Enjoy the Height of Fine Southern Italian Dining At New York’s Iconic The Leopard at des Artistes

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Everyday dishes done with respect to Southern Italian cultural traditions, absolute quality of ingredients, hospitality and outstanding service — that is the formula of New Yorkers favorite fine Italian dining destination: The Leopard at des Artistes.

This Upper West Side hot spot, owned by husband-and-wife-team Gianfranco Sorrentino and Paula Bolla-Sorrentino, and partner Chef Vito Gnazzo, invites diners to enjoy exceptional food in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The Leopard’s décor, which features famed Howard Chandler Christy murals in the dining room, is inspired by the elegance of the 1963 epic film with the same name.

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Chef Vito’s culinary signature of authentic southern Italian comfort food is what draws visitors and locals alike to the restaurant. The Leopard boasts a diverse menu that finds its roots in the area once known as The Kingdom of Two Sicilies of the mid-1800s, and the culinary traditions of Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Apulia, Sardinia, and of course, Sicily.

The menu also features dishes traditionally found in regions outside of southern Italy, such as Lazio and Umbria. The restaurant continues to attract a wide array of celebrities, including Steven Spielberg, Howard Stern, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Hank Azaria, Steve Martin, William Kentridge, Madame Francoise Gilot, John Anthony Baldessari, Giuseppe Penone, James Levin and Valery Gergiev.

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Signature dishes include the Pan-Seared Duck Breast “Porchetta” with fennel pollen, cipollini with aged balsamic vinegar, pickled raisins and vegetable caponata; Halibut “In Brodetto” with baby artichoke and fingerling potatoes; and Maltagliati with wild game and porcini mushroom ragú. The dessert menu boasts specials such asTraditional Zabaione with fresh mixed berries; Traditional Torta di Mascarpone “tiramisu” style; and Nutella Chocolate Mousse served on hazelnut crunch and banana gelato. The restaurant offers an extensive wine and cocktail selection with a wine pairing service offered with the “A Taste of The Leopard” set menu.

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The Il Gattopardo family of restaurants include Il Gattopardo, The Leopard at des Artistes and Mozzarella & Vino. Originally from Naples, Italy, Gianfranco Sorrentino carries over 40 years of experience in restaurant management from the Quisitana Hotel in Capri, Dorchester Hotel in London, Four Seasons Hotel in Tokyo, Bice restaurant in New York, Sette MoMA restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art of New York, and Union Bar & Grill in Great Barrington, MA.

In September 2001, Sorrentino opened Il Gattopardo, just across from MoMA, and most recently (2011) the Sorrentinos embarked on one of the most rewarding journeys of their careers; the re-birth of the restaurant at New York landmark Hotel des Artistes.

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Brazilian born and raised, of Italian parents from Veneto, Paula Bolla-Sorrentino is passionate for art, design and Italian culture. With fashion and design background, she had the opportunity of traveling around the world with top fashion designers, as well as worked in one of the most prestigious design firms of New York, Pentagram Design, as Graphic Designer.

Graduated from FIT, but with the hospitality industry in her heart, Paula runs all visual and organizational aspects of the company, from Art Direction and flowers, graphic design, and customer relations, to make sure that guests are not only exposed to a wonderful gastronomical event on the table, but to a whole sensorial experience.

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Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought out journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food and more! Based out of NYC.

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