Right on the corner of a quaint West Village street sits this tiny American brasserie, where neighborhood locals can often be found loitering outside in hopes of getting seated. With just seven tables, Joseph Leonard might not cater to the masses, but it surely seems to appeal to the masses.
Mismatched antique furniture paired with authentic black and white portrait photos are just two ingredients that make up Joseph Leonard’s quaint, rustic style. The decor has an old, cottage-like feel to it, which is offset by the brazen sounds of 1990s to early 2000s pop and alternative tunes. Space is limited and seating is scarce, but you won’t mind once you step into the casual-cool vibe of this downtown eatery.
Joesph Leonard is a tiny restaurant that packs a nice punch. While not the most extensive, the menu is a haven for hearty flavors and classic comfort foods. The dishes range from tried-and-true favorites like New York strip and braised short ribs to French bistro regulars like country pata and duck rillette. Written in chalk on the wall, you’ll find their daily selection of oysters, which can make a nice start to the meal or a light, late-afternoon accompaniment to a glass of wine or specialty cocktail.
Reservations are not accepted (hence the crowds waiting outside and wherever there’s any possible standing room inside), so don’t come to Joseph Leonard too hungry – it could be a while before you actually sit down to eat. Grabbing a drink at the bar might help pass the time by, but beware, seats are for diners only – so a “table for two” could therefore mean two open stools at the bar. Some final words of advice: try to keep your party under four people to avoid awkward encounters with neighboring diners and/or cut down on wait time.
Appetizers from $9-13; entrees from $19-27.
July 11, 2011