Meil’s is gone. But don’t fret. Lilly’s Meals is here.
For 22 years, owners Kristin and Michael Meil ran a cozy restaurant serving comfort food at the corner of Main and Bridge Streets in Stockton. That all ended in August when they decided it was time to retire. But they chose a worthy successor in Lilly Salvatore, the local restaurateur known on both sides of the river for serving up good food.
Unless you’re new to the area, you’ve heard of Lilly’s. Lilly’s Gourmet, a cozy storefront serving sandwiches, salads and entrees, opened 13 years ago in Doylestown. Café America with its Latin American-influenced menu followed next door. Then Lilly’s on the Canal opened 8 years ago and became a fixture in Lambertville dining. Salvatore also has an extensive catering business which operates out of Lilly’s Gourmet. You may also remember Smokin’ Lil’s and Lilly’s Cocina, both of which Salvatore sold recently (“Someone made me a good offer,” she explains).
Walk into Lilly’s Meals and you feel the warmth. The walls are autumnal orange with accents of browns, reds and ochre. A long wooden high table – referred to as the “community table” – fills the space in the front room and invites you to sit down with a cup of coffee and a few friends. “We have respect for what they [Meils] did for 22 years,” says Salvatore. The menu reflects it. You’ll find old Meil’s favorites like chicken pot pie, corn fritters and potato pancakes. In fact, Lilly’s has all of Meil’s recipes, so expect to see more of them on the menu. They will also continue breakfasts on the weekends and do all their baking in-house.
Salvatore has put her unique stamp on the place, however. “People know our style – it’s in the food, the look and the staff,” she explains. “We’re fun and upbeat, and we give healthy portions at the right price using quality ingredients.” Many of those ingredients will be coming from local farms too, including cheeses, eggs, meat and produce. “We want people to come and be comfortable,” says Salvatore.
This article was originally published in the Winter 2012 issue of Bucks Life magazine.