Dovetail’s Next Incarnation Will be High-End Italian, Report Says

Dovetail, the Michelin-starred restaurant at 103 West 77th Street that closed in June, is set to come back in September as an Italian restaurant, likely with a different name, Eater reported.

Chef Adam Leonti has been brought on to remake the space after former chef John Fraser left earlier this year. The new restaurant may end up being called Leonti, Eater says.

Expect dishes such as ribollita, porcini pasta with snail and chianti ragu, turbot with sweet 100 tomatoes and milk-braised lamb, and a cold tripe salad. Pasta will hover around $25, with entrees creeping up to around $40. Leonti will also do the desserts and bread himself, bringing in a deck oven and a mill to make fresh flour.

Though heโ€™s become known for Italian fare, Leonti may end up expanding beyond that at the new restaurant. โ€œIf I want to make a kebab, I can make a kebab,โ€ he says.

Leonti, who became a star chef in Philadelphia, told Eater that he wants to make the new place a regular spot, as opposed to just a “special occasion” restaurant.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 18 comments | permalink
    1. Pigs in Space says:

      Ha! A “regular spot” with $40 entrees! Don’t worry, “regular” folks of the Upper West Side–the breadsticks will be quite affordable.

    2. LAS says:

      I am thrilled to read this. I wish the chef all the success and I will be anxious to come and try the new restaurant.
      It will be wonderful to have a neighborhood spot with an interesting menu.

    3. BILLYNYC says:

      KUDOS !
      I cant wait ๐Ÿ™‚

    4. Bill says:

      One would hope they will also renovate the dreadful acoustics. I gave up going there years ago. Too many (admittedly delicious) meals spoiled by having to practically shout to a dining companion. Not worth the sonic indigestion.

      • George Of CPW says:

        I agree completely. What possesses restaurateurs to prevent conversation? What diners prefer not to be able to speak to each other. Do they just text nowadays?

        • Cato says:

          The din encourages turnover. If you linger over your meal to chat, the restaurant gets fewer turnovers; if you gobble your food because you can’t talk anyway, you’ll get out faster and they’ll get another group in more quickly.

          It’s all about money. You’re basically “renting” the table while you’re there; the longer you stay, the more it will cost. The less you want it to cost, the quicker you have to leave — and the more uncomfortable you are, the quicker you’ll leave.

    5. Davie says:

      I’m pretty skeptical. Unless you’re able to attract really wealthy young folks from downtown and celebrity types to come up and dine on the UWS and spend a lot of money on wine and alcohol, it’s going to be hard to make it in this location. Forty dollar main courses are too steep for this neighborhood. People want to eat expensive food in a hip, cool and happening neighborhood. Sorry, not the UWS. They want a scene. The food and atmosphere brings them in, but the booze pays the rent! Hey, let’s hope I’m wrong and this place takes off. We’ll see.

      • Jeff says:

        I think there’s plenty of evidence that restaurants at this price point can thrive on the UWS. Look at Cafe Luxembourg, Tessa, The Ribbon, The Milling Room, RedFarm, Lincoln, ‘Cesca, Boulud Sud โ€” they’re all just as expensive, usually pretty crowded and all in existence for several years.

    6. Rob G. says:

      Yay! Glad they are keeping the bar set high for this space. I had only been to Dovetail twice but they did a great job there.

    7. Tom Lee says:

      This restaurant will also close and of course it will be due to greedy landlords.

      What might work there is a restaurant more in line with Cafe Luxembourg or Maison Pickle or The Ribbon. Perhaps a “high end” diner. A nice, casual place where people can have nice meal for under $30-40 per person.

      Anything with a prix fix menu or $45 entrees is not going to make it. Neither will a burger joint or pastry shop.

    8. Local says:

      Sad that all of the Michelin star restaurants have abandoned us on the uws. Iโ€™m hoping for more excellent restaurants to save the uws from its culinary wasteland.

    9. Mikey says:

      Loved dovetail and very excited for this!

    10. UWS Dad says:

      Excellent news. Every weekend I say to myself “There just aren’t enough Italian restaurants around here; I really wish some of those overrated Michelin-starred places would convert themselves into one.”

    11. Kenneth S Sherrill says:

      Losing the excellence of the food and the extraordinary hospitality and service would be a terrible loss. Certainly the neighborhood has supported a restaurant of Dovetail’s quality. What began as a “special occasion” restaurant became “regular” to us because the excellence was worth the price. We never saw many empty tables and we went at least once a month. Lowering the quality is an insult to the community.

    12. elizabeth kirkor rogers says:

      I’m just glad I cook most of my meals myself. I glory in all the money I am saving!

    13. Miranda Smith says:

      Milk Braised Lamb and Tripe? Somehow this makes me slightly nauseated. What about a great Tuscan or southern Italian. I haven’t had a great pasta on Westside in years!