I just celebrated my birthday (ok, it was on the 5th and I was still celebrating on the 12th but that's besides the point!)  My sister happened to be coming to town on the 2nd, so we decided to have a big family celebration over dinner on a Saturday night.  Great, right? Well, yes, if you can figure out where to go!

Here's the situation ~ there were 13 of us.  You have a bunch of 30 somethings, my parents and aunt (who might as well be), my 10-going-on-15-year-old son who wanted to go anywhere he didn't have to get dressed up to eat (he got dressed up anyway), and my grandparents.  They're cool and hip, but 89 and 93 and far from vegan.  AND I wanted to try a new, fun, trendy place (clearly) AND somewhere I could eat more than a salad.  So what did I do when nothing seemed to work for everyone?  I posted my need for help on facebook and, among others, a childhood friend gave me a great suggestion ~ Ilili.

Ilili is located at 236 5th Avenue.  This high-ceilinged, deco restaurant (with fun music and a great vibe) boasts fabulous Mediterranean fare.  We all really enjoyed the $60 price fix menu which was both flavorful and abundant.  Hummus, babaganoush, tabouleh, felafel, grape leaves and warm pita were far better than the norm, but the moujadara lentils with frizzled shallots took the prize and the bok choy in tahini was pretty spectacular as well.  For the non-vegans (aka everyone else) the kibbeh (spiced lamb meatballs) and skewers were highly acclaimed.  And the cocktails?  Phenomenal...I had a poison sumac margarita and while it wasn't poison it was potent for sure!

If you're in the city you have to check it out.  I'm working on getting a recipe to share so I'll keep you posted!

11/6/2010 11:59:07 am

I went to Ilili tonight. It was delicious!!! Thanks for the recommendation.


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Veg and the City