Check out the menu for Lyla Lila, opening tomorrow in Midtown

Chicken liver and sweet potato ravioli doppio, fried pine nuts, tarragon from Lyla Lila.
Chicken liver and sweet potato ravioli doppio, fried pine nuts, tarragon from Lyla Lila.

Craig Richards and Billy Streck to bring ‘elegant, approachable’ menu to neighborhood

A well-known Atlanta chef and restaurateur are joining forces on a new restaurant opening Dec. 6 in Midtown.

Located on the ground level of the Lilli Midtown apartment tower on Peachtree Street Northeast, Lyla Lila comes from chef Craig Richards and restaurateur Billy Streck. The pair met in 2011 and entered into a culinary partnership in 2018, with Richards taking over the kitchen at Hampton & Hudson, owned by Streck and his wife, Jenn.

Lyla Lila will “welcome guests with an elegant, while approachable, menu highlighting southern European cuisine incorporating Richards’ distinct style of pasta making,” according to a press release.

Their new venture’s name is a nod to Richards’ daughter’s name (Lila) and Streck’s daughter’s middle name (Lila).

Both girls were named after their grandmothers, and by using both names it felt like a personal expression of ourselves and our families to the restaurant,” Richards said.

Richards previously oversaw the kitchens at Atlanta restaurants including La Tavola, Ecco and St. Cecilia in addition to serving as vice president of culinary for Ford Fry Restaurants.

Arancini, pork, Caciocavallo cheese, chili, fennel pollen from Lyla Lila
Arancini, pork, Caciocavallo cheese, chili, fennel pollen from Lyla Lila

In addition to Hampton & Hudson, Streck and his wife co-own Cypress Street Pint & Plate and pizza eatery Nina & Rafi on the Eastside Beltline. 

Lyla Lila’s menu will highlight elements of southern Italian and Spanish cuisines with starters including cold smoked scallop, cider aioli, green harissa and Sardinian crackers; seven pasta dishes such as crispy lasagna with duck, heirloom carrots and cocoa béchamel and spaghetti with Sicilian pork ragu, langoustines and bottarga; main courses including wood-fired rabbit with smoked apple, Georgia cider, charred okra and dried olives and pork Porterhouse with Jerusalem artichokes, farro and squid ink; and vegetables including cauliflower with sherry, pine nuts, chili and basil.

The beverage program will feature the use of seasonal ingredients with a nod toward boutique producers, especially those utilizing sustainable practices in addition to being family or female owned.

“Our cocktail program will pair seamlessly with our menu, showcasing bright flavors, perfect to enjoy as an aperitif or pre-theater libation,” beverage manager Angela Guthmiller said in a prepared statement.

Guthmiller plans to create cordials and infusions with ingredients already in use by the kitchen, and the wine list will be “old-world leaning, highlighting bio-dynamic and natural European producers with an emphasis on sparkling varietals.”

Black Venere rice, parmigiano cream, four peppercorns, crispy bok choi from Lyla Lila.
Black Venere rice, parmigiano cream, four peppercorns, crispy bok choi from Lyla Lila.

The 4,000 square-foot space designed by Smith Hanes Studio concentrated on “the return to analog, drawing inspiration from Richards’ interests in literature, art and jazz.”

Design elements include hand-laid plaster, walnut paneling and Mediterranean-style tile floors as well as blush colored velvet curtains and dark green velvet chairs, hand-blown glass light fixtures and Noguchi paper lanterns.

The bar space was designed to feel like “a bustling living room, where bartenders craft cocktails and play a selection of LP’s, surrounding an inner lit bar.”

Featured artwork includes a collection of mid-century abstract pieces by artists David Cohen and Alisa Barry and a custom sculpture from artist Sonya Yong James, honoring the collection of women who taught Richards to cook. Connected to the dining room is a 26-seat private dining room that can be separated with curtains, featuring wallpaper painted by Atlanta artist Tommy Taylor.

Lyla Lila will initially open for dinner service from 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, with plans to extend meal services to lunch and brunch in 2020.

693 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. lylalilaatl.com/

Scroll down to see the full menu for Lyla Lila

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