We went out to Joseph Leonard – a restaurant that has long been on our list, and should be on yours too - this past Friday night. Resting on the corner of Waverly & Grove in a converted one-bedroom apartment, Joseph Leonard has a great vibe. You walk in and are immediately greeted by an L-shaped bar and classic rock (Clapton, Talking Heads, etc) blasting from the speaker system.
With a bar on the ground floor and the kitchen "upstairs" (just a few of them), JL has very limited seating and one is expected to have to wait for a table on the weekend. We were shocked when we were brought right to a table on the upper level. SCORE!
It looked like everyone sitting at the bar was socializing and having a great time - it's definitely that kind of place. There are also seats right in front of the kitchen, which seemed fun since the chef was chatting with customers and it's always a plus to be able to see your food being cooked!
Instead of bread on the table, they have out a jar of mini pickles – double score! We started off with a couple of their cocktails & a handful of their daily selection of oysters. On this night they had some from two northeast states that we can't remember. No matter where they were from, they were damn tasty and went down very easy with our drinks...a great way to kick things off.
On to the main course & a couple more cocktails (they make a mean old fashioned)... Jess ordered the cod, which was crispy on the outside and served with confit red peppers, yukon potatoes and a salsa verde. All the flavors went well together and made for a filling and satisfying dish.
While Jess was the one tipped off to the treasure that is JL, Jess was Eric's tipster on what to order. The consensus of JL eaters is that the braised pork hock is the thing to get. Since Eric is a sucker for signature dishes, he signed up for some hock, despite not having a clue what he was getting himself into. The waitress explained that it’s brined and then braised overnight….and then deep fried. So, he knew that this couldn't end too poorly. Served alongside an arugula salad, this pork hock was down right filthy (in a good way). With a crispy exterior and meat on the interior that was falling off the bone, it was the right choice. Each bite was scrumptious & loaded with pork-y goodness. We quickly understood why NY Magazine put this on their "Best Of Pork" list.
We also got a side of the brussels sprouts that need to be mentioned because of the unique way they were prepared... shredded, roasted, & then topped with some sriracha (hot sauce). Delicious!
There was not enough room for dessert so we continued to sip our drinks as the meal came to a close. We loved our dinner at Joseph Leonard and will definitely be back when we want a tasty meal out with some cocktails.