A passion for cooking mixed with a family legacy inspired Dave Schwartz to pursue his dream of opening up his own restaurant in Archbald.
Chef’s Table recently chatted with the Culinary Institute of America graduate, who opened Leo’s Delicatessen and Marketplace at 1 Highland Blvd., Suite 105, in the borough in January 2019.
Q: What is the history of the restaurant?
A: After 25 years of working within the food service industry, I was inspired more than ever to open Leo’s Delicatessen and Marketplace in the valley. My passion for cooking and feeding others started when I was a child, working alongside my grandfather, Leon, in my family’s Brooklyn butcher shop. Growing up as a teen in Long Island, I worked at some of New York’s top restaurants. These experiences further fueled my passion for cooking, so I decided to continue my education and training at the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation (from CIA), I worked at the Boca Raton Resort and Club, where I was able to refine and master my catering skills. After seven years at Boca, I moved back to New York, where I worked alongside several Michelin star-rated chefs.
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, I moved to Northeast Pennsylvania and became the chef of my family’s restaurant, Bistro 1202 in Honesdale. I spent 10 years as the chef there; however, with the birth of my son, Leo, in 2017, I knew it was time to build a restaurant of my own. In 2018, my dream of continuing my grandfather’s legacy came to fruition, and Leo’s Delicatessen and Marketplace opened in 2019.
Q: What type of food do you serve?
A: Leo’s Delicatessen is unique in the sense that we serve a variety of different menu items. We serve classic deli sandwiches, hot and cold subs, signature sandwiches, wraps, paninis, tacos, burgers, open-faced platters, soups, salads, pizza, wings and loaded fries — all with a modern twist. We also feature at least 15 special menu items, ranging from appetizers to entrees, and these are changed on a weekly basis.
Q: How did your menu come to be?
A: Growing up in New York, I was inspired by so many different cuisines and cultures. Some of my favorite cuisines include French, Italian, Greek and traditional New York deli fare. Our menu at Leo’s is a reflection of some of my favorite foods paired with my classical training to create a unique twist.
Q: What are your most popular dishes?
A: One of our most popular items is our Garlic Chicken Hoagie made with house-made breaded chicken cutlets topped with tomato bruschetta, fresh mozzarella and garlic mayonnaise on a toasted hoagie roll. Our tacos are another best-selling item. Diners can choose from fried fish, blackened shrimp, blackened chicken or crispy fried chickpeas, which are all topped with southwest slaw, homemade salsa, a spicy sriracha mayo drizzle and crunchy tortilla strips, served on soft flour tortillas.
Q: What type of seating do you have?
A: We have indoor booths and tables as well as an outdoor covered patio, both with waitress services.
Q: What kinds of promotions do you offer?
A: We offer a daily special from Tuesday to Saturday. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, we feature 1 pound of our signature boneless wings for $6. On Wednesdays, our cheesesteaks (beef or chicken) are $7 each. On Thursdays, our Cougar Smashburgers are $5 each, and on Fridays, our Valley and New York-style square, 10-cut cheese pizzas are $10 each. On our Facebook (page), we do weekly contests in which we give one random winner a free menu itemaccording to the week’s contest. For instance, this (month) we (were) running the Battle of the Parms. Our customers tell us in the comments section of the contest post if they are Team Chicken Parm Hoagie or (Team) Meatball Parm Joagie. At the end of the week, we choose a winner at random, and they receive the item of their choice.
Q: Do you offer catering, event space, etc.?
A: We offer off-property event catering. We have a full catering menu that includes appetizers, salads, sandwich platters, hot entrees and much more.
Q: Where do you see the restaurant headed in the future?
A: Eventually, I would love to have several locations of Leo’s Delicatessen and Marketplace throughout the area. Also, we have designated a section of our restaurant as a marketplace featuring locally made goods for sale from a variety of talented artisans. All of the items in our market are homemade, and (they) include candy and sweets, popcorn, honey products, syrups, jams, sauces, coffee, tea, soaps, lotions and candles. We feel that now, more than ever, it is so important to support other local businesses. We hope to grow our marketplace in the future, not only to continue offering a unique experience for our diners but also to help support other local businesses along the way.
Q: Do you have dine-in service, outside seating, delivery or curbside pickup?
A: We offer dine-in, outdoor seating, takeout and delivery. We also offer curbside pickup on request.
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