June 2006 Cheap Eats
far cry from the old-timey Georgetown saloons that line M Street, this contemporary Austrian coffeehouse/lounge/restaurant pays as much attention to its modern European food as to its sleek design.
You can sit at the bar, take a seat in one of the flower-shaped chairs by the windows, or try for a perch next to the outdoor fountain in the Cady's Alley courtyard.
That's the easy part. The hard part is choosing among the appealing Austrian dishes to keep the tab for two around $50. Several robust classics make a persuasive case for themselves: crostini topped with mildly spicy whipped Liptauer cheese spread and a salad of fava beans; dense spaetzle with fried shallots; or bratwurst perched on sweet, bacony sauerkraut next to a swipe of Dijon mustard.
The lemon roasted chicken is sometimes superlative, sometimes merely good, but always an excellent deal at $16. Salads, such as arugula and parsley with dates and ricotta salata or cucumber with honey and dill, are beautifully balanced.
Though Leopold's strives to mimic Viennese cafe culture–the elegant coffee service is available all day–the pastries aren't quite up to standards. They're gorgeous in the case, but some taste like they've been sitting for days. Go for the tea sandwiches instead.