New York Magazine called chef Missy Robbins a “pasta goddess”—an apt title. A darling of the New York culinary scene, she certainly knows her way around noodles, stuffing agnoletti with a honey-sweetened ricotta that’s cut by tart strips of dried tomatoes (in the sauce) and pairing crunchy broccoli and pistachio pesto with the softest of gnocchi. She’s also a fish whiz, not afraid to be decadent, piling cured sardines over frozen curls of butter-topped toast and slathering wood-grilled scallops with walnut-studded yogurt. But what I most respect about this chef/owner is how she’s giving a hand up to other women. Her austere dining room (in a high-ceilinged former, garage) offers full views of the open kitchen, where you’ll see that fully half of the line cooks are female—a rarity in this male-dominated industry. Note: In late 2018, Robbins opened a new restaurant called Misi (329 Kent Ave., with a slimmer menu and a more crowded-feeling space. Both places serve stellar food, but it’s now easier to get a reservation at Lilia, because of this “sibling”.