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Midtown South / Chelsea >
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Posted by neighborhood resident on 09/05/2008
First time I came 6:30 pm (with reservatoin) and was seated at smallest table despite that there was only one other party there. Second time I came at 930pm Thursday, the restaurant was half empty and we were seated at smallest table next to the kitchen entrance. Ciao
Posted by MT on 06/06/2008
This restaurant is probably one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Even if you don't particularly care for one of the items you order, they have small plates so you are encouraged to order 3-4 items. But I doubt you will be able to find something on the menu that you won't love. Ive been there twice in the past 2 weeks, and each time it was a lovely experience. Wine list is great, and the food is delicious!
Posted by Anonymous on 04/26/2008
The menu is a fabulous introduction to fine Lebanese and other middle Eastern food. Best with a small group so you can try more items. The lamb kebab was awesome wish I could remember the name of the tiny meat-filled pastas served in a perfectly spiced tomato and yogurt sauce. Of course, get the smokey flavored baba ganoush and the nice waitress made a point to tell us that everythign is done by hand in the kitchen, including chopping tons of parsley and mint for the tabbouleh. They even make their own pita! Add the eye-opening menu to the space and it's a real NY find!
Posted by Ziad on 04/18/2008
Was there on a week day for dinner for two. Though the lahmbagine was good, it was cold. Falafel was also cold. Fatoush lacked many traditional ingredients and was mostly greens. shawarma was cold as well. slow service, way overpriced for the portion, which is too small. They want to get paid for the ambiance (too loud music for my taste) by overpricing the dishes. The setup is nice and clean. i would pay $20 cover per person if they adjust the price to the actual portion and get the food faster and warmer. they have serious work to do before i go there again.
Posted by Lebanese taster on 03/20/2008
This is the only upscale Lebanese restaurant in Manhattan that is worth going to. Food quality is fantastic, but the portions are so small, it is really insulting! Been there twice, but I won't go back again... it is just rediculous how small the portions are.... you end up paying more than $100 per person before you know it.!
Posted by Pure Middle Eastern on 03/08/2008
Went to Ilili last night with some friends form out of town. Was our second time dining here. First time was a private party whose host chose a pre fix menu. So we thought we would try it another time choosing our own meals. Reservations were for 830 didnt get seated until 945. I made a request for lower level dining weeks in advance and the "model-like" hostesses had no trace until I gave her the name of the reservations manager. Waited at the bar had a bad reccomendation for a wine, then some made up mohitos from an amateur bartender which were actually good. We sat down had the appetizer samples which were average. Babaganouj was over powered with smokey mesquite flavor, the hummous was not bad. Falafel were cold a bit underdone, lahimajeen was pretty good, and tabouleh salad needed a bit of seasonings and lemon. Overall appt'z were ok, have definitely had better at small mom and pop shops. For dinner I had the duck shawarma, and my two friends each had the beef shawarma. The duck was not bad, again the food was room temp (a bit cooler), and the consensus of the beef shawarma's, is that they were too dry and also room temp. Overall the place has such potential, the only thing going for it is the ambience and excellent waiter we had. The music was way too loud for a dining hall. I thoguht we were at a club a little too much. As you take a look around you can tell that there really was not much organization of the staff. Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing , bar was full of waiters practically making their own drinks, etc.... I would give them a higher rating if they tweeked a bit here and there, but for now i would give them a 3 star and that is really generous.
Posted by yasmine on 02/23/2008
The service and ambiance were perfect, and the food was authentic, fresh, and delicious. The fatoosh, falafel, and kibbeh appetizers were just wonderful, and the mixed grill entree came with stunning tenderloin. It's not easy to find Lebanese cuisine in a modern, tasteful setting, and this restaurant did the job very well. The prices are high for relatively small portions, but for such homemade (including pita) and flavorful food, with friendly, efficient service, it was all well worth it. I highly recommend this new spot for a tasty and cosmopolitan night out.