Joseph Leonard – Damn Good Hashbrowns

I read about a restaurant in the West Village, Joseph Leonard was its name, and it had been depicted as a rather trendy little spot.  Having just moved to the area, i felt it my duty to go and scope it out.  So i popped along for a lunch date mid week – i’ll admit, I was half expecting it to disappoint somewhat (just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean the food is good), but i was pleasantly surprised.

Tucked away within the maze of cute streets, this eatery boasts a prime corner spot in the Village.  It’s small and rustic looking from the outside, very much inviting to the passer by – inside, the exposed brick walls, wooden ceiling and an abundance of quaint bric a brac provide plenty of charm.

The vibe in there was relaxed and hipster-ish.  Since i had arrived prematurely for my lunch date, i decided that a refreshing cocktail at the bar counter was mandatory …


Waking Up The Animals – Basil-Pink Peppercorn Gin, Ginger Agave, Lemon & Club Soda

Joseph Leonard’s menu is bistro-like, although with the odd (and welcome) little twist on dishes.  We chose two hearty ones, both of which arrived well presented, & both of which were enjoyable.  


Saucisson a L’ail – Pork & Garlic Sausage, Fried Eggs, Hashbrown, Creme Fraiche & Arugula

At this point, I must give a special shout out to the Joseph Leonard hashbrown which was absolutely delightful….freshly made in house with super finely shredded potato, a perfectly crisp exterior and overall not too greasy (a downfall of one too many a hasbrown) – this one is very much a refined hasbrown.  The housemade sausage was also particularly tasty & overall, i’d recommend this dish.  P.S. I’ve since learnt that they do a mean bacon, so i’ve made a mental note to order that on the side next time.


Fried Chicken Sandwich with Honey, Tobasco, Mayo & Cucumber

Although not out of this world, i very much enjoyed the fried chicken sandwich, mostly due to the unusual honey, tobasco & mayo combination which made it particularly interesting.  N.B. This sandwich is not available on the dinner menu.


The Close Up

Throughout lunch, staff were pleasant & friendly enough, but unsurprisingly for a trendy place, some of them did seem a little ‘too cool’ for their own good – not that this really bothered me.

My one tip: arrive early to nab a table, otherwise be prepared to wait since they don’t take reservations (they will however take your number and give you a call when a table opens up – an act i always appreciate from such ‘no bookings’ restaurants). Although we got seated right away, this was on a calm weekday lunchtime – bear in mind that at the weekend, particularly for brunch, you may have to wait an hour or more; and since it’s small, this probably isn’t the ideal spot to turn up in a group.

I strolled by Joseph Leonard one recent Sunday evening and it looked super cosy inside with flickering lights and a chilled buzz; “this would make for a lovely intimate date spot” i thought to myself (although i’ve also heard that it can get very noisy in the evenings, so best keep that in mind).

Dips Bites: The hip West Village spot that is Joseph Leonard has become a bit of a destination in the area – the kind of place one wants to be seen at.  But it has more substance to it than just that; the atmosphere and setting are both pretty charming & the food is good too. I’d happily return to try out the dinner menu one day, and also check out the weekend brunch vibe another time.  P.S. There’s also a late night menu served after midnight until 2am, which might just provide me with a reliable post drinking burger stop in the neighbourhood, i’ll have to go test it out.

170 Waverly Place, West Village (on the corner with Grove Street)

Joseph Leonard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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