Photography by William Ross

Reinaldo Leandro

Architect, Ashe + Leandro

| NoHo

When you’re looking to engage in a little home improvement and former Vogue editor and La Marque Founder Meredith Melling tells you she has “a guy,” you listen. When said “guy” also happens to be the man behind spaces for the likes of Coldplay guitarist Jonny Buckland, Seth Meyers and Naomi Watts, you pick up the phone and call him immediately. Of course, we’re talking about Venezuelan native Reinaldo Leandro, a NY-based architect and one half of design firm Ashe + Leandro. Alongside interior designer Ariel Ashe (the two met while working at Pierce Allen), the pair meld Ashe’s unique use of color and texture with Leandro’s penchant for crisp, modern spaces that feel grounded and personal. Leandro’s own home is much the same— amidst white walls and potted greenery hang de Kooning lithographs and Richard Aldrich pieces plucked from nearby downtown galleries. Our only question: when can we move in? Here, Leandro sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal his little black book on NYC.

NEIGBORHOOD STANDBY: Cherche Midi (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). They are so friendly and by now, they know me so it’s easier to get a table. It helps that the food is great too. I love ordering the foie gras when I feel like sharing; it’s very rich.

COFFEE OR TEA: Coffee from La Colombe (MAP IT, x) because they have the best gluten-free chocolate mudslide cookies (not that I am gluten-free) and the coffee is good.

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTURANT: Raoul’s (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). Sit at the bar and order the burger, because there is no other place where you can skip the ketchup, and, instead dip your fries and burger in sauce au poivre.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: Black Label, short glass and lots of ice with soda on the side at my parent’s house. They have it religiously every night at 8 pm.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: Better Days (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) or Indochine (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

MUSIC PICK: As long as it’s not house, techno or disco, I am pretty flexible. The bar upstairs at Better Days always has great music whether it’s live or not.

BEST BRUNCH: I don’t really like to brunch; I’m more of a breakfast person. I usually go to Gemma at The Bowery Hotel (MAP IT, x). They have The New York Times and big cappuccino cups. The booths are also very comfortable.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Any and all art gallery openings.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Sweetgreen (MAP IT, x) for a “Harvest” bowl (wild rice, shredded kale, apples, sweet potatoes, toasted almonds, goat cheese, roasted chicken and balsamic vinaigrette).

GULITY PLEASURE: Burger from Raoul’s or everything at Mr. Chow in Tribeca (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x).

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Adult Swim at the open air 50 meter lap pool in Hamilton Fish Center (MAP ITx). It’s best on Friday at dusk.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: The collective energy.

REGULAR AT: The Bowery Hotel (MAP IT, x), Indochine and Cherche Midi for food, drinks and fun; Barry’s Bootcamp (MAP IT, x) and Equinox at Printing House (MAP IT, x) for fitness.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Cherche Midi because they have my constant date’s favorite meal: steak tartare.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Kelley and Ping (*Location now closed).

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Indochine probably.

TO ESCAPE AND UNWIND: 7am jog along the West Side Highway.

SUMMER GETAWAY: I try and do something different each summer. If I am in the city, trips to Rockaway or Fire Island are common. This year, I am doing a gulet cruise off the coast of Turkey; I can’t wait to explore Istanbul.

CLOSET CHECK: My style is comfortable and casual. Dover Street Market (MAP IT, x), J.Crew, Nike and Calvin Klein Collection are some of my favorites.

BEST HOME DÉCOR: 1stDibs (x) and Michael Bargo (x). Michael just relocated to LA, but he has the most incredible inventory of French and Italian antiques. Emilie Irving’s East Village shop, Xenomania (MAP IT, x) has the best selection of antique textiles and tribal artifacts. My best advice when home shopping: if you aren’t sure, it probably won’t work; follow your instincts. I think every home should have a good piece of art.

WISH LIST HOME ACCENT: Greek or Roman sculptures of head or bust.


FIT PICK: I run and swim a lot. I also have this routine I call the ten-ten-ten. It’s a 30 minute jog as fast as you can with a break every ten minutes to do crunches and push-ups or weights. I go to Equinox at Printing House or Barry’s Bootcamp.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: I have been here for 13 years so I have a few (some perhaps less PG than others)… Dirty ones like seeing a rat in a movie theater to classic ones like running along the Hudson with the Statue of Liberty in the periphery. This weekend, I bumped into two women going through a pile of bread and pastries outside Le Pain Quotidien (they toss any unsold bread at the end of every day). I assumed they were homeless but after taking a closer look, I noticed how well dressed and groomed they were; I soon realized they both lived in my building. I shared the elevator up with them and we all started laughing. New Yorkers love a deal… even better when it’s free! CP

Reinaldo’s New York

From L to R: First Row: La Colombe coffee; Menswear from Dover Street Market; Raoul’s; Cherche Midi. Second Row: Gemma; Steak-frites at Raoul’s; Sweetgreen salad; Ash + Leandro designed bedroom.


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