Hi friends, welcome back! Going out to new restaurants is one of my favorite things to do in NYC, so it’s no surprise that I love Restaurant Week! This is a three-week period that happens twice a year and restaurants that want to participate offer a limited lunch and/or dinner menu typically Monday – Friday. This menu costs $26 for a two-courselunch, and $42 for a three-course dinner, it’s a great deal! Some people don’t like that it’s a limited menu, but I think it’s still a fun way to try out new dishes and places.
Last year, Jon and I had an amazing Restaurant Week dinner at Beauty and Essex (you can read all about it here). This year we made a reservation at Ilili, a Lebanese restaurant in the Flat Iron district. The restaurant got great reviews on Yelp! and it’s different from a place we would normally eat at so I was very excited!
Ilili has a very trendy vibe and when you walk in there’s lounge type seating with a bar, and then to the left is two dining rooms. Jon and I were immediately seated at a table for two in the dining room. I have two minor complaints about our night, the first was that the bench I was seated on was very uncomfortable. My back hurt from being unsupported the whole meal, but if I leaned back then I wouldn’t have been able to hear Jon because it was pretty loud in there. The other was that the tables were inches from each other which is pretty typical in NYC, I just don’t like how it almost feels like you’re eating dinner with the people next to you. Maybe I’m just getting old ha!
For appetizers, we could each select two choices from the fixed menu. I got the hummus and falafel, and Jon got the hummus and mouhamara. The waitress advised Jon to order the mouhamara instead of a second falafel and I’m glad that she did. The mouhamara is a walnut dip that was delicious! We were served warm, fresh pitas to go with our hummus and mouhamara and it was delicious!
The falafel comes in four pieces, so perfect to share. I wouldn’t have wanted to eat more than two pieces because they were pretty filling along with our other appetizers. I would order these again as appetizers, they were all very good, but I would order the dips before the falafel.
For entrees, I ordered the Salmon A La Plancha and it was cooked-medium rare and almost melted in my mouth, it was delicious! As you can see, it didn’t come with much of a side to it which is typical of upscale NYC restaurants. Good thing the appetizers were filling!
Jon ordered the Lamb Makloubeh and it was really good, I tried a small bite of the lamb.
Last but not least, for dessert we both decided to order the Ilili Candy Bar. This was so yummy! I love all things caramel so this was a winner for me. It was very rich so the small size was the right amount and the sesame seeds gave it a nice crunch. I’m very glad we didn’t decide to split it!!
We had such a nice dinner and I’d highly recommend checking out Ilili if you’re craving some Lebanese food! Another added bonus is that Ilili is right across the street from 230 Fifth Avenue, a fun rooftop bar with some of the best views of the Empire State Building!
Thanks for reading friends! I’ll see you in the next one 🙂