I’d heard about Miss Lily’s restaurant for a while: a native New Yorker had raved about it, I’d seen it in a few online publications, but perhaps most ironically it was featured in an email from Virgin that I received during my visit. Despite all this I was still quite sceptical, as far as I’m concerned the best Caribbean cuisine is often found in a low-key local shop. Miss Lily’s however manages to bring an authentic taste of Jamaica to lower Manhattan…successfully!
Upon arrival we were greeted by a very friendly and enthusiastic hostess who decided to ‘walk and wine’ as she seated us! There were no complaints from my party…the music was great (think dancehall artists such as Mavado and Aidonia, as well as the more obvious choices such as Chaka Demus and Pliers) so I didn’t blame her at all.
The menu consisted mostly of traditional dishes such as Curry Goat, Oxtail and Steamed Fish; there were a few oddballs such ‘Fish Tacos,’ I have never in my life known any Caribbean island to serve tacos, but overall the menu was quite impressive. I ordered the Oxtail and my friends ordered the Curry Goat and Jerk Chicken.
I tried Pink Ting for the first time, it has nothing on the original!
So what did I think?
When the food arrived my friend who had ordered the Curry Goat was annoyed that the rice and meat were served separately, I found this odd for a Caribbean restaurant, and even more so when my Oxtail dish arrived with the rice served on the same plate, so I guess it varies depending on the dish. I didn’t try anybody else’s meal, but my Oxtail was delicious and tender, and the rice and peas were good also, however everybody enjoyed their food with no (real) complaints.
Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas, and Festivals
Would I go back?
Definitely, the food is really good and the restaurant has a cool, laid back vibe, plus the mixture of Dancehall and Soca music put us in the mood to party (which we did on a Sunday night…only in New York). Next time I’d like try out Melvin’s Juice Box which serves fresh, organic juices.
Who’s it for?
Those who already love Caribbean food, as well as those who may trying it for the first time, I love the fact that it’s in an accessible part of town which makes it a great option for tourists.
Overall rating: 5/5! I’m a huge fan of Negril, but I think Miss Lily’s may just be my new fave…