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Leonti Is a ‘Boldly Creative’ Italian Restaurant on the UWS, Critic Says

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Plus, Joe’s Steam Rice Roll also gets a positive review — and more intel

Leonti NYC
Crispy black bass at Leonti
Carla Vianna/Eater

Chef Adam Leonti’s bread is now critic-approved

New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield really dug Leonti’s bread. The new Upper West Side restaurant by chef Adam Leonti serves a durum-wheat focaccia with a “burnished bronze” crust and an interior that’s “bubbled” and “stretchy.” The bread, made by the chef himself, is “magnificent,” she writes. But she enjoys the rest of her meal as well, describing dishes as “boldly creative” and “excitingly esoteric.” The lasagna, for instance, turns out to be a single, upside down artichoke served with green noodles and béchamel sauce. The chicken in pastella is “supremely crunchy,” and even the desserts, like a “wonderfully subtle” olive-oil-peperoncino gelato, shouldn’t be skipped, she says.

Joe Rong’s steamed rice rolls gain another fan: a NYT critic

The Cantonese-style rice noodle rolls found at Joe’s Steam Rice Roll have an “earthiness and elasticity” that set them apart from other vendors in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Times critic Ligaya Mishan writes in her latest review. She’s a big fan of the texture, writing “they flop but don’t droop; you can sink your teeth into them, and slurp.” The rice rolls can be stuffed with a diner’s choice of protein, either fresh or “wonderfully funky dried whorls” of pork, beef, and whole shrimp. Scallions, cilantro, and corn are added, plus beansprouts that offer an extra “crunch.” She visits owner Joe Rong’s original stall in Flushing, as well as his new outpost in the Canal Street Market — though she says she’ll gladly commute to the original, where one of her favorite menu items, a roll “studded” with barbecue pork, is available.

The health department begins grading food trucks today

The NYC health department begins grading food trucks today — a two-year project that’ll be similar to the grading system for restaurants. The department will slap the 5,500 carts authorized to sell food in the city with sanitary grades ranging from “A” to “C.”

A new weekend noodle option in Midtown

Little Tong Noodle Shop’s Midtown East location at 235 E. 53rd St., between Second and Third Avenues, is now open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Chef Simone Tong is also now selling her hot sauces like chili oil and fermented chili at this location as well as her East Village spot.


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