Cafe Leonelli will open April 16, a concept envisioned by the restaurant group the Bastion Collection, will embrace Italy’s culinary culture and generosity, and will reflect the nearby community and its local ingredients.
Led by Michelin-starred chef Jonathan Benno, the cafe will be unique to the Houston community by partnering with local purveyors, including Lonestar Mushrooms, Houston Dairy Maids and Homestead Gristmill, and utilizing seasonal ingredients in the creation of each dish.
“Houston is the perfect next step for the Leonelli brand and concept, which originated in New York,” Benno said in a March 30 news release.“The city’s culturally diverse community is bustling, and we are grateful for this opportunity to bring high-quality cuisine and hospitality to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.”
Benno developed the menu for the cafe, which will serve Italian cuisine drawn from the chef’s earliest food memories, his extensive travels through Italy and his professional experience honing the craft of classic culinary methods.
The cafe will serve housemade focaccia with a variety of toppings, sandwiches, soups, salads, baked pastas, meat and seafood dishes along with Italian pastries, cookies, confections and more, all through convenient, attended counter service.
Cafe Leonelli will be located just off the Kinder Building’s Cornelia and Meredith Long Atrium with an additional entrance from Main Street, offering indoor and outdoor seating.