NoMad, the Manhattan neighborhood north of Madison Park, is fast becoming a popular destination for dining. New places keep popping up. One that should be on everyone’s list is Leonelli Taberna located on East 27th Street in the newly renovated Evelyn Hotel. As the website says, Chef Jonathan Benno and his team “meld old New York” with “Old-World Italy.” It’s a winning combination.
The restaurant was lively when we arrived at 9:30 on a weekday night. There were few seats available at either the bar or in the attractive dining room. But we reserved in advance and nabbed a corner table giving us a perfect view of the activities, including in the glassed-in kitchen.
Service was impeccable. We ordered drinks and studied the menu. Rather than bread, we were served a small pizza with tomato sauce. A perfect start.
We decided to share two pastas: cappellacci, cauliflower ravioli with butter, Parmigiano Reggiano, and black truffle (top); and, spaghetti with Sicilian oregano, lemon, fennel pollen, and scallion (above). These were two very rich dishes, but well prepared so that each ingredient stood out.
Two meat dishes – beef and pork meatballs and salumi with prosciutto, paté, liver terrine and testa – were enjoyed with a chopped salad.
For a light dessert, we opted for blood orange sorbet with mint meringue.
We are already planning our return.
7 East 27th Street