Our Philosophy

ILILI Restaurant Co-Hosts the Paumanok Lamb Roast Each Year at Paumanok Vineyards, Aquebogue, NY

At the heart of our philosophy is the spirit hospitality and generosity.  Within the Middle Eastern culture how well one treats his or her guests is a direct measurement of what kind of a person he or she is. Generosity is among the most highly admired of virtues. Indeed, Middle Eastern families judge themselves and each other according to the amount of generosity they bestow upon their guests when they entertain. Whether one's guests are relatives, friends, neighbors, or relative strangers, they are welcomed into the home and to the dinner table with much the same kindness and generosity.

For Middle Easterners, hospitality lies at the heart of who they are – it is a matter of honor and also a sacred duty.  At ilili, you will be expected to extend this same generosity to each guest that comes through the door, as well as to each other.  We want to transport each of them to a place where all of their expectations are exceeded.  At ilili, no special request is denied.

We believe that the only legitimate foundation on which a restaurant is built is excellent service.  This concept of excellence applies to each and every employee, from back of the house to front of the house.  

Attitudes and performance in the kitchen, behind the bar, and at the bus and host stations ALL affect a guests’ experience – directly or indirectly.  Our mission ultimately is to have the highest repeat business in New York City by setting a precedence of service that exceeds all others. 

By providing consistently great food, great service and ambiance, we intend to create an impression that is lasting and guarantees “regulars”.  It is via the small details that we will establish a positive word of mouth (which is often stronger than any billboard advertising) which will establish for us longevity in the NY scene, as we are not seeking a short term buzz, but rather a legacy.