Leon 1909, Shelter Island’s Newest Restaurant, Open For First Full Season

After opening late last summer in the former home of a Capital One bank building, Leon 1909 is set to host their first full season on Shelter Island.

The French-Italian eatery was launched by Valerie Mnuchin and her father Robert Mnuchin, Goldman Sachs banker and celebrated art dealer who owns the eponymous gallery on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Léon 1909 is described by the proprietors as “an inviting homage to the past with warm, natural materials and nods to unfussy, countryside French and Italian fare.” They aspire to the cozy quaintness of a restaurant in Nice on the French coast.

Valerie Mnuchin is the owner of Léon 1909, named for her paternal grandfather who was born that year and emigrated to the United States from Belgium in the early 20th Century.

Léon 1909 has seating for 76 inside and a similar number outside.

Entrees this year feature a strozzapreti pasta dish with fire roasted tomato, basil and pecorino romano ($37), the Belgian-inspired moule frites with green garlic, saffron, rouille and french fries ($42) and a Leon burger with gruyére, caramelized onions and sour pickles ($29). The wine list is extensive.

The idea for the restaurant was dreamed up during the pandemic and finally came to fruition late last season.

“We wanted to make something that would be a sort of community hub, open year-round,” Mnuchin said in an interview with the North Forker.

Location: 29 West Neck Road, Shelter Island, (631) 749-9123.

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