Everybody needs a place like Leonoro’s on Washington Street. It is an old fashioned Italian restaurant where you are welcome to come in the back door and walk through the kitchen. The owner will greet you with a smile everytime. This place is full of familiar faces.
Their menu is simple especially for lunch. They have salads and sandwiches, but 90% of people order the “Lunch Special”. The special includes spaghetti, a house salad and Italian bread for $8.75 with meatballs and $7.50 without. You can also order from a variety of noodles including cheese ravioli. Drinks are a painful $1.75 and bring your total above $10 before tip. Ouch.
The service is quick. Apparently once you start working at Leonoro’s you never quit, because the same servers have been there for years. The decor is simple with booths around the edge and tables in the center. You seat yourself and the regulars seem to have assigned tables. The place had cleared out after the lunch rush and I watched a couple wait for “their” table to be cleaned. The walls are covered with family photos from several generations.
I give Leonoro’s – Four Forks!
I have to say I normally don’t like tomato based sauces without a little meat put into the mix. However, Leonoro’s is one exception to this rule. I still supplement the sauce by ordering meatballs when I go, but I would still find the meal filling without the meatballs. As for the meatballs, they are my favorite because they are never too bready, but neither are they too meaty, they’re just right. I also think their thousand island is exceptional and even the salad is both consistent and fresh every time I go. The service is fast (relatively speaking) and the restaurant is consistently clean.
The only thing remotely negative about the food, is that the spaghetti is served a little more than al dente, which would make the meal perfect. Warning, you will leave this restaurant feeling full and as if you ate too much. I rarely have room left for their bread, after devouring the plate full of spaghetti.
If you’re an amateur spaghetti spinner or you just like clean white shirts, you can even get a bib! (or you can cheat like me and just slice the spaghetti to reduce the splash factor of the sauce!) Although the cost is on the high side, I have to give Leonoro’s four forks.
I also recommend considering them for dinner as I’ve also called in a ‘to go’ order for pickup on my way home. By the time I get there from the Capitol the order is waiting.
1507 Washington St E
Charleston, WV 25311