I went. I ate. I conquered – but not with much delight. Miss Lily’s
was less than my stellar expectations but hey, I aim high.
First off, talk about sceney. This place was too large a scene for too small a spot. It was as if I was in a Jamaican hideaway for hipsters. Half these people were probably too cool to actually go to a Jamaican jerk chicken stand in BK or the Bronx, so they come to a facade of one in Greenwich Village – go figure!
Since they don’t yet have a full liquor license, I grabbed a glass of red sangria while we waited for our table. I felt like I was on a Broadway play set for a Caribbean joint, but dressed in a down winter coat, boots and a scarf. Something was off.
After about 30 or so minutes, we were seated in the back room (thank gd because if I had to sit up front in the diner area, I think my claustrophobia would have gotten the best of me).
The back room was adorned like a vintage record shop/lounge, and with beats blaring through their speakers (the real ones, not the fake ones painted on the walls).
Based on a few recommendations, we ordered:
Cod Fish Fritters w/ curry dipping sauce
Cod Fish Fritters w/ curry dipping sauce: They look good right? Well I wouldn’t know how they tasted because I can’t eat them and no one else knew because the order never showed up!! By the time we realized, no one wanted them anymore.
Jerk Grilled Corn w/ toasted coconut
Jerk Grilled Corn w/ toasted coconut (gluten-free): Where was the coconut?? This corn definitely was trying to jerk us around and I was not that impressed. I’d take La Esquina’s corn over this any day of the my week, lifetime
Lobster Jaquitios (Jamaican tacos): I took the lobster off the tortilla and smothered it with the bottled sauce on the table only to realize it had wheat in it – bleg. But speaking of bottled sauces, can’t they at least bottle their own sauce? I know they are trying to be all “food stand-esqe”, but let’s be real here – this ain’t no stand with $20 jerk chicken.
Middle Quarters Pepper Shrimp peel and eat
Middle Quarters Pepper Shrimp peel and eat (gluten-free): Yes it is true, these shrimp actually come with the head & all, just for your peeling pleasure! Well I don’t like having to work for the food I am being served, so one laborious shrimp peeling effort was enough for me – which is a shame considering it actually had some good flavor.
Jerk Chicken w/ marinated cucumber salad
Jerk Chicken w/ marinated cucumber salad: This was an obvious order. Very tasty & moist - no complaints here (like a breath of fresh air). And I do love cucumber salad so that was a bonus. (ask about the gluten-free status)
Hellshire Style Fried Whole Snapper w/ escovitch vegetables
Hellshire Style Fried Whole Snapper w/ escovitch vegetables: Get that thing away from me – no seriously, please place it on the opposite side of the table from where I am sitting. I am pretty sure that is what I said when I saw this. Isn’t food supposed to at least look appetizing?
Oxtail Stew w/ natural gravy, broad beans: This was my 2nd favorite dish behind the chicken. Of course I didn’t ask if anything in the sauce had gluten, and I ended the night with a terrible tummy ache – so all you celiac’ers out there should probably check first.
We didn’t end up getting any “favourite cakes” since we were too annoyed after our waiter spilled sangria all over our table/seats. It is the restaurant’s name sake though so I would expect it to be good, but then again – who knows.
From Jamaican me hungry to Jamaican me wish I went somewhere else.
Pros: Good jerk chicken if you want to spend the money for it. Oh and they played some good throwbacks; ei: Sisqo – got to get it.
Cons: Too loud, crowded, lacking thoughtful preparation & there is only one bathroon (and a secret one hidden downstairs – oops).
Miss Lily’s: 123 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012, USA (646) 588-5375