shannon Wilson Boule September 17, 2011 at 07:40 PM
In my opinion....A good writer is one that invokes thought and expression in others. Stacey you have certainly proven you are a great writer!
Shannon Wilson Boule September 17, 2011 at 09:16 PM
I find your comments about the writer nothing more than "Bullying".
Wendy Smith September 18, 2011 at 12:38 AM
After following this lively conversation, although much of it had very little to do with the restaurant itself and more about the integrity of the writer, I decided to give Handles a try today. To give them a run for their money I brought along my children with varying tastes for food. Hubby, the beer connoisseur of the family, join us as well. We started off with the beer menu and hubby immediately said they had the best beer selection in town. Calamari was served up first in which my 5-year-old son polished off after most of us had indulged. The Old Blue Burger was cooked perfectly. My oldest son ordered the BBQ pork sandwich and even my pickiest eater asked if would share. Hubby devoured his hot pastrami stating he wanted to be sure the other half came home for dinner. My youngest two shared a kid's pizza which was cooked with naan bread, a cooking trick we've learned for at home. This made the kids laugh when it was presented to them giving them a sense of comfort food from home. The portions were large enough we all took leftovers home. I think Jullian was the name of our server. She was sweet to the kids and friendly with my husband and I. The food was served quickly which is key to serving a table with kids. We were about to leave satisfied with our meal when one of owners came to our table to be sure everything was to our liking. Handles did a great job and I concur with my fellow Patch contributors' assessment of the restaurant.~Wendy (AKA Hans Solo)
Cameron Sullivan September 18, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Thanks, Han Solo.
Wendy Smith September 18, 2011 at 06:57 PM
You're welcome Princess Leia.
Cameron Sullivan September 18, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Haha! A new moniker. I'll take it!


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