Place: Lillie’s Union Square
Neighborhood: Union Square, 3 E. 17th St. (between 5th Ave. & Broadway)
The scoop: If I didn’t know Lillie’s Union Square was a restaurant, I would walk past it thinking it is a furniture shop. The antique feeling at Lillie’s is interesting and different yet comfortable. Judging by the atmosphere, you may think it is too fancy and feel out of place, but trust me, you can enjoy a casual brunch here. The atmosphere is very exquisite, from the chandeliers to the stained-glass windows and paintings. High ceilings and red velvet seats add to the comfortable vibe. There is also a long bar where people can relax, chat or watch TV while enjoying a drink.
Many of the antique furnishings originated from a Victorian mansion in Belfast, Ireland. You may wonder who the lady is in the painting that stands out at the back of the restaurant. Her name is Lillie Langtry and she was a well-known British actress and socialite from the late 1800s.
Our waitress provided us with decent service. She remembered all three of our orders (and substitutions) without writing them down, and she checked on us frequently to see if we needed anything. Also, we didn’t have to wait long for our drinks or food.
Bottoms up: Each brunch dish comes with a complimentary bloody Mary, mimosa or draft beer. Also, with your first FourSquare check-in, you can get a free pint of beer or glass of wine. Marissa and I both checked-in, and they allowed us to have two freebies.
I was glad that a draft beer was included as part of their brunch special. When I heard that the seasonal beer at Lillie’s was a wheat beer, I knew I had to try it. This drink was light, refreshing and delicious. I absolutely loved it, and if you like wheat beers, you will love it as well.
Marissa enjoyed the taste of her mimosa, and she noticed that it was on the pulpy side.
Matt had better-and-worse-tasting bloody Marys. It lacked the fresh tomato taste, and it had too much ice, making it watery.
Grilled Ham & Cheese $15 / Country ham & choice of swiss or cheddar. Add fried egg for $1
The ham and cheddar sandwich was tasty, but Marissa thought it was too greasy and was turned off by the grease that dripped from it. She thought the sandwich was perfectly toasted providing a good amount of crispiness. This dish comes with fries, but she asked to substitute the fries for a salad. The salad was good and had the perfect amount of dressing. The sandwich would be a good hangover food, but it’s not something you would want to eat if you are looking for something fresh.
Steak & Eggs $17 / Eggs served any style
I was very pleased with my order. Not only was there an abundance of food, everything tasted great. There were an ample amount of nice and fluffy scrambled eggs that went well with my steak. I asked for my steak cooked medium and it was perfectly prepared with a little bit of a pink inside. It was juicy, tasty and wasn’t lacking anything. The dish comes with potatoes, but I asked for salad instead. I was glad I went with the salad because the steak was heavy, and it provided the balance that I needed. There was also a piece of tasty and fresh raisin bread on the dish.
Eggs Norwegian $15 / Two poached eggs on an English muffin with smoked salmon topped with hollandaise sauce
Matt enjoyed his eggs Norwegian, but he didn’t think it was satisfying. The eggs yolks oozed on to the english muffin and the salmon was good. It just wasn’t enough. The potatoes were perfectly seasoned, but he left wanting more.
The final bite: Although I can’t say how this place gets during happy hour or dinner time, I can say it is definitely a comfortable atmosphere for brunch. A classy ambiance and decent food makes this place worth visiting. If you like steak and eggs, I highly recommend this dish.
Reviewed by: Victoria