Arriving to a great cocktail menu and a Neil Young album playing (there’s a painting of him above the bar), I liked Leslie Jones right off the hop. The fact that they could accommodate a group of 10 on a busy Saturday night made us all feel welcome. I get the feeling that this eclectic little place is busy all the time.
My unit of measurement when trying new restaurants is often their Calamari ($11). Leslie Jones’ is grilled after being marinated with Lemon, Capers, Moroccan Olives and Chillies. It’s served on a bed of Greens that provide a nice crunch… and albeit a small serving, it was a tasty starter and worked well with my Dirty Martini ($10).
What jumped off the menu for me was the Our Fave Pizza ($16), and it’s easy to see why. Speck, Chicken, Sausage, Grilled Onion, Olive Tapenade, Hot Peppers and Mozzarella are piled high. With so many toppings, some of the flavours tended to get a bit lost, but a great ‘Za none the less. The Super Salad ($17) proved to be the right sidecar for the pizza because, like the pizza, we’re talking tons of toppings. Grilled Chicken, a dozen chopped Vegetables, Toasted Almonds, Cheese, Lettuce and Baby Spinach were tossed in a lemony house dressing. The Pizza & Salad combo was enough to share and got washed down by a nice glass of Malbec ($9), which was served in a highball glass (just the way I like it).
With a high ratio of decent places to eat, Leslieville definitely has a lot going on. The word is out, and places like Leslie Jones set the bar pretty high. Great atmosphere for a date, and its proximity to Curzon for after-dinner drinks & dancing makes for a nice one-two punch.