Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lunching at Lillie's-NYC Part One

I have been a voracious reader since the time I first learned how to read.  There is nothing I love more than escaping into a good book; living the life of someone else if only for a little while. I was perhaps the rare child who didn’t mind reading a book and then sharing my new friends with others through the process of book reports.  
As an adult I love reading a little bit of everything, but as a kid I was stuck in a genre rut.  I loved historical fiction books and if the book involved an orphan or a boarding school, or an orphan now attending a boarding school, well for me that was little girl nirvana.  I’m not sure if my sixth grade teacher Mrs. Tambussi recognized my reading rut or if she just thought I would really like the book, but while we were picking books for our next round of book reports she suggested that I read Matilda by Roald Dahl. 

As the eleven year old me read this book the world was suddenly filled with vibrant color.  It was my first introduction to snark.  The book was poking fun at all of the shallow people that exasperated an introverted geeky girl like me.  At a time in my life when many girls were overly concerned with the height of their bangs and the day when their mothers would finally allow them to wear lipstick, Matilda made a hero out of a little girl who was smart and loved reading books. The writing/story was weird, crazy, with just the right amount of silly.  Some people who have read my fiction have stated that they can see a touch of Roald Dahl.  Matilda is one of those characters that I packed away in the well of the soul that bookish girls draw from when they need strength.

When I heard that Matilda the Musical, only being performed in London, was finally making its debut on Broadway in New York City, I was more than just a little persistent.

“So when are going to see Matilda? You do understand that we have to see Matilda?  Do you know how important Matilda has been to me throughout my life?” 

These are the sentences my husband had to listen to over the past couple of years.  We were going to to see the play last year, but we usually work off of a one Broadway excursion per year plan, and when we saw the opportunity to see Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen in Waiting for Godot, Matilda would have to wait.  Finally for my birthday this year the time had come.

We left for NYC at an incredibly early hour.  We were determined to give ourselves plenty of time.  We caught the train at Hamilton, then took the blue line (so much less stressful than the red line) to 50th street.  
We were a little unsure what to do as it was more than an hour before our lunch choice opened.  
Normally we would walk around and take in some sights, but the weather was too frigid. We found a fun little coffee shop, grabbed some coffees and a waffle to share, 

and became privy to an amazing conversation that I think is worth mentioning.

 The conversation took place between a high school senior and a college recruiter. The recruiter was from Les Roches, a prestigious school that specializes in hospitality management.  The high school girl’s father wants her to apply to Cornell to study medicine, but the girl hated all of her biology and chemistry classes and can’t imagine having to spend the rest of her life devoted to something she isn’t passionate about.  Her passions leaned in the global hospitality industry direction.  The recruiter did a spectacular job. By the time we were ready to leave I wanted to ask if I could get an application to the school.  The school is based in Switzerland. The first semester of the program takes place in Switzerland. The second semester is in China, and the third semester is in Spain.  As part of the curriculum, you spend several weeks in various other countries to immerse yourself in their culture. You get to take classes like “pastry and baking,” and “The Gastronomy of Spain.”  I wanted to grab that student and shake her by her shoulders shouting,


With visions of global travel swirling through my head, we departed the coffee shop to lunch at Lillie’s.

 Lillie’s feels like walking into a Victorian dream.  

It’s beautiful, cozy, with a sense of quirk.  

It is the perfect place for a pre-matinee lunch.  They even have a matinee special.  For $13.00 you can have a salad or a sandwich or an entrée and a beverage, which includes wine and beer. 

Since we were going to a British play, I chose the Shepherd’s Pie and a glass of white wine.  It was warm and comfy in my belly.

Shannon also got a glass of white wine and the Chicken Pot Pie.

 We wanted to also split some kind of appetizer. Our server suggested the Parmesan truffle fries, and I am glad she did, they were fantastic.

I appreciated that they were cut thicker than most Parmesan truffle fries. The thicker cut caused them to have delicate fluffy centers.  They were neither too dry, nor too soggy with truffle oil, and you could tell that the restaurant did not skimp on the quality of the Parmesan.  

We topped the meal off with one of the creamiest crème brulees I have ever had. 

We had a delightful afternoon looking round, seeing something different at every glance and discussing our own someday traveling plans. It was such a nice lunch. If you are going to New York City to see a matinee, I recommend lunching at Lillie's. 

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