Leona's has been on "my to-try list" for a while -- it always looked like a cozy, family-oriented neighborhood spot. In fact, it reminded me of one of my very favorite neighborhood family restaurant chains-- Gregg's (in Rhode Island-- home of the best chicken parm and Heath Bar Crunch Cake EVER).
However, I wondered, would the food at Leona's measure up? With places like this, you never really know. Exhibit one: Dave's Italian Kitchen in Evanston. Warm and friendly? Yes. Family-oriented? Yes. Food? Cheap, but crap-pay. (Honestly, who puts red bell pepper in their alfredo sauce? Awful.)
Luckily, as far as comfort food goes, Leona's food was pretty good... but it was more than a bit overpriced. The Italian-slanting menu offers up standard-par pasta, pizza, and lasagna, but also several varieties of hearty American favorites, including burgers and big fat sandwiches -- all alongside a bellywarming assortment of sides. Laurel & I decided to split a hulking Caesar Avacado Veggie Wrap with potato wedges and pesto rotini on the side.
[ PICTURE OF FOOD ]
The potato wedges were what I expected, and the pesto rotini was tasty-- but cold. The wrap was huge- definitely a meal for two, but was a little dominated by giant chunks of avacado. Now don't get me wrong, I like avacado, but only really in the way I like peanut butter: in moderation. I would never stick a whole spoonful of peanut butter in my mouth, just as I would never just take a bite out of an avacado. Just too much at once. However, the meal did have one redeeming touch-- every dish at Leona's comes with a side of their own apple crisp. Mmmmm. Overall, Leona's gets an A for the homey, inviting, family-friendly atmosphere... but only a B for the standard but overpriced good.