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The Leopard at des Artistes, New York City, NY, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Antipasti - The Leopard at des Artistes - NYC - photo by Luxury ExperienceThe Leopard at des Artistes located on the west side of Manhattan in New York City New York steps away from Central Park is an elegant, sophisticated bijou of a restaurant where the stunning décor, ambience, and impeccable service duly complement the Southern Italian cuisine of Executive Chef and partner Vito Gnazzo. Together with partners Gianfranco Sorrentino and Paula Bolla-Sorrentino the restaurant is a shining star in a city renowned for its fine dining restaurants. Buon appetito!

 

Gianfranco Sorrentino, Chef Vito Gnazzo, Paula Bolla-Sorrentino  - The Leopard at des Artistes, NYC
Gianfranco Sorrentino, Chef Vito Gnazzo, Paula Bolla-Sorrentino

 

We had dinner at The Leopard at des Artistes on a Sunday in late February 2017 and immediately fell in love with its gracious hospitality, stunning décor, ambience, and attentive service, before we had tasted even one morsel of the delectable cuisine from Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo. In the space that was once the Café des Artistes (the restaurant closed in 2009), partners Gianfranco Sorrentino, his wife Paula Bolla-Sorrentino, and Vito Gnazzo deftly created The Leopard at des Artistes, which opened in 2011. On a Sunday, a night when many restaurants are slow, the restaurant had a steady stream of patrons.  


The restaurant is a sophisticated and elegant tribute to fine dining with gracious décor, arrangements of white orchids and pussy willows hinted at the upcoming spring season, palm fronds in tall white vases strategically placed throughout the restaurant and the bar added interest, as did the leopard sculpture that graced the window sill on the first-floor dining room.  

 

The Leopard at des Artistes NYC
The Leopard at des Artistes


There are three levels of dining at the restaurant, the first-floor has a wall of windows, carpeted floor, and paneled walls, the second-floor is home of the famous landmarked murals created by Howard Chandler Christy between the late 1920s and 1935, and the third-floor is the bar, where diners can eat at the bar for more casual dining, sit at the tables, or in one of the more intimate dining spaces.  


Service is impeccable with attention to detail without being intrusion. The professional wait staff are attired in white coats, white shirts and ties, and black pants, and assistants are attired in white shirts, black bow ties, and black pants.  


The Leopard offers a Seasonal Three Course Tasting Menu as well as an a la carte dining, and the selections of antipasti (appetizers), primi (pastas and risottos), secondi (man course) consisting of sea and land items, and contorni (side dishes) are diverse enough to appeal to a wide variety of palates. The extensive wine list of Italian wines complement the Southern Italian cuisine.  

 

Debra C. Argen - Cheers - photo by Luxury Experience
CHEERS!


We began our evening with glasses of prosecco to enjoy with the bread basket which consisted of two excellent breads that aficionados would deem as having "good crumb" and thin, and crispy house-made rosemary and black pepper bread sticks accompanied by a rich pool of extra virgin olive oil.  

 

Antipasti - The Leopard at des Artistes NYC - photo by Luxury Experience
Antipasti


We continued with an artistically arranged antipasti of grilled eggplant, grilled octopus with heart of escarole salad, celery, Casteletrano olives, and pickled onions dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon, mozzarella di buffalo garnished with basil, and quartered cherry tomatoes. It was a delicious introduction to Chef Vito Gnazzo's culinary vision of using high-quality ingredients, simply, yet deliciously prepared. Important to note is that the restaurant flies in mozzarella di buffalo and burrata twice weekly.

 

Gnudi Buffalo Ricotta Gnocchi  - The Leopard at des Artistes NYC - photo by Luxury Experience
Gnudi Buffalo Ricotta Gnocchi


Next there was Gnudi Buffalo ricotta gnocchi, in butter and Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, with sage and wild mushroom ragout. These were incredibly delicious and were like eating the filling of a ravioli without a pasta layer. We loved the melt-in-your-mouth sumptuousness of the gnudi which were the size of generous meatballs, and the cheese sauce and wild mushroom combination was a symphony on the palate.  

 

Busiate Trapanesi  - The Leopard at des Artistes NYC - photo by Luxury Experience
Busiate Trapanesi


When we did not think that it could get much better, we sampled the Busiate Trapanesi with shellfish ragout and cherry tomatoes with mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp, which was like being transported to Sicily via our palates. Paired with Pecorino Colline Pescaresi Ciavolich 2015, 13.5% alcohol, this course was another winner.

 

Rafael Filleting Bronzini tableside - The Leopard at des Artistes NYC - photo by Luxury Experience
Rafael Filleting Bronzini Tableside


We continued with the Bronzini, presented to us in its entirety, which our waiter Rafael expertly filleted tableside, and placed alongside haricots verts and a lemon half. The bronzini was succulent and perfectly cooked, and was especially well paired with Marramiero Altare Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, DOC, 2013, 14.5% alcohol.  

 

Bronzini - The Leopard at des Artistes NYC - photo by Luxury Experience
Bronzini


Dolci - The Leopard Temptations is a fanciful and inspired dessert menu with a rich diversity of choices. We had the Nutella chocolate mousse served in hazelnut crunch with banana gelato, which was a delectable chocoholic's dream, and the Traditional zabaione with fresh mixed berries, which was perfect and created tableside. We ended our evening at The Leopard with espresso and mignonardises which consisted of a selection of three types of cookies.  

 

Nutella Chocolate Mousse - The Leopard at des Artistes NYC - photo by Luxury Experience
Nutella Chocolate Mousse


From start to finish, our dining experience at The Leopard des Artistes was once of excellence. Bravo to Executive Chef and partner Vito Gnazzo, Gianfranco Sorrentino, Paula Bolla-Sorrentino, and their professional and dedicated team.  

 

Traditional Zabaione - The Leopard at des Artistes NYC - photo by Luxury Experience
Traditional Zabaione


The Leopard at des Artistes is open for Dinner: Monday through Saturday from 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm, and Sunday from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm. The restaurant serves Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 pm until 3:00 pm. The restaurant will now celebrate a different region of Italy each month on its Three-Course Tasting Menu. Also nice is the BYOB - no corkage fee on Sunday evenings at The Leopard. "Bring Your Own Bottle Italian Sunday Supper - We Do the Cooking, You Bring the Wine."

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo - The Leopard at des Artistes NYC
Chef Vito Gnazzo


Read our interview with chef/Partner Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo who graciously shares his recipes to provide you with a tempting taste of The Leopard at des Artistes in the Chefs' Recipes  section.  

 

The Leopard at des Artistes NYC
The Leopard at des Artistes


Chef Vito Gnazzo's recipes include: Parmigiana of Zucchini with Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil, and Beef & Veal Meatballs Wrapped in Savoy Cabbage Leaves with Thyme Sauce, served over Mixed Greens.

 

The Leopard at des Artistes NYC   

 

The Leopard at des Artistes

1 West 67th Street

New York, NY 10023

United States

Telephone:      +1-212-787-8767

Fax:                 +1-212-787-9767

Website:           www.TheLeopardNYC.com

Facebook:        www.Facebook.com/TheLeopardatdesArtistes

 

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© March 2017. Luxury Experience www.LuxuryExperience.com All Rights Reserved. 

 
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