Cacio e Pepe Frittelle
Prosciutto, Balsamic Mustard, Parmigiano Butter
Sheeps Milk Cheese Agnolotti, Saffron, Dried Tomato, Honey
Mafaldini, Pink Peppercorn, Parmigiano
Squash Ravioli, Hazelnuts, Parmigiano, Rosemary
Ricotta Gnocchi, Broccoli Pesto, Basil, Pistachios
Olive Oil Cake, Figs, Grappa, Whipped Cream
Love it or hate it the trend of Restaurants featuring high volume and dim lighting has got legs, and on Sunday night in Williamsburg it was as a party of three that such things were tolerated to see what the buzz was about at Lilia, Missy Robbins’ still white hot space that is almost ready to celebrate its third anniversary.
Located at 567 Union Avenue and thus highly convenient via subway from Manhattan, the Bedford Avenue station just a few blocks walk, it was arriving fifteen minutes prior to a reservation booked exactly thirty days prior that guests were whisked away to a table, service pleasant but grating thanks to both over-explaining and recommending *everything* yet somehow failing to mention several daily specials.
No stranger to Robbins’ Cuisine, visits to both Spiaggia and A Voce occurring during her tenure, it was after brief perusal of labeled sections that the decision was made to order in four courses with a focus on Pasta, though first it seemed pertinent to take a look at Lilia’s oft-praised Cacio e Pepe Frittelle which eat like cheesy Popovers plus a plate of imported Charcuterie that comes with far too little housemade Bread for the sizable quenelle of Butter infused with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Forced to ask for more Bread, three slices arriving room temperature almost fifteen minutes later with the first pair of Pastas, it was within one bite that surrounding annoyances including two diners making out were easily ignored, the tubular Agnolotti stuffed with Sheep’s Milk and perfumed by Saffron beautifully juxtaposed by Honey and Sundried Tomatoes while springy Ribbons of Pasta called Mafaldini lived up to accolades as Robbins’ best dish both in terms of taste and texture despite fairly simple toppings of Cheese and Pepper.
Certainly not a place that will ever be accused of rushing to turn a table, nearly half-an-hour between clearing course two and the arrival of another duo, it was unfortunately a bit too much Basil that compromised creamy Gnocchi while pockets of Squash were offered more subtly with Rosemary and Hazelnuts, the choice of just one Dessert to finish largely based on the late hour and a long day of eating but mostly enjoyable as crumbly Cake offered a gently sweetend base for Figs, a splash of Grappa plus plenty of Whipped Cream.