Meet Lily, Chef Anthony's niece and Elizabeth's granddaughter, whose name inspired that of the restaurant. When she comes to the restaurant she always orders the Beignet de Crabe with Lily's fresh aioli!
Anthony Pitillo grew up in the restaurant industry. His father, Angelo, owned several different restaurants throughout his life, and with him Anthony experienced everything from washing dishes, to tossing pizzas, to making sauces, to working "front-of-the-house". After waiting tables and managing restaurants through college in Texas to receive both music theory and business degrees, Anthony decided to move back to his hometown, Atlanta in 1996.
He then decided to make the restaurant business his career and enrolled in The Art Institute of Atlanta Culinary program, where he earned the honor of Outstanding Graduate in his class. Anthony obtained his technical knowledge from school and his practical knowledge from cooking with his father and grandmother, Assunta. His rustic cooking style emphasizes fresh, quality ingredients and bold but balanced flavors from the many countries around the Mediterranean.
He and his father, Angelo, opened Café Lily in August 1999. Since Angelo's passing in November 2007, Anthony has taken over the helm completely now, and business continues to thrive as usual.
Elizabeth has experienced the restaurant industry first-hand for over 46 years through her marriage to his father, Angelo, Café Lily's late co-founder. Born and raised near Stone Mountain, Georgia, she graduated from West Georgia College and went on to marry Angelo in 1961, one month after they opened 'Angelo's Napoli' together next to the Garden Hills Theatre in South Buckhead.
After raising three children and spending a 15-year stint in Texas, she returned with Angelo to her home state of Georgia to help care for his ailing mother, with the hopes of opening a small, quaint restaurant together to retire in. When Chef Anthony and Angelo unexpectedly collaborated to open Café Lily in 1999, Elizabeth immediately jumped on board as the resident decorator, landscape designer, and hostess. Her keen eye for color and design, as well as her tremendous talent as a painter and restorer of antique furniture, are what give Café Lily it's unique charm and warm, welcoming ambience. She has a natural ability to combine the decors from many different styles into a seamless, eclectic design that exudes comfort and balance. She also has an incredible 'green thumb,' and her gorgeous patio, with its incredible night-blooming jasmines, evergreens, and moonflowers, continues to delight outside diners year after year.
Elizabeth, also known as Bette, is known for her sweet smile and warm, generous nature, and she is loved by many who have had the pleasure of getting to know her at Café Lily. Don't forget to check out her gorgeous mural in the Lily Pond Room!
Hailing from Florence, Alabama, Katie arrived in Atlanta in 2006, when she entered Agnes Scott College, where she majored in Economics. She began working at Café Lily in 2010 as a hostess, and quickly moved up to bartender, then to server, where she maintained the status of senior server for many years. Katie's amazing skills at the table, as well as her charming personality, bubbly smile, and her devotion to her work, made her a shoe-in to become Café Lily's Manager and Wine Director. She has a ton of drive and dedication, and with her help, she has propelled Café Lily to new levels and beyond! Next time you're in, make sure to ask her what wines she finds exciting at the moment!