Sunday, May 1, 2011


Went out with the ladies on Thursday to a meditarranean restaurant that was new to all of us, called Ilili (between 27th and 28th on 5th Ave). It's a pretty posh place, where we were all completely under-dressed. All the hostesses looked like they were probably models and there were a lot of rich old ladies with face-lifts around. The main dining area is pictured above. There was also a bar/lounge area to the left and a lower-key dining area to the right, both just as long.

If you're going here, expect to eat family style. We all shared the Mezza Royale (the biggest of the sharing menus) @ $139. You first get the cold appetizers:
Hummus, baba ghannouj, chankleesh (lentils/rice/onions), grape leaves, tabbouleh, fattoush (pita salad), falafel and Kibbeh nayeh - a paste of raw lamb mixed with spices, served with raw onions and mint (probably our least favorite),

Then the hot appetizers:
Moujadara (lentil/rice/onion), lahmajeen (middle eastern style pizza with ground beef on a thin crust), makanek, beef fried kibbeh (think meat and bulgur wheat falafel) and phoenician fries (think seasoned fries, really tasty)

We also ordered 2 main entrees and a side to split: their lamb kebab was was simple and delicious and their Citrus Trout, I'd suggest skipping. The brussel sprouts were recommended to us by our waitress as being one of their signature dishes. I passed on it due to the creamy sauce it was mixed with but I'm pretty certain the others enjoyed it.

For dessert we tried the Awaimat (lebanese beignet w/orange blossom syrup). This wasn't anything special and the syrup had too strong of an orange blossom taste for me.

The serving sizes are quite generous. We were definitely stuffed by the time we left. It's a very busy place, so definitely make a reservation before you go.

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