I believe in carbs.
I’m not backing down from any bread bullies, pasta pokes or french fry fights; never have, never will. So when I’m craving pasta, I go BIG. I mean, I want decadence. And that’s so hard now that I don’t eat cheese! UGH. More on that later.
So on a weekend in town with my love, we decided to check out a spot I’ve only gotten to visit once before for brunch but never dinner, but the reviews told us all we needed to know.
Leonardos 706 sits in a unassuming lot on University Ave in the land of the Gators and if you aren’t paying enough attention, you just may miss it! But once you know it’s there, believe me, you’ll never make the mistake of passing it over again. This is so true for me as J and I thought over places to enjoy our Friday date night. In a mood to put on a cute dress and of course, enjoy some pasta and wine, my mind drifted back towards University Avenue for the evening.
Knowing how amazing the reviews were, I was quite surprised that the restaurant wasn’t packed to the brim with patrons when we arrived around 8PM but we were not deterred. As we were greeted by a hostess and a few other friendly faces by the delicious assortment of cakes, I immediately felt at ease. As we entered the front dining room, I could see a range of guests seated and happily enjoying their meals, whether with family or on romantic dinner dates.
We were seated in a dimly lit booth, (romantic but terrible for selfies lol) as the hostess charmed us with her knowledge of beer and wine, as J and I struggled to figure out what we were craving. Looking over the menu, I appreciated that I wasn’t overwhelmed with unnecessary choices but only struggling a bit to choose between the mouthwatering options presented to me. With seafood and steak specials, it was a chore to stick to my pasta urges but I HAD to have some! With pasta varieties named: Madgascar, Aruba, Agave, and Tortelloni Raphael, I knew I was in for some food made with love and it’s own special creation process. I opted to go with the Agave Pasta: “Linguine in a Zesty Jalapeno Salsa, Peppers, Mushrooms and Red Onions sauteed in a Tequila Cream Sauce” + Chicken.
I went looking for pasta and you better believe I found it here!! Paired with the HUGE, BUTTERY, GARLICKY rolls (yes, I ate the butter too *cries in fake vegan tears*), I should have created myself a pallet right on the dining room floor to wait for dinner the next day. J got the 706 Bouillabaisse over pasta and it was sooo good! A hearty dish filled with poached Mussels, Clams, Shrimp, Scallops and Grouper in a homemade stock, it didn’t stand a chance against him.
Other than just having amazing food, I love how personable and friendly all of the team at Leonardo’s is! Whether giving their personal drink favorites, giving you twists on dinner entrees with imagery that could kill, or simply telling you about themselves, Leonardo’s forever feels like a spot where you’re a “regular” on your first visit.
Check out Leonardo’s 706 in Gainesville for Brunch or your next Dinner Date!