My wife and I were getting ready to head back from Richmond one Saturday night, and I thought it would be great to find a black-owned business in the city to have dinner. A quick Google search led us to Lillie Pearl which was close by and in the direction we needed to take to head home. So we decided to try it out. This is my Lillie Pearl Review.
The restaurant seemed pretty packed when we got there, but thankfully they were able to find us a table without having a reservation. Immediately after we sat down I felt the ambiance of the restaurant, and it felt like we belonged their. The lights were dimmed and they had some chill R&B music playing in the background that added to the ambiance of the restaurant. One of the songs I remembered hearing I liked so much that looked it up later, because I didn't know the name of the song or who sung it. The song was Free by Deniece Williams, which was released in 1976. I'm starting to think I have an attraction to 60's and 70's R&B soul music.
The ambiance of the restaurant reminded me of Brothers, which is another great upscale restaurant (without the upscale price) located in downtown Norfolk. The food at Lillie Pearl was delicious. I had the lobster crab cakes, and my wife had their huge braised lamb shank. For an appetizer we shared their roasted cauliflower, and if you drink alcohol, try their Hotter than July mixed drink.
Lillie Pearl is owned by the husband and wife team Chef Michael Lindsey and Kimberly Love-Lindsey. The about section of the website talks about the vision behind the restaurant. While doing a little bit of research, I discovered that Lillie Pearl is just one of several restaurants that belong to the Lindsey Food Group empire. They also own Buttermilk and Honey, Bully Burger, Rams House, Jubilee, ML Steak, and even an event space called RedBird Social. The Lindsey Food Group are clearly doing big things in the city of Richmond. Their success with the ownership of several black-owned businesses within the community reminds me of Hampton's Simply Panache Groupe that I mentioned in my Mango Mangeaux review.
With all of these other businesses under the Lindsey Food Group umbrella, I'm sure that they are also helping to support the black community by providing jobs to black people. That's the feeling I get after reading how Lillie Pearl pays homage to all of Chef Mike's grandparents. In fact, Lillie Pearl is named after Chef Mike's grandmother. I'm a believer that remembering where you come from helps you in where you're going. I believe that the Lindsey Food Group will continue to excel and be an economic powerhouse for the community and for the city of Richmond.