One day, I was sitting in my physical chemistry lecture, and I got an email with a subject that read, "Don't miss Beyoncé." Inside was Ticketmaster telling me that Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, and others would be performing at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn during my fall break (when I had plans to go home to New York). I immediately texted my sister, who lives in New York, and told her we were going.
After buying the tickets, the next thing to do was make a dinner reservation. Since were going to be in Brooklyn anyway, I decided we should try a new restaurant there. I had Lilia on the top of my "Food To Try" list for a while now, so I made a reservation for my family. I decided I would entice my mom with pictures of their Instagram famous malfadini because my mom's favorite pasta is mafalde — weird, I know. But, my whole family got hype for this dinner, and let me tell you, we were not disappointed.
My mom and I started by sharing the clams. I would go so far as to say that they were the best thing we had all night. The clams are stuffed with breadcrumbs and spicy. They're a MUST order. Thankfully, my sister and my dad don't eat clams, so there were more for me and my mom.
My sister got the mozzarella to start, which was a homemade mozzarella on toasted garlic bread with lemon and bottarga. I had a bite, and it was really good. The mozzarella was soft and creamy — definitely get this if you like cheese.
3. The Olives
My dad had the sweet Sicilian olives with garlic and chilies to start. He said they weren't his favorite, but my mom liked them. I personally don't like olives, so I'll leave it up to you.
Then, I proposed that my mom, sister, and I share three pastas. They happily agreed...
1. Rigatoni Diavola
The first one was the rigatoni diavola, which is made with San Marzano tomatoes, chilies, oregano, and pecorino. This one was my sister's favorite. The pasta was perfectly al dente and it was simple, but delicious.
The next one was the Instagram famous malfadini with pink peppercorns and Parmigiano Reggiano. This one was my mom's favorite (I think, mainly, because of the shape of the pasta). Everything at Lilia is amazing, but I thought the other two pastas were better
3. Sheep's Milk Cheese
The last pasta we got was the sheep's milk cheese filled Agnolotti, which has saffron, dried tomato, and honey. This dish is incredible. I honestly still think about it sometimes, and I like to think I can still taste the perfect combination of the soft sheep's milk and the sweet honey. It was my favorite (obviously), so I'd recommend that anyone order this.
My dad got the veal flank steak, which comes with hot peppers and basil. My mom, sister, and I were all sure he was going to get the bass, but he surprised us all and ordered this. He said it had a serious kick from the peppers, but he really enjoyed it. I had a bite and agreed that it's delicious. If you're going to order something other than pasta at Lilia, this is a good choice.
Reflecting on this food experience
Although delicious, the food is more sophisticated than your typical Italian restaurant — so this isn't the place to bring a young child or someone with a simple palate. With its unique ingredient combinations, Lilia offers a creative take on many classic dishes. In addition to its exquisite food, Lilia offers a large, inviting, upscale environment with great service. When you put that all together, you get an all around awesome restaurant.