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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Terrific Takeout: The Leopard at des Artistes Spring 2016 Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

From the fragrantly fresh "Ricciola crudo" above to the sublime Pan-seared red snapper below, The Leopard at des Artistes continues to impress us immensely

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It's not who you know, it's WHOM YOU KNOW and we love knowing our friends Gianfranco, Paula and Vito and their team at The Leopard at des Artistes.  We were honored to be among the very first to review it when it opened and first visited when it was three weeks old in 2011:
The Leopard was most recently featured in the fall of 2015:
 Every season, The Leopard at des Artistes honors their history by continuing to be on top, emerging with brand-new dishes that wow its guests.  In the summer heat we've been experiencing this spring in Manhattan, The Leopard at des Artistes has capitalized on the climate by crafting two entirely new salads, shown above and below.
"Ricciola crudo" is a unique mix of radicchio, raspberries and radishes that waltz brilliantly around this sea wonder, from Italy of course (the fish!).  It has proved to be uberpopular early in the season and the olive oil, raspberry vinaigrette and fresh raspberries further highlight one of the best salads we've had this season.
Not to be outdone is the second salad we tried, the Honeydew, celery and cucumber salad:

The "Cesare Giaccone" Aceto di vino da moscato from Italy joins this party along with micro celery to form a fantastically fresh, fabulously textured refreshing organic salad.  The shavings of honeydew are gorgeous and this beacon of refreshment is lightly salted with rock salt (from Italy, like everything else, silly!).

The pasta selection, found under Primi, is absolutely to-die-for at The Leopard.  You will revel in the Busiate Trapanesi, above, with calamari, lemon, peperoncino and black garlic with fresh chili pepper that adds an additional x factor to it! The white fish broth from the calamari lends terrific flavoring and all in all you cannot miss this great concoction.
The Ravioli filled with ricotta and wild greens (radicchio, endive and basil) in colatura di pomodori and fresh pecorino Toscano is smartly served lukewarm in our current hot weather.  They dance in a pool of fresh plum tomato sauce and micro parsley and the micro celery adds a nice zippy contrast to the tomato.  It was not lost on us that this is the color of the Italian flag...
The Leopard at des Artistes is especially famous for the Pan-Seared duck breast "porchetta" with fennel pollen, cipollini with aged balsamic vinegar and raisins.  The red wine vinegar reduction gives it absolutely phenomenal flavor.  Executive Chef Michele Brogioni is known for this dish in particular, we understand.
The secondi section is highly competitive for the attentions of your stomach; if you are a pescatarian (Ms_CLP!) you will revel in the triumphant pan-seared red snapper with fennel, capers and lemon sauce.  Shallots, evoo, butter, lemon zest, black olives and micro celery add to the applause coming from your tastebuds but do not overwhelm the red snapper.  Places that are trendy and try too hard to be creative do not get this right; Gianfranco and Vito are masters of the new modern classic dishes such as this.
You should observe the Contorni section as well: side dishes!  This time we were impressed with the sauteed mixed wild mushrooms which boasted lovely flavor.
Also you should know that although The Leopard at des Artistes is the last word in sophistication, they are also versatile and down-to-earth.  If you are just super hungry for a top cheeseburger, possibly inspired by the Stanley Cup finals, you will be immensely happy with the All Natural beef burger (Pat LaFrieda meat) topped with smoked buffalo mozzarella (from ABC, remember these guys are part of this brand which you learned in our Mozzarella & Vino review) on artisan bread.  The Rosemary French Fries are also amazing!
Semifreddo of ricotta di bufala and pear with hazelnut biscotto is the perfect closing.
The Leopard at des Artistes continues to be Highly Recommended by Whom You Know!
Take a walk on the wild side with Gianfranco!

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