I had read about Joseph Leonard in Time Out and was instantly drawn to it, if not only because the owner used to run the front of house at Little Owl...another neighborhood favorite. It being so spot on, this similar in size joint must have a clue.
It's a nice night tonight, so we took a short walk to Joseph Leonard to see if we could just grab a bite at the bar. Lucky for us, two were just leaving tin-topped bar. Otherwise, it would have been at forty-five minute wait-at 7PM no less! The hostess offered to take down our number and give us a call when a table was opening up. There is no bar bar to have a drink it is reserved for dining.
The bitty bar was a perfect perch for two to take it all in. (I actually prefer dining at the bar most of the time). The semi bi-level space is as intimate as it can get. With just a few tables (only one seating a party of four) and at the bar literally rubbing elbows with the person next to you. Still, the decor is antique and laid back. The vibe warm and cool at the same time. The old photos adorning the walls are of Joseph and Leonard, the owner's grandfathers. There is an old ladder that doubles as a host stand and a few old suitcases finish the comfy room. The bartenders are friendly and as excited as you will be about the menu and eager to tell you all about it.
We ordered the beet and goat cheese croquette salad to start/share. I had the roasted chicken with baby carrots, fava beans, and mashed potatoes. The skin crisp and and the inside juicy. They didn't try to re-invent the classic dish, they're just trying to perfect it. And it's pretty close. The turkey breast dish with brussels was very of the season and equally as delicious.
The carrot cake wasn't anything to ever order again in my opinion. I might opt for the warm brownie or the caramel pudding next time. But the wine list was at the perfect length. And although I didn't try one, the cocktails looked well thought out and refreshing.
Sundays are saved for seven to eight different specials (in addition to their regular menu) created from a whole pig.
Go with: a date or one friend.
Tuesdays are BUSY as are Sundays.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Sit: at the bar.