Lilia - Go! Immediately! But you cant

Hard to get a table until the weather improves. Even if it means showing up whenever and eating at the bar. Once the weather improves they’ll have a lot more space outside.
The space is striking in a way. A former auto shop. Spacious, nice high ceiling, comfortable, even tho there’s one employee for each diner it seems running around.

The food matches the great hype and then some for me at least. Great raw material throughout, like the veggies that come with the Bagna Cauda (like best of Union Sq market), and the cauliflower with the spicy soppressata. The pastas are particularly strong - Malfadini is essentially cacio e pepe on crack! Pappardelle with a simple tomato free veal ragu is some of the best “Bolognese” I’ve had in NYC. Puts the Via Carota version I had the other to shame.

The black bass with salsa verde was excellent but too small for $29, especially once considering the other dishes. The veal steak was perfectly cooked and flavorful but could have used some of the veggies that come with the Bagna Cauda. Minor quibbles once you try the previous courses.

Overall, one of the best meals in recent memory

What’s the base for the ragu?

I just wish I had the opportunity to make it to Brooklyn when I’m in NYC.

Think back to when you made that great Italian dish at home, that time all your moves worked to make a the dish which seemed simple and you saw in a flash the heart of Italian approach to food. This is what Lilia regurally does, which is why return visits seem so natural.

HoneyCauliflower, Spicy Soppressata, Sicilian Pesto, Maiora
Grilled Fennel, Marinated Capers, Basil, Citrus
Grilled Ramps, Ricotta Salata, Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The antipasti I like best are largish portions of roasted veggies. The Cauliflower bracing, the fennel gentle. Ramps are a smaller sized portion, a delicate victory of a seasonal favorite

Grilled Clams, Calabrian Chili, Breadcrumbs
Zesty full flavored hit. I fellow bar regular shared hers with several of us,
Cured Sardines, Capers, Dill, Fettunta
Don`t miss this if your tastes run even near the item. The mildness of the cure is boosted by the big slice of butter between the fish and the grilled bread

Rigatoni Diavola, San Marzanos, Chilies, Oregano, Pecorino
Pappardelle, Veal Bolognese, Porcini, Nutmeg
Sheeps Milk Cheese Filled Agnolotti, Saffron, Dried Tomato, Honey
The pasta dishes I guess could be taken for everyday so sos until the second bite when you catch on to just how great they are. I have had many flasher Bolognese, made a few too, had some great ones but none better than this one. The near austere Diavola burned through a post wine tasting dip I had fallen into. The Agnolotti breaks the pattern of the restaurant, you know your not going to reproduce this one.

Black Bass, Salsa Verde, Coal Roasted Potatoes
Lamb Leg Steak, Roman Spices, Fennel, Celery
Grilled Veal (hanger cut)
If you have spent any amount of time in the bay area the smell of the restaurant will beam you right to, oh, any of several restos which feature the oder of an open wood burning grill mixed with the perfume of freshly chopped garlic (blew me to CP took my breath away).
Note - the large fish section contains great small portions of fish, great but small. The bass great the verde up there with the fish paste dipping sauce at my favorite Malay place.
The meat portions are generous and mostly successful. Grilled smokey full meat flavored cuts, Lamb Steak, Beef Steak are great great, the veal finished with vinegar was not for me

Cacio e Pepe Fritelle
Do not miss them if you like fried stuff. They settle any hash you might have had the proceeding week

Nice report.

Which restaurants in SF does Lilia remind you of?

The base is simply slow cooked meat and its juices.

Wow, great report. I’ll keep this in mind when we go back

Due to regime restrictions and feeling right full when the card was presented, I have usually skipped dessert. I have stopped in on occasion for sweets and coffee (stand out drip). Soft serve, olive oil cake, and chocolate cake, are all excellent simple direct in their appeal. The apple tart needs improvement, avoid

If you are happy with decent enough wine to act as a foil for the food the wine list will be good enough for you. If you want a great wine byob is necessary.

I expressed my feelings about the place in more constructive fashion here…

I’m glad your blog is still going strong @Ziggy.

For a while there you had me a bit concerned.