Authentic Food, Neighborhood Vibes Abound At Lillo

Located on picturesque Henry Street, directly across from a bustling little park, is a tiny, authentic Italian restaurant run by a Roman chef named Lillo. Everything about the place is straightforward: cash-only, six tables, the freshest ingredients and least complicated recipes. For Lillo (the person) and Lillo (the trattoria), less is decidedly more. “If you come after 5:00, you can’t get in,” a local
warns us.

Lillo’s mom taught him to cook, and today he makes pasta and pastries from scratch using imported Italian flour in his restaurant’s kitchen. When asked why he chose to open in this location he — no joke — pauses to say hello to three separate people walking by as he explains that this was the Brooklyn neighborhood that most felt like a community in Italy.

Get the homemade gnocchi, or the lasagna ragu, or the cacio e pepe… or anything Lillo decides to put on the menu that day. But do not — and we repeat, DO NOT — miss the homemade Italian pastries, for they are hands down the best we’ve ever had.