Restaurant Find: The Leopard NYC
With a few renowned restaurants under their belt, the owners of Midtown West institution Il Gattopardo opened The Leopard at des Artistes in 2011. Like its more established counterpart, The Leopard can only be described as traditional, done right.
Situated in an impressive neo-Gothic building in Central Park-adjacent Upper West Side, the restaurant took over the former space of the iconic Cafe des Artistes. The interior was completely renovated leaving a landmarked mural from the 1920s to adorn the walls.
Executive Chef Michele Brogioni brings a fresh approach to the extensive menu. Italian-born, with a Michelin star under his belt, Brogioni has taken a rather unorthodox route in his culinary career, most recently cooking for Russian heads of states before moving to New York. Handsome, with tattooed sleeves, he looks as though he’d be more at home on the streets of Brooklyn, yet he creates sophisticated and refined renditions of traditional Italian recipes.
Order the “gnudi” antipasti, a ‘naked’ (sans pasta) fresh buffalo ricotta ravioli covered in a layer of semolina, served with a sauce of butter, Parmigiano Reggiano, sage and delicate wild mushrooms.
One of the new initiatives Brogioni has introduced is a weekend brunch menu. Of course, many Italians typically do breakfast standing up with a cornetti in one hand and an espresso in the other, so the menu is more of an Italian take on the American brunch, but you get the same upscale dinner experience at reasonable (New York) prices. Using quality ingredients, The Leopard serves up brunch dishes like pancakes with New York apples and Nutella mousse, and eggs Benedict with San Daniele prosciutto.
The Leopard NYC
1 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023
(All images of The Leopard NYC by Paul Barbera)