West Village Favorite Announces New Name, Keeps Classic Manhattan Charm and Approachable New-American Menu
West Village gem Harwood on Hudson is now The Leroy House. As the neighborhood eatery approaches its first anniversary, owners Kim Nguyen, Bill Block and Laurent Fraticelli are celebrating with a moniker that channels the charm and history of these storied city blocks.
A friendly parting among the team behind the launch of the venue also spurred the name change. Terry and Lisa Harwood decided to focus on their restaurants outside of NYC, so they passed the torch, but not their surname, to their partners, the husband and wife team of Nguyen and Block. When thinking about a rebrand, the now solo owners simply looked out the venue’s large picture windows. “We set out to be a neighborhood restaurant that reflects our love of the West Village,” says Block. “On the corner of our block is one of the many beautiful streets, Leroy Street, and we are on the ground floor of a magnificent and uniquely West Village townhouse. So, for us, ‘The Leroy House’ made perfect sense.”
Although the name has changed, the eatery’s many charms remain constant. At its core, The Leroy House is the type of mom-and-pop establishment that is increasingly rare on the streets of Manhattan. An approachable New-American menu by chef David Wernerhas attracted a legion of regulars, lured by traditional dishes like steamed mussels – here served with Calabrian chilies, cockles, rouille and sourdough – and Leroy’s cheddar burger topped with house-made pickles.
“I feel like being a neighborhood place means we have to have staple dishes that people can look forward to when they dine with us,” says Chef Werner. And though the popular staples remain, the menu has evolved to incorporate more seasonal fare with hints of italian and french influences.
Visitors also don’t have to worry too much about their wallets, as The Leroy House makes a concerted effort to keep dishes affordable. “We really tried to keep our price point at a level
Where neighbors are comfortable coming back a few times a week,” says Block. “No one should feel like they have to save up to come to our restaurant.” Look for options like mezzi rigatoni cacio e uova, served with fresh spring peas, fava beans, and black pepper, that are meant to appeal to all levels of diners.
“We are really motivated to have entree offerings around the $20 mark” agrees Chef Werner. “We have a great roster of house-made pasta, and are always trying to innovate while keeping the cost down.” Of course, there are also exceptional, and affordable, snacks such as the Deviled Eggs with fresh Maine Uni, pickled mustard seeds and chives and fabulous salads like the Frisee Salad with poached egg, lardons and red wine vinaigrette that can be served either vegetarian or plant-based. And guests can still splurge. Regulars love the generous fish, steak and duck dishes, and those on a date may opt for the new Bone-in Ribeye Steak (for two) served with galic confit, clarified butter and pan roasted lemon and comes with two sides.
Located on the ground floor of a classic West Village townhouse, the decor of the restaurant also embraces a timeless West Village vibe. With vintage European tiles, a long marble bar and antique-style sconces, the owners have created a warm, inviting room that feels like it’s existed here for decades. Depending on your group, it can feel like you’ve stumbled into a secret romantic spot for those in the know, or been invited to a convivial dinner party hosted in one of the neighborhood’s many historic residences.
In the warm months, diners can enjoy a sip of cafe society at one of the European-style alfresco tables on Hudson Street. Visitors looking for a great brunch can come on the weekends and those looking for a deal can visit during the happy hour where a selection of affordable snacks and drinks are offered from 4:30-7 PM daily. At the end of the day, The Leroy House is Block and Nguyen’s love letter to the West Village and to each other. They’ve been together for 16 years and always dreamed of opening a restaurant. They see the space as an expression of their affection for the neighborhood and their passion for great food and drink.
“There are those signature restaurants that come to mind and help define all of our favorite neighborhoods in New York,” says Block. “That’s what we want to be for ours – a place that our neighbors love and that celebrates what makes our corner of the West Village so special.”
The Leroy House is open Mondays from 4:30-9pm, Tuesday & Wednesday 4:30-10pm, Thursday – Saturday 5-11pm and brunch on weekends from 11-3pm at 430 Hudson Street. For more information please visitwww.theleroyhouse.com