Delectable Eats at Missy Robbins’ Lilia ~ Williamsburg

The past couple weeks have been filled with epic foodie adventures and yes, my credit card bill can vouch for this.  YOLO.  No regrets.  Carpe Diem.  Eat on and eat on I will.  So last Saturday I helped organize a trip of November Project folks to Lilia –  Missy Robbins’ most recent restaurant endeavor.  To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure of Missy Robbins fame and Wikipedia helped me realize what a treat or honor that meal would be.  Did you know that she is best known for having a Michelin star at each of her restaurants and was also featured as a contestant in series four of Top Chef Masters?

The restaurant in question – Lilia – has had rave reviews from all corners of the web.  From the NY Magazine to just last week Grub Street shared its top power rankings, throwing Lilia among Nishi, Le Turtle and more.  I apologize for the lackluster lighting as it may not do the dishes justice.  If you really must see perfect photography, check out their Facebook page.

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Lilia
567 Union Ave, New York
{Subway stops ~ G, L at Metropolitan Ave – Lorimer St}
Daily 5:30p.m.-11p.m.

IMG_5184I honestly would not have learned about this restaurant or even ventured outside of Manhattan had it not been for one of our November Project friends, Erin, who alerted us to the restaurant’s opening.  It may be Missy Robbins’ new project, but her brother also played/plays a huge part in the restaurant’s success.  So into Williamsburg we ventured!

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^^ To drink or not to drink?  In retrospect, the bill might have been a bit smaller had we not indulged buuut wine made things a little more fun.

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^^ I wasn’t at all sure of what this was, but when we cut into it and smelled the fried cheesy goodness, I knew we were in for a treat.  Every morsel seemed to crumble and melt in your mouth and when I went to research the meal a bit more, I found that this nifty cheese called cacio e pepe even had an article written about it.  Yeah, the combination of sharp cheese, black pepper, olive oil, little bit of pasta + cooking water is just that cool.

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^^ I’m not sure whether it was due to our party’s size or the reservation but we were provided with a set menu and options for three courses plus dessert.

IMG_5190^^ Antipasti (option 2) ~ Little Gem Salad with bibb-like lettuce, parmesan, oregano, and dried chili

IMG_5191^^ Antipasti (option 3) ~ Roasted trumpet mushroom, arugula, balsamic, and Sicilian almonds

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^^ Primi (option 1) ~ Ricotta Gnocchi, broccoli pesto, basil, and pistachios

IMG_5194^^ Secondi (option 1) ~ Grilled chicken leg and thigh, broccoli rabe, olives, garlic, and mint ~ probably the most tender and mouth-watering piece of chicken I have ever had in my entire life.  It seemed to fall off the bone and was so.darn.juicy.

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^^ Secondi (option 1) ~ All about that Black Bass, salsa verde, and perfectly seasoned and roasted yukon potatoes.

When I go out to eat, I don’t always order an appetizer or even a side salad.  I do love my sweets but dessert doesn’t always make the list either.  So, I found the price fix menu quite beneficial, enabling us to sample a variety of items on the menu rather than being tied to just one full entree.  When the question of dessert came around, many of us were reaching our satiation point, but come on, when you have dessert as a GIVEN option, you must take advantage of it.  (ok, I would be a terrible mindful eating coach…)

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^^ Dolce (option 1) ~ Olive oil cake, grappa, whipped cream, persimmon ~ YOU MUST ORDER THIS.  Even if you don’t plan on eating or drinking much at all, I highly recommend making a reservation simply for this dish.  Olive oil is one of those ingredients that has hidden powers.  Who would have thought it could make a dessert so wonderfully moist?  Also, persimmons?  I claimed that I wouldn’t eat a persimmon and Lilia has since changed my view on the fruit.  Well done Missy Robbins, well done.

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^^ Dolce (option 2) ~ Soft-served chocolate gelato, candied citrus, and hazlenuts.  Not a bad way to celebrate national frozen yogurt day (and day after national nutella day) but my heart was already with the olive oil cake.  All in all, an excellent ending to a quite perfect meal.

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“Food is a direct pathway to the soul. It reaches us in a very primal place.”
― Good Witch

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