Leonardo’s Italian restaurant is a good spot for home-cooked, handmade, and authentic Italian classics that leaves no feeling of disappointment; They pay homage to Italian-American tradition through their special in-house fresh pasta, mesmerizing coal oven pizzas, and outstanding desserts. Located right off Florida Street, Leonardo’s is a Mandeville classic that the whole family can enjoy.
I recently took a trip to the restaurant with my fellow foodie Saint Paul’s senior Sam Gold.
Mr. Gold and I opened the door. We were immediately transported to a world of smells and flavors that would make any foodie delighted to get a whiff. The aromas gave off savory, sweet, and herbal notes that entranced us as the splendid hostess speedily sat us. As we were seated, we started with the fried calamari and marinara, which were fantastic. With hints of sea salt and a deliciously made marinara, the dish made a combination of divinity that didn’t last long due to our appetites.
The waiter stopped by our table and took our entree orders as time passed. Mr. Gold started with the Pesto Genovese, which he holds to very high standards, and he even went as far as to say, “The richness of the sauce and texture of the fresh pasta created a wonderful eating experience.” On the other hand, I ordered the three-meat pizza: pepperoni, capicola, and prosciutto with cheese and red sauce, which tied together nicely in that high-heat charcoal oven. My first impression was pure amazement. As I decimated this quality pie, I found myself transported to flavor town.
Since our visit, Mr. Gold and I have decided that this establishment sets the benchmark for Italian family dining on the Northshore and will be held in the highest regard until another quality dining spot comes to challenge the throne.