Leonelli Taberna

4.4
106 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Leonelli Taberna is a casual Roman-inspired trattoria from acclaimed Chef Jonathan Benno. The menu of rustic Italian dishes includes an array of Stuzzichini (snacks to share), Antipasti, and Salumi ideal for building a social dining experience. Baked to order Pasta Al Forno dishes arrive bubbling hot from the oven, and can be enjoyed as an entrée, or alongside a selection of Pesce and Carne dishes and accompanying Contorni (sides). Desserts include a selection of house baked Italian cookies and gelato, as well as plated desserts melding classic Italian recipes and local seasonality.

Leonelli Taberna also features an expansive cocktail bar and lounge area where the full dinner menu is served. The beverage program includes a focused and approachable list of Italian wines, and cocktails showcasing both Italian spirits and local producers in classic drinks and distinct preparations.
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What 106 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and superb food.

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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Everything was cold from the beginning to the end. Food was ok nothing special.

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US
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A gem away from the NYC masses. Quality, style, and charm in a warm contemporary setting.

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RP
Columbus
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The dinner was a pleasant and welcome surprise. I have already recommended Leonelli Taberna to others and plan to return soon.

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OT
New England
9 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was absolutely delicious. We started with a charred eggplant flat bread and burrata. For dinner we had the ribeye for two. We loved it! The staff was laid back. A great NYC dining experience. We live here and dine out almost every night, so we know a good restaurant.

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OM
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner at Leonelli on Saturday was just wonderful. The room is lovely and spacious enough to allow for private conversation. Service was professional, prompt and unobtrusive with a friendly attitude. We ordered the grilled octopus and salmon appetizers which were fresh and delicious. Our mains were the roast cheicken and spinach and the lamb ravioli both of which were full of flavor and so generously served that we reluctantly gave up so we could enjoy dessert. Dessert was the chocolate tart with blood orange and blood orange sorbet. The combination of textures and flavors was a delightful conclusion to our meal. The sommelier was knowledgeable and helpful and guided us to a perfect choice of wine to accompany our meal.
Overall, a lovely evening.

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MP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the place! Great food and vibe! Excellent service as well.

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C
New York Area
29 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food is great. You can taste the effort which went into the cooking. Ambiance is a bit dull. Being part of a hotel doesn’t help.

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NK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely get the tomato and mozzarella rice balls.

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SS
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The restaurant was very nice, and the food, particularly the flavors, were superb. We were very happy with every dish we had.

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AF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing!!! Everything! Going back very soon! Eggplant parmigiana was outstanding.

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JR
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food at reasonable (Manhattan) prices. The staff is really nice, the drinks were great, but it's really the food that shines - the range of flavors and creativity in seemingly "basic" dishes is something to savor.

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d
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice ambiance and good food

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E
New York Area
38 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Very pleasant for sitting and having conversation.
Menu somewhat limited.

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TL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We’ were welcomed in warmly, and decided to sit at the bar rather than at the table we’d booked. This was totally fine with the staff and we had a great meal. Highly recommend

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US
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great overall quality in food, drinks, and service combined with a nice contemporary ambience and comfortable noise level make this eatery an exceptional place. Awesome spot for a cool, no-attitude yet stylish time.

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R
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfectly prepared food, gracious and attentive service.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great lasagna and eggplant

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D
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

The restaurant is spacious and attractive, albeit on the noisy side. The staff was fine. the issue is really with the food in both quality and presentation, starting with the menu which is confusing. There are five pasta dishes on the menu. My dining partner asked if one of the dishes had butter in it which he doesn't like. He was told that all of the pasta dishes have butter in them. This led him to order the octopus appetizer which proved inedible it was so tough. Meanwhile a diner at the next table asked another waiter about the very same pasta dish and was told that the dish could be prepared with olive oil instead of butter. I ordered the lamb with eggplant. Although both items were tasty, the presentation was Fred Flintstone-ish. A huge slab of lamb filled the entire plate with a half of an eggplant plopped on top.
The staff took the tough octopus back and were very apologetic offering another dish in its place. They also gave us free dessert which was good but also oddly presented. We had scoops of ice cream that were served in shallow saucers barely larger than the scoop.

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a
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

At the front desk we were warmly greeted and offered a table as opposed to a high top which wasn't available when I made the reservation. It was very gracious and thoughtful and one of the highlights of the evening. The food was mediocre at best. The arancini were dry and didn't have enough stuff in them. The octopus was good but the potatoes were flavorless as was the tapenade. The buratta was totally masked by an over abundant sauce of calvo nero and walnuts. The ravioli filling was very flavorful but the pasta significantly underdone. My oxtail had more the flavor of bland short rib and the gnocco was hot, creamy but tasteless. I guess potatoes aren't their thing. The service was the same. It was intermittent and not particularly friendly. The most attentive and friendly person on the waitstaff was the back waiter. We waited a very long time between our apps and entrees. The kitchen got backed up we were told. However, we were seated by the semi-open kitchen and I could see they were going too slowly at first, so when they got in the weeds, I felt it was their own fault. We were offered dessert on the house which was nice but unwanted. The room, especially the bar, was beautiful. I wouldn't eat there again. There are too many choices in NYC that are better in all aspects at better prices.

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SS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

Food was v. disappointing. Ravioli pasta too thick. Scampi, shrimp flavor smothered by the garlic. Lasagna was good, I was expecting great. If the decor is intended to recall a European train station, it succeeded. Two pluses: Service was fine, wine list is smartly done.

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IG
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We ate the saffron/soppresata arancini, the tigelle with charred eggplant dip, burrata, octopus, lamb ravioli and the ribeye for 2. Overall everything was perfect and delicious with the exception of the octopus. The octopus itself was borderline inedible. If we didnt order it altogether I probably would have given this place 5 stars. Will definitely be back minus the octopus of course.

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L
New York Area
62 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

Leonelli is actually three eating establishments: a very casual, take out, street accessed fast Italian,
a middle level taverna and a high end pre fixe ($95 and $145) in an upstairs elegant space, which was empty
Saturday evening at 7:30. The taverna is located in a spill over area from a hotel lobby and its restrooms are accessed through this lobby to an elevator down to a basement level past the hotel exercise room. The arancinni appetizer was not very flavorful. The octapus first course looked interesting but we didn't order it, as it appeared to not be good value, the lasagna was extremely rich to the point where only half could be consumed, the shrimp pasta was just fine but ordinary. The wine list by the glass was limited and expensive. The waiter was very accomodating. Typical new Manhattan restaurant appealing to younger crowd.

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EC
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was fabulous. Every thing was delicious !

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V
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The cooking and service were good. We enjoyed the Caesar Salad, Mezzaluna and Ravioli. We finished things off with some outstanding gelato.

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a
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The food choices were great and our waiter was fantastic.

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LN
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Leonelli! Excellent food, service and ambience. Lasagna and Eggplant Parmesan are unbelievably delicious!

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AS
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was outstanding! Delicious from start to finish. The staff was attentive and friendly, and particularly warm with my children. I highly recommend this restaurant!

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NW
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous meal, great wines, very friendly and attentive staff — perfect for casual dining!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Everything great chocolate gelato outstanding as was data with shrimp and bursts cheese Caesar salad had too much dressing

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OT
New York Area
58 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Off temperature food. Unhelpful staff. Great cocktails. Mediocre experience all together. Will not return.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Did not enjoy the food or the service.

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OT
New York Area
55 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 3

Honestly everything was amazing besides the manager, she tried to kick us out when we were taking photos for the interiors with an attitude "this is too much". What's wrong about loving the space designed by PLDNYC and took photos? Was really a bad experience at the end of the meal thank you lady. Will never come back.

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m
New York Area
46 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Mediocre experience overall. Once we were past the indifferent receptionist/hostess and were placed in the hands of the gm and waiter, service was very good. Unfortunately the pasta (pasta with shrimp ) was unbearably salty; eggplant parma was good. Setting was ok; not recommended for an intimate dinner bit good for an informal business lunch.

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o
Atlanta
35 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

After reading a review of the restaurant which was described as 'food the chef remembered eating in his grandmother's kitchen' we had to try it! The menu offerings and wine list did not disappoint. We started with burrata which was fresh and delicious, and the octopus which was cooked perfectly and tender. We had the the mezzaluna pumpkin pasta and the spaghetti with shrimp. The pastas are made in house and are very good. We also had the eggplant parmesan side dish which was essentially a 3rd entree and too much for the 2 of us but we couldn't stop eating it. We finished off with the pistachio and cannoli ice creams which were mentioned in the review and didn't disappoint. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, the service prompt. I'd dine there again in a heart beat.

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were so excited to try the taberna having been to Chef Benno’s other restaurants. WOW! The whole evening was so dreamy, we cannot wait to go back. From the warm tomatoe-y focaccia at the beginning to the creative cocktails, the inspired Italian menu made it very difficult to decide what to get. Our friends opted for the Sunday sauce with fresh rigatoni - it was delicious and made for great leftovers. We chose to share several items including the lasagna, a few yummy fresh salads, ricotta, smoked salmon appetizer, mushrooms- one thing was more delicious than the last. The chocolate budino for dessert is not to be missed. The space is lovely, sleek and welcoming and service was perfection. I’m already planning to return for pastries to the focacceria. Great place for a date, a group to share lots of dishes, a celebration.

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m
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

really enjoyable,,,crafted coctails
great staff
will go back,,,

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved our special birthday lunch for my Mom! Nadja, the manager, made the experience that much more special as well! Food was delicious and we probably over ordered for the 3 of us, but ate every bite! The chef kindly replaced the chicken liver app w the salmon which was excellent and sent us a comped antipasti salad to accompany our pulpo salad as well. The spaghetti w shrimp was quite excellent as was the branzino. Nice wine and cocktail selection!
Music would be more interesting if background Italian for more relaxed trattoria feel as the surfaces are hard so sound in general is loud.
Busser didn't seem to be on it with regard to changing plates and utensils until the meal progressed, but everyone was very nice. Server, I wish I recalled her name, she is from Greece, also very nice and helpful.

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OT
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My second visit--- and it was just as good as the first time! Everyone on the team is super profession and very friendly. The food was perfect --- great evening with friends.

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l
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderfully prepared and extraordinarily flavorful food. Lovely service as well.

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