Top-notch chicken steals the show at Miss Lily's
Plenty of the patrons at Miss Lily's aren't particularly focused on the food.
As befits the reputations of its owners--the nightlife princes behind 1Oak, The Box and La Esquina--this new Greenwich Village spot offers ample distraction in the form of blasting reggae on the speakers and a well-heeled waitstaff strutting the floor.
Try your best to stay focused: The Jamaican-leaning menu equals (if not exceeds) its swanky environs. Chef Bradford Thompson, once of Daniel and Lever House, has spent ample time on the island with his Jamaican-born wife, and his mastery of the cuisine is evident in ethereally light codfish fritters ($9) and a double-marinated spicy goat curry ($22).
But his jerk chicken ($19), one of the best poultry dishes we've had this year, has a Brooklyn provenance: Upon moving from Jamaica to New York, Thompson's mother-in-law was the owner and culinary talent behind Glen's Original Jerk Chicken restaurant in Flatbush, a bastion of spiced bird in the '80s.
Glen's has since closed, and Thompson's mother-in-law has since passed away, but her jerk-sauce recipe--a perfectly rendered combination of Scotch bonnet peppers, scallions, ginger and secret spices--lives on at Miss Lily's, accompanying every plate of Thompson's exceedingly tender chicken.
For those who aren't up to the clamor of the evening crowd, take heart: The dish is also on the just-launched lunch menu. And soon Thompson will be bottling and selling the sauce at the restaurant--perfect for those nights when sweats are preferable to party clothes.
Miss Lily's, 132 W. Houston St. (at Sullivan St.); 646-588-5375 or misslilysnyc.com
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