The mourning period for beloved East Village institution 7A Cafe has been mercilessly short thanks to Paul Salmon, a founding member of Joe's Pub and owner of SoHo's Miss Lily's, which recently debuted its second outpost inside the former 24-hour eatery. The Jamaican restaurant has set up shop inside the space at 7th Street and Avenue A, transforming the formerly casual spot into a vibrant one. Every pattern and color in the rainbow is represented here, mixed in with vinyl sleeves, concert posters, magazine covers, and a large framed portrait of Grace Jones, naturally. It's a much more exciting and evocative space than its predecessor; the same could be said for the food coming out of the kitchen.
For that, look to Executive Chef Adam Schop, who's responsible for the menus at both Lily's locations. There are many crossovers between the two, like the Pepper Shrimp ($13), Oxtail Stew ($19) and selection of proteins (chicken, tofu, salmon, etc.) available for the jerk treatment. The new menu includes the 7A Salad ($8) with crunchy veggies in a carrot-miso dressing, the Jamaican Patty Melt ($14), the Hellshire Fish & Chips ($19), served escovitch style with lots of vinegary bite.
The joint won't be a 24-hour affair like the former 7A but they're definitely curling a finger towards the boozing set with potent specialty cocktails that serve dual purpose at heat killers post scotch bonnet consumption and fire starters to fuel a night on the town. Try the Lily's Punch ($11, $42 pitcher) with rum, pineapple, fruit punch and orange juice or perhaps a Frozen Dark & Stormy ($9) with Kelvin Natural ginger slush and dark rum. Or fortify any of the drinks with a One Drop ($3) of Rum Blackwell, Appleton Gold or Wray & Nephew.
109 Avenue A, 212-812-1482; misslilys.com. Open for dinner daily at 5 p.m. with weekend brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.