Chef Adam Leonti can’t seem to catch a break: His Upper West Side Italian restaurant Leonti has closed just over a year after it opened at 103 West 77th Street, near Columbus Avenue. The restaurant served its last meal on January 1; a representative for Leonti declined to provide further details about the closure.
The restaurant opened in October 2018, replacing fine dining favorite Dovetail. Leonti was known for its high-quality service and unfussy Italian fare served in a slightly theatrical manner. Other notable dishes included the milk-braised lamb served with beans and rosemary and the roasted veal chop with brussels sprouts and bagna cauda.
The chef shot to fame cooking Italian food at Philadelphia restaurant Vetri and made the move to New York in 2015. Since then, though, he’s had a bumpy road: He came to lead the kitchen at Harvey in the Williamsburg Hotel, but when it still hadn’t opened two years later, he jumped ship to Sessanta at the Sixty Soho hotel. He was promptly sued by the Williamsburg Hotel for violating a non-compete agreement and ultimately lost the case in court.
Leonti worked in Germany until his non-compete ran out, which was around the same time that the owner of Dovetail, Lewis Pell, was looking for a new chef and a revamped restaurant. Leonti took the charge. While it was open, it received positive reviews from Grub Street critic Adam Platt and Hannah Goldfield of the New Yorker.
No word yet on what Leonti will get up to next, but Eater has reached for a comment and will update this post accordingly.