The Leopard at des Artistes is undoubtedly one of New York’s best and most beautiful restaurants. But until recently it had not been open for lunch, which Michele and I usually prefer for dining out. However, the restaurant’s schedule changed and The Leopard at des Artistes is now open daily for both lunch and dinner. Michele found Chef Jordan Frosolone’s menu, whose cooking we had previously enjoyed when he was the chef at 10 Corso Como very appealing, so we arranged to meet a friend there. It was a beautiful spring day and everyone was seated outside. The scene was so perfect, it could have been a cafe on the Via Veneto.
We, however, love the inside of the restaurant where we can be surrounded by the famous murals by Howard Chandler Christy, so we asked for a table indoors and had the dining room all to ourselves. Owner Gianfranco Sorrentino, who also is the owner of Il Gattopardo on 54th Street, stopped by to say hello.
Polpette di Carne-veal and beef meatballs with ricotta and parsley. Tender meatballs in tasty tomato sauce.
Sformato di tartufo nero-Black truffle custard with Parmigiano-Reggiano, grilled asparagus and lemon. Delicate custard tasting of cheese with a black truffle crust.
Insalata di granchino-Crabmeat, peas, croutons and Mediterranean sumac. The flavors of spring captured on a plate.
Brunello di Montalcino 1990 Lisini made from 100% Sangiovese. The are 3,300 plants per hectare in the old vineyard and 5,400 plants in the newer vineyard at 300 to 350 meters. The grapes are hand harvested and a selection takes place. Fermentation and maceration is in stainless steel with skin contact for 20 t0 26 days. Aging is in large Slavonian oak barrels of 20 to 50 ha for 42 months. The wine is aged another 6 to 8 months in bottle before release. This is a traditional Brunello with hints of red and black fruit, blueberries and rasperries and a touch of violet. It was drinking extremely well.
Mafalde Sucamele-Braised lamb, artichokes and glazed lampascioni onions — Tender chunks of lamb in a tangy sauce with mildly bitter lampascioni, onion-like wild hyacinth bulbs.
Lasagna Ennese-Pork ragu – Marsala wine, Piacentinu cheese – Handmade pasta noodles layered with rich pork ragu and a saffron flavored sheep’s cheese from Sicily.
Rosso di Torgiano DOC 1985 Lungarotti 70% Sangiovese and 30% Canaiolo. The soil is clay and sand of medium depth with limestone subsoil. There are 4,000 vines per hectare and the harvest takes place in September/October. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with 18 days maceration on the skins. It is aged for 12 months in oak casks and lightly filtered before bottling. This is a wine with red fruit aromas and flavors, hints of black cherry and a touch of leather and spice with a very pleasant finish and aftertaste.
Tiramisu– Classic mascarpone tiramisu
Zabalone– Zabaione al Ramandolo with mixed berries
Chocolate Mousse with Berries and Cream
The Leopard at des Artistes
1 West 67th St. NY, NY