Hot Bird

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