The Leopard at des Artistes is a restaurant with updated Southern Italian fare in a space decorated with historic murals located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I don’t know how many times we walked by this restaurant and said we have to come here for dinner and yesterday was the day we finally did. We had a table reservation and asked for a quiet nice table, away from the door – I always ask for these kind of tables because I simply do not enjoy getting interrupted from arriving or leaving guests all the time. New Yorker restaurants are always crowded and it was nice to find this hidden jewel almost empty. We arrived at 9:00 PM during the week and it was a perfect timing. The menu offers in season menus with a three course tasting menu. One of our seasonal dishes was the seafood risotto and we both decided to get it. It was delicious. Creamy rich, with different kind of seafood including scallops, octopus and mussels. A beautiful restaurant which is different compared to the dishes, the style and the ambience and we really enjoyed it. It felt like traveling back in time.

From the restaurant homepage: THE LEOPARD at des Artistes finds its roots in the area once known as “The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies” (mid 1800s) and in the culinary traditions of the regions of Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Apulia, Sardinia, and of course Sicily, reaching a balance between dishes based on rural elements, such as pasta, vegetables, cheese, and seafood ingredients from the Costiera. The Kingdom, Naples as capital, was the largest and wealthiest of the states before Italian unification. Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa’s master piece, Il Gattopardo (Italian for The Leopard) chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento, period when Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of Italian unification, swept through Sicily with his forces, known as The Thousand, to create the single state of Italy in the 19th century.

THE LEOPARD at des Artistes is located at  1 W 67th St, New York, NY 10023