When Garden City Patch arrived at the almost 70-year-old Garden City mainstay last Saturday, the sunshine beckoned diners outside and almost every one of the dozen or so tables were filled (see our Business Review).
The warmth of the mid-day September sun called for seafood on the large pub-like menu at Leo's. Four behemoth baked clams ($8.95) were the first morsels to arrive at the table. With the orange hue of paprika atop, they were moist with fresh chopped clams hidden in between the bread mixture. There was a hint of Old Bay Seasoning, accompanied by lemon wedges.
The Oriental Pot Stickers ($10.95) were average sized and crispy – minced pork with snippets of scallions were inside these unadventurous munchies. Definitely use the thick brown dipping sauce – with the consistency of oyster sauce; it had a nice sweetness to it like a Hoisin.
There were a few Asian threads on the menu; for $12.95, the Thai Chicken Salad included grilled chicken with a spicy peanut sauce over baby greens.
Capitalizing on the last week of the summer menu, Leo's plated up two 1 ¼ lb Maine lobsters ($22.94) with a side of coleslaw and fries. For a $5 fee, they split the lobsters and shelled the tails. The overabundance of Main and Canadian lobsters has placed them on many Long Island menus and also made them affordable once again. The coleslaw was homemade and tasty; finely chopped with not too much mayo and a hint of vinegar flavor. The fries were coated and double fried and didn't disappoint.
The huge plate of Rigatoni with Lobster ($15.97) had a fresh plum tomato sauce. Giant chunks of lobster and fresh mushrooms swam in the basil-perfumed sauce. It was served with a slice of Italian bread and fresh grated cheese. The dish is enough for two.
This pub menu had a lot of fun items – trendy starters like pizza, fried zucchini and bar favorites like wings and potato skins. A large cheese-covered bowl of Leo's French onion soup can be had for $6.95.
The salad selection is varied – chicken, egg, chef, Cobb, shrimp and Caesar. The grill menu included Leo's Famous burger for $11.50 but includes pickles, coleslaw and fries.
The dessert menu was small but the Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae looked worthy for $6.95. The Leo's Special was a large slab of toasted pound cake with vanilla ice cream, a generous heap of hot fudge, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and M&Ms candy. Simple but decadent, it's dessert for two.
The service was a little inexperienced but the atmosphere fun and the food enjoyable – the Apex of neighborhood gastronomy on the corner of Seventh and Franklin.