236 5th Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1000140.744307 -73.987860
Lunch - Mon:Friday 11:30a - 2:30p
Dinner - Sun: Wed 5:30pm - 10:00pm
Thur:Sat 5:30pm - 11:30pm
Neighborhoods: Midtown South Central, Midtown
A distinctly modern and urbane version of middle-eastern / meditteranean food, the brilliant Phillipe Massoud's Lebanese-inflected small plates restaurant achieves a level of cool usually beyond the reach of hummus and mezes.
Great place for sharing, delicious food, friendly wait staff, great restaurant week options – Recently had dinner here during restaurant week...don't let the decor or attitude of the hostess fool you. The drinks are delicious (and much less expensive during happy hour) and the wait staff is extremely friendly and helpful; providing suggestions and explaining the dishes. We ordered off of the restaurant week menu and shared all of the plates. We were so full and hadn't even had dessert yet. The lamb is delicious (try the burger) as were the sausages, the fries, fish and other dishes. We will definitely be returning.
GREAT MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE & A COOL SETTING – Not your usual Mediterranean cuisine, the food here is as good if not better than the best neighborhood Lebanese restaurants, but far more adventurous. And unlike the usually eclectic decor of the latter, the elegance and spaciousness of ilili evidences a cohesive and very cool interior design. If you're in the mood for some turbo-supercharged Mediterranean cuisine in a classy setting, this is the place for you (and don't forget to try the distinctive "chewy" ice cream).
Good food but where's the rest of it? – Our first course was amazing! As we are waiting for the second course out came the dessert menus. We never received the second course we ordered. The manager and waitstaff were quite gracious and apologetic for the error. It worked out as we were SO full we wouoldn't have been able to eat the second round. Great Sangria!!
Delicous and Trendy Lebanese – I've been at least half a dozen times. The Kibbeh Naya is outstanding ( steak tartar), lamb sausages as good as in Damascus or Allepo..the classics are perfectly prepared and always fresh in a city with lots of Middle eastern food done wrong..
Great Food with Amazing Variety, This Establishment Truly Values its Customers. – Since we went to ilili 2 times, and we enjoyed it, we decided to celebrate my birthday with our families there last Friday. The service wasn't spectacular, and so I decided to write a review explaining my experience. The next day I received a phone call from the GM apologizing for the poor service that I received. Her name was Eva, she was very nice, and assured me that service would be much improved on my next visit to ilili. She also made a drastic effort to make sure I return to the restaurant. She delivered a gift card to my home. It is very rare that an establishment values its customers as much as I felt valued by ilili. The feeling that I got was that they were apologetic, and wanted me to return for another try. I will definitely do this. Keep in mind my only complaint was about poor service, and this was the first time it had happened after going to the restaurant 2 previous times. Anyways the food is phenomenal, and look forward to going again in the near future.
They have some amazing dishes such as the brussel sprouts (yes, brussel sprouts) which are unlike any other brussel sprouts I have ever tried anywhere (I mean this in a good way). In addition, the lamb kebab is phenomenal, I grew up in a Russian household where kebabs are like macaroni & cheese in American households. In addition the steak tartar is amazing, the duck shawarma is a must try, and also the cheese with the egg is pretty good. Stay away from the fried fish, it has alot of bones, and isn't really anything special. My recommendation is to try food that are unique, and different to this establishment. The rest of the food that I have tried included the peppers in yogurt, the eggplant appetizer is just ok. Also the passion infused vodka is very good. They have a really solid drink menu.
Above average Lebanese food in a swanky midtown setting – The flavors could be a little more authentic as it focuses too much on food presentation and the beautiful decor. I went there with a bunch of fellow Lebanese to try it out. Our reaction to the dishes was mixed. Raw kibbeh, mixed grills, baba ghanouj, grape leaves were excellent, the Achta dessert gets 10/10, while the mujaddarah was a travesty, the tabbouleh mediocre, and the Turkish coffee was served unacceptably lukewarm and not freshly prepared. Clearly they are not catering to a clientele that knows that cuisine well. The service was slow, not too organized, and not at all knowledgeable about Lebanese food! Finally the portions were smallish, and the prices highly inflated.
Staple in the neighborhood – Our favorite new restaurant in Flatiron....amazing food and good vibe - go with a date or with a group of friends. You will not be disappointed!!!!!
Lebanese food for a Lebanese gal – Really, really. . .seriously good Lebanese food. 6 of us went for dinner and ordered all kinds of plates from the Baba Ghannouj to the Beef Kabob & Red Mullet yet nothing had a shortcoming of any sort. I wouldn't call this fusion at all, straight up Lebanese, possibly better than mama's (shhhh.....). The downstrairs was a bit of a yuppie "scene" not usually my style but would go back again simply for the delicious food. Yes it is new a joint but hopefully the chef doesn't lose steam, I know he had me going! The restaurant was busy but held true to the reservation and the service was still attentive although the 3 hosts (females) didn't seem to know what they were doing, egh. . .we got sat! OHHH! Did I mention the drinks, HELLO! I had the "From Beirut with Love" or maybe it was "From Tripoli with Love" nonetheless it was the truest love I have had thus far.
Forget the stars.....rated...4 hard nipples (my partners' included) comparable to a soft breath on the neck. It doesn't get better.
Lebanese Mediterranean Gem – New York City has finally been blessed with a superb Lebanese Mediterranean Restaurant. Master chef and restauranteur, Philippe Massoud, has managed to raise the bar on all aspects of Lebanese Mediterranean cuisine. Ilili's menu, portion size, and atmosphere have been crafted to perfection. I do not leave without ordering the Kibbeh Nayeh as an appetizer. The portion sizes allow for sharing, so we usually order many appetizers and entrees to share amongst our party. The specialty drinks are not be missed either - the Beruit Lemonade is my favorite. I spend my time between New York and the Middle East, and can honestly say that Ilili's cuisine is by far the best I have come across. I hope Mr. Massoud will open more locations in the near future- the Lebanese Mediterranean category will flourish with his years of expertise. Ilili is an experience not to be missed.
best lebanese fusion food EVER – Went to ilili with a small group and it was EXCELLENT! ordered 11 dishes for 5 people and it was just enough. Every single thing brought to our table that night was absolutely delicious. I have yet to eat a better medditeranean fusion meal. Worth mentioning: the Chankleech, warm eggplant, the black cod was to die for. Meat dishes were perfectly cooked and juicy. Cocktails were interesting, service was impeccable(our waitress was super helpful and very nice) and the decor is great. I would definately recommend this place to anyone and revisit many many times!
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