Cambridge’s Kendall Square got more fried chicken this week with the opening of Lily P’s at 50 Binney St. in a street-level space inside the Sanofi Genzyme headquarters. Lily P’s adds to a burgeoning fried chicken scene in Kendall Square, which includes the Automatic (known for its Korean fried chicken sandwich), State Park (known for its Nashville-style hot fried chicken), the Smoke Shop (known for its fried chicken sandwich), and Shy Bird (which opened recently and focuses on rotisserie chicken but boasts an excellent fried chicken sandwich), not to mention Commonwealth (which has been known to offer fried chicken specials on Sundays during parts of the year) and, in nearby Inman Square, Highland Fried (which is all about fried chicken).
It’s a chicken-filled time in the Boston area in general; look at all these chicken spots that opened this fall or are coming soon.
Lily P’s is the latest restaurant from chef Chris Parsons, who recently opened the swanky oyster bar and seafood restaurant the Oyster Club at the Heritage in Boston’s Back Bay. Earlier, he operated popular but now-defunct Winchester restaurants Catch and Parsons Table, and he was on the opening team of Milton’s Steel & Rye, although he is no longer involved.
While the headliner at Lily P’s is the fried chicken, it’s not just any fried chicken: It’s pressure-fried chicken. The chicken is effectively fried in a pressure cooker, much in the way that Kentucky Fried Chicken fries its birds. (Don’t try to do this at home.)
The birds at Lily P’s are brined in buttermilk before frying. Diners can eat the fried chicken in a variety of different ways, including three sandwich variations: The Lily P, which is topped with pimento cheese and relish; the Beale Street, which is served Memphis-style (read: hot) and topped with slaw; and the Mr. Henson, which is topped with bacon, shredded lettuce, and ranch dressing. Each sandwich is served on a Hawaiian roll and is accompanied by chips, pickles, and slaw.
If sandwiches aren’t your thing, you can order something called “Luxury Fried Chicken” in four-piece, eight-piece, and 16-pieces orders. These orders are served with pickles and slaw and come in three varieties: original, hot, or black pepper and honey. There is also a two-piece option available at lunch.
Fried chicken features heavily on the Lily P’s menu, but it’s not the only thing available. Diners can also slurp on oysters from Duxbury, Wellfleet, and Damariscotta, Maine — oysters are always on the menu, but there’s also a $1 oyster deal each weekday from 4 to 6 p.m. — and snack on peel-and-eat shrimp, pimento cheese with Ritz crackers, and grilled corn.
The draft list at Lily P’s is long and well stocked with beers and ciders hailing mostly from New England, with a few nods to beers and ciders from England and continental Europe. And there are ample cocktail and wine options for non-beer and cider drinkers.
Lily P’s is currently operating with limited hours — 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily — but plans to extend those hours gradually. In addition to the Kendall Square location, Lily P’s is planning to open inside the Hub Hall food hall in the Hub on Causeway development adjacent to TD Garden in the West End, joining a laundry list of other vendors.