Presentation is everything, and I was very impressed when I visited the Gilded Lilly Monday.
As I rushed inside the Gilded Lily from the first slush of the season, I was a greeted by the jingle of a bell and jangle of softly playing Christmas music.
I was a bit stunned at the elaborate decor inside the little house. I had always taken passing note of the Gilded Lily while driving by on Broadway Street; the restaurant’s outside appearance is obviously cared for and meant to welcome customers. The inside is even nicer.
The walls are painted a rich red and another room painted white, covered in decorations reminiscent of a grandma’s very fashionable tearoom. This 20-something immediately felt at home, warmed by the smell of cooking chicken and spiced teas.
There are two dining rooms, one white and brightly lit, the other red and softly lit. The Gilded Lily is currently decorated for Christmas, and the tables have tree ornaments and some have tiny table lamps. The tables are a bit close together, but I would call the arrangement cozy.
So it happened that I was the only customer at the time, and obviously new in town. The menu was helpfully explained to me, and I chose the chicken salad and Assam tea.
The tea was brought in a novelty snowman teapot, about big enough for two cups (Free refills on hot water. What a deal! Assam becomes stronger as it steeps, so you may get a good six cups out of one bag).
The chicken salad was the mayonnaise-based kind of salad. There are a good variety of other foods, including a number of leafy salads and soups.
The chicken salad came with a piece of thick bread and cinnamon butter spread, and a nicely sized fruit cup. The fruit cup had pomegranates, oranges, bananas, apples and grapes, all of my favorite fruits. I must say, the way the food was presented made me regretful to ruin the display.
‘Okay,’ I thought to myself, ‘It looks nice, but does it taste nice? Will I be full?’
The food is heavy and filling. The chicken salad was flavorful, the bread thick, and the fruit fresh. At the end of my meal I was pleasantly full without being stuffed to the brim, and had to turn down the offer of pastries and more tea. Had I not been rushed to return to work, I would have been inclined to sit and relax, and chat a little a longer.
I was also given a sample of the Gilded Lily’s specialty Hummingbird Cake, made with fruits and nuts. I would suggest sharing a piece of this cake with someone, it’s extremely sweet, rich, heavy and delicious.
I paid $11.66 for my hearty, relaxing meal and I will likely return. There’s a shop upstairs which I did not visit, but I’m sure it’s filled with lovely merchandise. The owner of the Gilded Lily has a great sense of style after all. The teas are also for sale.
Also, should you be interested in bringing your vegetarian friend, the chef said with a bit of notice, she would be glad to change some of the menu to not include meat.
The Gilded Lily is located at 405 N. Broadway, is open 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and can be reached at 812-662-8229.
Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004