You know those evenings when you’re meeting a friend last minute? Maybe the date’s been on the calendar for a bit, but you’ve yet to pick a place, nab a reservation?
You know you want a glass of wine, or two, perhaps a bottle. You’ll be hungry too, not right away, but surely as the night goes on. You just want to hang somewhere low-key, catch up, let go, live easy.
The spot for you is Leo. Roll up to the counter, but stop by the wine fridge on the way, see if anything tickles your fancy, ask for help! Pay for your booze, put in an order for snacks: big brothy black beans with a hunk of soft, house-made bread; perfect potato croquettes draped with anchovies; and an acid-splashed chopped salad of torn radicchio, pickled fennel, celery, and red onion, fried chickpeas, roasted carrot coins, salty purple olives, and shavings of milky cheese. They’ll give you a number, you’ll find yourself a table, and from there you’ll stay put.
Eventually, you’ll want pizza. Go your own way but if it were me I’d choose margherita. The kitchen team, which hail from Ops, are experts in sourdough pies. These ones are thinner, more New York in style than the Neopolitan phenoms over in Bushwick. Call for meatballs if you’re still hungry, or the exceptional lasagna, which gives I Sodi a run for its money. Flag down a server, they’ll take your order.
Another glass, another bottle? Soft serve, tiramisu? Hang for a while, give in to your cravings, invite another friend, revel in great wine, great food, and great company. Leo is the canteen of your dreams.
P.S. Come during the daytime for pastries and coffee, sourdough square slices, and anything off the nighttime menu, save for the pies. Leo’s next-door café is an added bonus.
123 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Quotes overheard and uncredited.
“Someone at this table smells so good.”
“It’s my hand sanitizier!”
This week’s reads
Here’s a history of feminist restaurants in honor of International Women’s Day [Atlas Obscura]
Formerly a mechanic, Ryan Morgan now bakes some of the country’s best bread [Esquire]
Ava Gene’s in Portland makes babka waffles! [Eater]
I’ve been liking Damp, a new natural wine newsletter based out of New York. Here they pair wines with hot sauce. [Damp]