The Leopard at des Artistes

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78 Solid

Off-kilter A-list-celebrity spotting makes a trip to the Leopard worthwhile, despite the rudimentary Southern Italian grub.

1 W. 67th St., New York, NY, 10023


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The lowdown

This remake of the famous Café Des Artistes space aspires be an old-fashioned New York dining club with a very particular membership in mind: we spied the former Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein gnawing fiercely on a very large steak bone when we dropped in long ago, Steve Martin dressed in a fedora hat, and even Woody Allen himself, wearing a rumpled khaki suit and holding court at a table with some friends and a stoic-looking Soon-Yi. The Sorrentinos cultivate a similar clientele at their midtown restaurant, Il Gattopardo — the Leopard in Italian — on West 54th Street, and they specialize in a similar kind of Southern Italian cooking at elevated midtown prices — elaborate risottos of the day, decent-enough pasta alla chitarra and a branzino preparation, a tepid version of Sardinian “fregula” seafood stew. The real reason for visiting, however, is to have a drink at the little bar before or after your show at Lincoln Center, and to ogle the famous Café Des Artistes murals of nude goddesses and capering wood nymphs that decorate the walls, like a leftover relic from a wilder, more glamorous time.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

Insider Tips Live jazz at brunch; BYOB Sunday with no corkage fee; “smart casual” dress code frowns on sneakers, shorts, flip-flops, and sportswear.

Recommended DishesRoasted dorado.

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized