Leo’s Grandevous – Hoboken NJ
SEE 2006 DINNER REVIEW BELOW
Description – Italian restaurant serving Hoboken for over 60 years. Casual café atmosphere. Entrée price range $7 -$16.
Services – Bar, Italian restaurant, private parties
Website – www.leosgrandevous.com
Address – 200 Grand St, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Telephone – (201) 659-9467
Not a good location to get a decent pic. Too many power lines.
A group of us had originally intended on going to that NY Milkshake Company that was supposed to open up, but it hadn’t yet. So since it had been a while since I was personally at Leo’s, we decided to give it a shot.
My previous impression of the food at Leo’s was that it was uninspiring and bland. Is that still the case?
But first let’s talk about the decor. It certainly has that old school Italian “charm” if you will (read: about 100 pictures of Frank Sinatra stuck in your head, but your probably already knew that). Nothing pretentious about it. Since they banned smoking in NJ, the smell inside has improved considerably. The bar, as one reader indicated, is oozing of formica (or similar). But it’s clean, spacious and well organized.
We went at an earlier hour, so the dining room hadn’t been overwhelmed with people yet, which was a good thing. The seating is rather tight, but still had a warm enough ambience to be enjoyable.
Linda was our waitress and she came over, quickly took our drink orders and brought some hot bread and sauce, which was delicious. I have to say, even though one might indicate that the sauce is “bland”, it has started to grow on me in a unadulterated manner.
After a couple minutes, Linda came back, pulled up a chair, and had a nice “discussion” with us as to what we would like to order for dinner. She made recommendations, and described the food in detail. This personal and friendly style of service is one thing that you’ll remember positively and will make you want to return again. A+
We wanted to sample a large variety of items on the menu. All of us ordered different entrees and sides along with a couple appetizers.
Starting with the el cheapo plain bar pie for $3. Looks rather boring, but I have to say, after eating a couple pieces, I found it to be suprisingly tasty. Something about the cheese made it hit the spot.
We also ordered a side of these steak fries. People had mixed opinions about them, but I think they’re my favorite fries in Hoboken. They soak the potatoes in water for a long time prior to flash frying them. They were very crispy, and not oozing with oil. A slightly different taste than you’d expect from a fry, but you’d get used to it in a good way.
Other sides were chosen, such as the mixed salad and a cup of vegetable soup (I think). Both scored high marks for quality of ingredients. The reviewer who ate the soup stated that it was chock full of veggies.
For my entree, I chose the very popular chicken sorrento dish ($14). Chicken, breaded eggplant, mozz, and those little tiny ham-like bits (I don’t recall the name), cooked in a pink sauce with a little white wine. I found this to be amazing! Chicken cooked perfect and juicy. Packed with flavor. Loved it. Could only eat 1/2 and Linda gave me the rest to go, along with a roll to make a sandwich the next day!
Since it was Friday, we had the choice of the “Friday Specials”. One person chose the Eggplant Parm platter ($10.50). I know she thoroughly enjoyed it, but I tasted it and found it to be somewhat below what I expected. I guess I’m picky with eggplant, but something made me think I liked Rosario’s version better.
Our last reviewer picked the Chicken Marsala ($14). She gave the marsala positive marks. Again, the chicken was cooked ideally. I tasted this as well, and agreed on the chicken and sauce, however, the mushrooms struck a funny chord with me. I opted out of them. Personal choice, I presume.
Thankfully, none of us could put a dent in our meal (that’s what you get when you stuff bread in your gullet before the rest of the food comes out). But we were still offered a nice cannoli and some after-dinner cordials. We all shared the dessert, and one reviewer stated it was hands down the best cannoli she’d ever eaten. I don’t particularly like them, so I finished with a Sambuca and coffee.
Now that I’ve gone back to Leo’s and enjoyed my meal, atmosphere and service as much as I did, I will certainly come back soon to try some of the other signature dishes. I’d like to taste more of the Friday Specials (such as the Filet Sandwich for $6), one of the plethora of bar pie options, and other entrees. Many people argue it’s nowhere near “the best”, but it’s gaining ground in my book. You really don’t leave there feeling ripped off or poorly served. That goes a very long way these days it seems.
The best picture in the house was that Rat Pack one they had on the wall with Frank, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin laughing and smoking up a storm.