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New Neighbor: Leonelli Taberna

The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership is pleased to announce the opening of Leonelli Taberna, a casual Roman-inspired trattoria with an accompanying cocktail bar and lounge located in the landmarked and newly redesigned hotel The Evelyn at 7 East 27th Street.

"I've always loved the NoMad neighborhood, and have envisioned opening a restaurant here since my days cooking at Gramercy Tavern and Craft," says acclaimed Chef Jonathan Benno. "The old buildings, the access to the Union Square Green Market - it's the crossroads of the city and the way people move through it."

Considered one of the top chefs in the country, Benno spent over three decades working in some of the world's most prestigious fine-dining restaurants, counting John Farnsworth, Michael Mina, Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, and Thomas Keller among his mentors. Having assembled expert culinary, service, and beverage teams - many of whom are alumni of Per Se and Lincoln Ristorante - Leonelli represents the most personal projects to date for Benno, drawing from his earliest food memories, extensive travels through Italy, and professional experience honing the craft of traditional Italian culinary methods.

"Since I was a kid I've always had a love affair with Italian food. I remember sitting around the family table eating my grandma's eggplant parmesan, and enjoying boxes of Italian bakery cookies at every social gathering. That's the feeling I want to recreate at Leonelli," says Benno.

A precursor to the first modern restaurants, a "Taberna" was a room in the great indoor markets of ancient Rome where cooked food, wine, and bread were sold. Inspired by historic Roman eateries such as Roscioli - a family-owned bakery, cafe, grocer, and trattoria dating back to 1824 - the menu of rustic Italian dishes utilizes the best possible ingredients, prepared with soulful precision.

"In Italy, many people are just buying what they need for the day, so they're hyper-focused on quality," says Benno.

Some of the menu highlights include Suppli, spaghetti alla carbonara croquette; Trippa Alla Romana, braised honeycomb tripe, tomatoes, and Pecorino Romano; Pollo Alla Rosticeria, half Amish chicken with salsa verde; and Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, 30-day dry aged T-bone steak for two, with rosemary and balsamico aceto.

The beverage program blends the best of Italian drinking culture with local New York City and New York State producers. The wine list features 60 labels incorporating everything from Prosecco to Barolo, and cocktails include staples such as the Americano and Spritz, offered in both classic preparations, and several unique variations showcasing a range of artisanal spirits. Leonelli Taberna will feature a Private Label series representing the team's ongoing relationships with some of their favorite producers locally and abroad, including two wines, a cider, and a beer.

Pastry Chef Lindsey Bittner, formerly of Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernardin, melds classic Italian dolce and local seasonality, with an opening summer menu that includes Budino Di Riso (arborio rice pudding with rhubarb sorbetto), Torta Di Limone (lemon curd and pine nuts with strawberry sorbetto), and Tartuffo (hazelnut gelato, cherry sorbetto and visciole).

The new space was designed by the award-winning firm Parts and Labor Design. The firm also designed the renovation of The Evelyn's public spaces including the Leonelli lobby lounge, bar, restaurant, bakery, and Assouline bookstore. Largely inspired by the landmarked building's existing Art Deco architecture, the feel harkens back to the Jazz Age of early 20th century New York. The design features a mix of materials including dark woods, green and white marble, brass, and richly-toned stained glass, which are reflected in geometric lines and patterns throughout the spaces.

Leonelli Taberna is open seven days a week from 5 pm to 11 pm (bar until 1 am), with breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch coming soon. 

Leonelli Taberna, 7 East 27th Street (inside The Evelyn), (212) 451-9495

Photo Credit: Evan Sung


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Happy Friday! 🤸‍♀️ 📸: @raven_newyork
4 days ago