Midday Saturday isn’t exactly prime time for the pubby strip on Mamaroneck Avenue. But it’s no surprise that new restaurant Lilly’s nails brunch; its sister restaurant, Hudson Grille, is known for one of the best brunches in town. The scent of truffle oil wafted over from the large, open windows up front as a couple dug into a Morning Lilly Pizza from the brunch menu: mozzarella, fontina, crème fraîche, corned beef hash, and truffle oil, with a fried egg bullseye. Lilly’s has stepped out as a small plates and tapas restaurant that also does pizza, but the puffy, charred pies from its imported wood-burning oven might make you consider loosening your belt.
Did I mention it was Saturday? Brunch is available all weekend, a trend we hope will become standard (in fact, we have no problem if it grows to include Mondays).
Eclectic brunch dishes such as smoked fish flatbread and chicken and waffles complement appealing takes on the usual omelets and such, but you can also order from the dinner menu. Among the small plates, don’t expect many Spanish-style tapas (although I may have missed the boat by not ordering papas bravas with crème fraîche and chipotle peppers)—it’s foods of all nations, such as gnocchi, short ribs, and ricotta croquettes. Shrimp with pimento, lemon, and tarragon were good but didn’t convert me from classic gambas al ajillo. But Brussels sprouts with Caesar dressing and Parmesan are delicious, though I would have preferred the insides cooked just a bit longer, to match the crispy outer leaves.
The day is young, so you might want to follow your included mimosa or Bloody Mary with a Jazz Age-themed cocktail like The Sun Also Rises, Gershwin, or Black Tuesday (Bulleit bourbon, black tea, peach Schnapps, raw sugar). Or sip from the bank of popular wines on tap (e.g., Cupcake chardonnay), or 10 draft and 20 bottled beers. The milieu is modern Victoriana (think tufted banquettes, vintage photos, chandeliers), the place named after one of the owners’ grandmothers. Between the rear patio, fireplace, lunch sandwiches, and killer happy hour deals, you’ll want to keep a few extra quarters in the car for those hungry parking meters on your next trip to the strip.
169 Mamaroneck Ave
(914) 997-5600; lillyswp.com