By Kelly MacConomy
London’s fashionable purveyor of healthy food served fast, LEON, invited the Zebra to taste test the holiday menu at their hopping new location. Leon premiered in the US at 1724 L Street NW, a short stroll to the Renwick Gallery and White House, in the heart of K Street lobby shops and legal/politico powerhouses.
Having made a DC debut splash on September 10, Leon brings exciting fare to downtown casual dining: health-conscious choices appealing to office workers, intrepid tourists and across-the-moat day trippers. Popular with Pippa Middleton and Prince Charles, Leon’s vast fast menu of delectable offerings for breakfast, lunch or dinner never exceeds $10, all served up in under three minutes. The diverting decor is bright, attractive and inviting. Framed photos of team members’ scenes from childhood add a warm, personal note to an informal but polished milieu.
Leon, named for founder John Vincent’s father, is just what the vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/organic/unprocessed epicure ordered. Their brand is “naturally fast food” drawing from the traditions of the healthy Mediterranean-style diets. All the desserts are vegan/gluten free.
The holiday menu is ready to roll, proving that a touch of cranberry goes with anything: a classic British sausage with bacon breakfast sandwich “Pigs on a Blanket” homage twist to an exotically spiced vegan sweet-potato and pine nut “Fa~la~la~fel” falafel wrap or the savory pork and sage-stuffed turkey with bacon, spinach and cranberry sauced treat in The Holiday Wrap.
The Moroccan meatballs are a virtual visit to a Casablanca food market. Served with brown rice and kale slaw. A truffled portobello sandwich with Halloumi is a hearty, meaty meat-substitute available on a gluten-free bun. Vegan meatballs are also available. Much like any of the finer vegan kitchens in the hands of a truly gifted chef, vegan reincarnated dishes can taste uncannily like the carnivore counterpart. Salads and sides are tempting with baked waffle fries and kicky sauces sure to capsize but not sink any diet du jour.
For breakfast there are porridges, toasts and poached egg pots. Sampling the specialty coffee and espresso options was sheer bliss. Our very own Del Ray roaster Swings Coffee created a unique bean, roasted especially for Leon, replicating the blend served to the Royals, Saville Row suits and wayfarers of Fleet Street. It’s a smooth, subtle blend that packs a pick-me-up punch without any bitterness or charred aftertaste. All manner of milk substitutes are available in topping off the custom holiday blend coffee and tea drinks.
Sample Leon’s own organic Blossom and Spice cider as well as a Brit fave, Steepers (infusions of ginger or mint), for something new.
What better way to make the holidays happy while catering care-free to your guests’ varied culinary lifestyle choices than a trip to Leon? Leon can organize a small business or social lunch for 20 for pickup or ready a feast fit for a health-conscious sultan awaiting a caravan of three kings or cousins from California via delivery. Leon uses Uber Eats and Caviar food delivery services.
With over 61 locations in London, the UK and 4 new international cities throughout Europe, Leon aspires to stage their own British Invasion- expanding with 20 DMV locations in the pipeline. Future New York and Chicago locations are also in Leon’s sights. The next DC Leon is scheduled to open in Mount Vernon Triangle at 7th Street near the new Apple Store in the old Carnegie Library .
Alexandria invites Leon to sail into Port City with putative locations in Old Town, Carlyle and inevitably the Landmark and National Landing redevelopment.
Save us a seat.
1724 L St NW
Washington, DC, USA
(202) 813 3867
NEAREST METRO: Farragut North
On Facebook and Insta @LEONRESTAURANTSUSA
On Twitter @LEONUSA