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