Lilia feels so fresh and breezy, there’s no way to tell that the space was carved from a former auto-body shop. It’s a soulful, happy place where Missy Robbins, one of only 10 female chefs in the country to hold a Michelin star, can celebrate what she does best: Italian cuisine.
“In preparation to open Lilia, I realized that some of my favorite dishes were the lightest: simple grilled fish, the classic pastas where the ingredients are the stars, the roasted vegetables,” says Robbins, a 2006 Restaurant Hospitality Rising Star and 2010 Food & Wine Best New Chef.
The 70-seat casual restaurant in Williamsburg, NY, features handmade tiles, exposed brick, wooden banquettes and natural wood tables. The centerpiece of the restaurant is an open kitchen showcasing a custom-made wood grill and rotisserie, where many dishes are prepared.
While most menu items are rooted in Italian tradition, Robbins brings a modern light touch to dishes such as Malfadini Pasta with pink peppercorns and Black Bass with salsa verde and coal-roasted potatoes. As the former executive chef of Spiaggia in Chicago and A Voce in New York City, Robbins has found her own groove at Lilia, which makes it one of the most exciting Italian restaurants to open in Brooklyn in a very long time.