ilili

4.6
5339 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Lebanese
Tradition meets sophistication at ilili, New York City's premier contemporary Lebanese restaurant offering inspired Mediterranean cuisine. ilili's menu mixes authentic dishes with modern Mediterranean influences to create a culinary journey for the palate and senses. Complimenting the international cuisine, ilili offers an impressive wine list that includes wines from all over the world and features favorites from Lebanon and the Mediterranean.

The restaurant's decor echoes the diverse menu, combining the architectural richness of Old Lebanon with an attitude and style that is unmistakeably New York. A DJ sets the mood with music from around the globe and soft, amber lighting punctuated by candles create a sexy, sophisticated atmosphere in which to enjoy a relaxed meal. The cuisine, decor and ambiance come together to create a new world for your senses to explore, whispering gently in your ear, ilili.
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Private Dining

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Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Join us with your loved one(s) this Valentine's Day for a 5-course prix-fixe dinner at ilili. The prix-fixe ($125pp) will include a-la-carte menu items and Valentine Day specials.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

What Insiders Are Saying

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What 5339 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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D
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined 4 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow. What an amazing experience! My daughter and I are in town for her 13th birthday trip to see NY and some theater. This restaurant came highly recommended and it did not disappoint.

We love Middle Eastern cuisine and were excited to try the twists served here!

Billy Shaw (a manager) was super helpful in helping us select food from the menu. My daughter and I wanted one of everything but since we were just the two of us...that wasn’t possible.

We ate family style sharing hummus (you can add things to it like jalapeños and pine nuts), some sort of sun dried tomatoes with pomegranate dip (that was outstanding), fattoush (a lovely lemony salad with crispy pita), these amazing fried cheese rolls (can’t remember the name!). And the fresh pita came out right from the oven...all puffed up and warm!

Our warm dishes Included crispy eggplant (which I couldn’t stop eating), falafel, kibbeh with this delicious yogurt sauce.

And then to celebrate my daughters bday we got a yummy chocolate ganache with pistachio and ice cream as well as a clotted cream with fruit, honey and pistachios. And my daughter’s dessert had a candle for her bday so she felt extra special!

We left stuffed! No need for dinner reservations tonight, lol!

Our waiter, Steven, was super helpful, friendly and gave us great service!

I enjoyed a delicious glass of a local Sauvignon Blanc and had a sweeter version for dessert.

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. Next trip we will be back for dinner!

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B
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing flavors! Interesting menu. Excellent service. Wonderful ambiance.

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h
New York Area
56 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food is always good. Service can be spotty.

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JB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

The dishes are to heavy,
Main space great , bar great ,
Ajoining room to cold to loud

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent octopus abs Humus. Lamb was too large and not so spicy.

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OT
Seattle
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite restaurant when I have business travel in NY! Staff is always pleasant and helpful and the food is phenomenal and supports a wide range of dietary requirements.
Love love love! Open one in Seattle please!

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c
New York Area
25 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and ambiance are absolutely fantastic. The only slight negative was despite the reservation and several open tables, we had to wait 20 minutes to be seated.

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OT
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ilili improves with every visit. Delicious innovations to classic Lebanese dishes.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 1food 4service 2ambience 4

8:15 reservation, did not eat until 9:45. Saw multiple
parties that arrived after us getting seated ahead of us. Lobby waitress had a terrible attitude; it was clear she was overworked without help, but still not an excuse to actually be mean. Our actual server for dinner was fantastic, she had a great attitude. They did comp us a round of drinks, which was very nice of them; but I think it’s unacceptable that they make us put a credit card down for the reservation with a penalty for cancellation while it was very clear that the place was overbooked.

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OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Very busy for a late reservation.. tried to check-in early but that was not possible due to volume of people. Very loud by the waiting area. Once we were seated there was good service, the appetizers were great but the main meal (mix grill) was very poorly cooked and gamey. This was very very disappointing given the reviews and typically what you wouldn’t get from a high end restaurant. The quality of middle eastern cuisine was far below many other less expensive places you can eat at in the city. For that way too pricy for the experience, would 100% recommend trying another place!

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Waiter messed up order and forgot whole round of drinks. Rushed us out the door with three courses being served In under an hour despite spending $400.

Food was amazing, service was unacceptable.

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D
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food experience!!

Absolutely love the food and service.

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MK
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

service was rushed and uneven.

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p
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

It was very loud- but the food was good. Had a great waitress but hostesses were aloof.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot! Highly recommend but a bit pricey

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t
London
4 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

It wasn't hard to spend $150pp with tip. Expensive but the food is good.

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OT
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal

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IV
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

I have been there several times in the past and loved it! Although the menu appears to be creative and original, the flavors and quality appear to have suffered a bit since my last experience. The serving sizes looked bigger but the quality was mediocre at best. The tables are too close to each other and not a lot of room for conversation. It is still a "fun" place and would recommend it for larger groups to share plates, but I was disappointed and don't think I'll go back!

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n
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

best lebanese in NYC! ambiance, service, location all make this one a winner.

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M
Vancouver
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great Libanese experience! We loved the ambiance, service and the food. It is very unique and chique/casual.

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RF
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

One of my favorites. Ambiance trendy and casual. Food is delicious. We usually do a bunch of cold and hot appetizes. My favorites are the brussel sprouts and chicken livers. Miss the bone marrow since they took it off the menu

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great dinner. Nice food. Yummy drinks. Cool ambiance.

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T
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Ottimo ristorante solo servizio un po’ pressante cibo ottimo

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TW
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Very good food, but a very noisy restaurant. It's too speed!

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RA
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

It was New Years Eve ,last year was awesome.Sadly this year they had a horrible DJ no one danced till after midnight and that’s only because some folks requested a couple songs.This is a middle eastern Mediterranean restaurant yet the new manager forbade!!!!the DG to play Arabic music!I saw a group dancing the Dabke while Techno music was going!No food off the preset menu could be ordered either.Last year we supplemented with many many dishes!If the new manager is embarrassed by his ethnicity or does not find it cool enough sorry a huge amount of people there chose Ilili because it is Lebanese.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

NYE was wonderful!

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great ! Staff very kind and prof.
Food absolutely delicious.

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OT
Munich
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Main part of the restaurant for bigger groups and frie

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M
Orlando
14 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! The apps were terrific and we all got the mixed grill. Wine was a good value and the cocktails were great.

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L
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress (name forgotten) was fantastic. She along with the hostesses to the bus men were amazing. It was my second visit but my date’s first time. We both loved the food, servers and ambiance.

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RJ
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 4ambience 1

This was my 3rd visit to Ilili. I am a New Yorker and have been living in the city for 5+ years. Each time I've gone through the years, the prices have hiked up and the portions have gotten smaller and smaller.

We ordered:
1. the mixed grill at a whopping $72, and it literally had a few pieces of meat on it.
2. MOUHAMARA, which was 3 minuscule scoops and lacked flavor.
3. The brussel sprouts were $18, more than I've ever paid in my lifetime for a cheap vegetable.
4. OCTOPUS - tiny portion $24

This place needs an identity check:
1. Do they want to just tune into tourists who are in the city for the weekend? or...
2. Become somewhere that New Yorkers will frequent.

I've been to several fine dining restaurants in NYC and am totally comfortable paying a premium for good food and experience. This place is NOT comparable to Gato, Freemans, Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern or il Mulino.

Eat here if you expect to go home hungry and want to waste a few hundred dollars.

And there will not be a 4th visit.

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress, Star, was amazing, friendly, and had great recommendations. The duck schwarma and mixed plate were delicious as was everything else we had.

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Miami
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ilili is a perfect spot to celebrate a special occasion! We went here for our anniversary and our server Michael was extremely nice and attentive. The food was amazing especially the duck Shawarma. They surprised us at the end with complimentary champagne to celebrate our anniversary. All around an amazing place!

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MQ
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, wonderful service( special mention to our server Star who was so nice and so attentive) great ambience and delicious drinks!

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c
Tampa
17 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

What an amazing experience! Moustafa (our server) was very attentive and full of energy. He made the ordering process very easy and explained the menu clearly. The food was delicious! Have cocktails at the bar first, then sit at a table. The portions are perfectly sized and shareable. Service was outstanding!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food!!! Everything was amazing. Caution that the portions were small. As a group of 5, we shared 6 mezzas and we were licking the bowls clean.

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a
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

Service was outstanding but the quantity of food is minimal, the mixed grill which was 72 dollars was not sufficient for two people at all! Thank you.

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J
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and food was excellent! Definitely would recommend this to anyone and it’s a beautiful restaurant.

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AW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a large double stroller and there was plenty of room in the restaurant to accomodate. It is large enough and loud enough that we didn’t worry about our infants crying (not too loud but enough ambient noise).

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AE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Excellent food, great service. Excellent wine. Good music

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