Leonardo’s 706 – Gainesville

We hadn’t been to Leonardo’s 706 for a while, certainly not since they’d done a partial renovation and created the Jazz Room.  Initially we were seated in the non-renovated section at arguably the worst table in the house, but a quick request to change tables was happily granted and as soon as a table became available we moved to the far more vibrant and fashionable Jazz Room.

Our meal that evening was reminiscent of previous 706 meals: a mixed bag.  We started with a couple of salads, which are always terrific (and quite large).  The Caesar was crisp with a nice peppery bite and the Organic Salad was a zesty mix of fresh greens, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a generous amount of creamy goat cheese.

For entrees we chose an order of Mussels, which are listed under appetizers but are substantial enough to be a main course, and the Blackened Grouper served with pasta and fresh asparagus.  The mussels themselves were plump and juicy but the dish was diminished by a white wine cream sauce that was thin and under-seasoned.  The rolls served with the mussels were visibly overdone.  The Blackened Grouper was a moist piece of fish accompanied by perfectly grilled asparagus but again the dish suffered from under-seasoning.  In this case, both the red pepper cream sauce served with the fish and the angel hair pasta on the side were under-salted and generally bland.  Ultimately this dish wasn’t worth the $20.95 price tag.

Yet the most significant lapse of the night was the timing.  We barely had time to enjoy our superb salads when the entrees arrived.  We didn’t appreciate the rush and our small table for two really couldn’t handle more plates.  While we enjoyed the music and certain elements of our meal, overall too many things were “off” for a truly enjoyable evening.

Caesar (small)  $5.95         Organic salad (small)  $5.95             Mussels $8.95

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