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Leones Pizza: It’s a Toss Up

Posted by CMH Gourmand on July 3, 2016

Leones signJPG

Leone’s Pizza opened in March of 2016 and on its first day of business proved it was 100% better that it’s predecessor (Pizza Mart) which was best known as being a home for 20-30 stray cats. While the sign does provide a prompt, to make sure you are on the right page, Leone means Lion in Italian. Owner Ryan LaRose comes to the business with a lot of pizza kitchen experience and as a (former) member of the US Pizza team is a past award winner in dough tossing. He is such a good showman he won awards for his talents and made appearances on local and national television. So now you know why the tagline is “There’s a show in the dough.”

Excitement in Clintonville and Worthington trended high in the first week of business and has remained so because Leone’s offers what the area has been sorely lacking: New York Style Pizza. In my hierarchy of doughy needs my excitement was about the pizza rolls (rarely seen in our “fare” city), Pinwheels – which I can not describe but can attest to be superior based on a few I tried and (authentic) cannoli which is also a rare thing on our “fare city”. Another layer of excitement comes from the ability to get a “slice” during lunch.

The problem with my hierarchy is that the pinwheels and pizza rolls rarely seem to be available.

Moving into the pizza department, I have sampled quite a few pies and find that while I am a fan of the place and the staff, the pizza suffers from consistency issues.

The Stuffed Pizza is basically one pizza on top of another with toppings in between. This is available as a 16 inch pizza only (medium). The version I tried was good, but cooked several minutes too long (there was some char) and for what I received was overpriced at $28. It would have been a much better pizza at $22 minus the char.

The standard New York Style Pizza is true to technique although it trends a bit more greasy than my favorites in the Big Apple. The cheese used is exceptional. On the pepperoni side, I would prefer locally made Ezzo’s for flavor and mouth feel.


My favorite and the best executed pizza to date has been the Bianco which blends mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive oil and fresh Basil. This is a superior pie.

White pizza

In the non pizza area, I have only tried one sandwich….kind of. I ordered the Sausage Parmigiano. I was excited about this because they make their bread in-house and the sandwich features fresh marinara, mozzarella and sausage. When I brought the sandwich home and unwrapped it I found the bread to be very dark brown with some streaks of black scorch in it. The inside of the bun/roll still seemed fresh and a big doughy so I gave the less charred section a bite….and stopped. My tongue was fairly sure it connected directly with a salt shaker.

I called the shop and explained my experience. They apologized for not hitting their mark. They also told me my order was now on their wall of shame and that next time I came in I would have that same sandwich for free so I could experience how it was meant to be enjoyed. I was satisfied with the response and will look forward to trying it some time…..with a Bianco as a back up just in case.

There is a lot more for me to explore on the menu and I would encourage each of you to give this place a try. As a new business in an off the beaten path location, they can use some community support. For those of you that have tried Leone’s, please comment on this post to add your experiences to mine.

Leone's other sign

Leone’s Pizza
5413 Sinclair Road

Closed October 21st, 2018

Leone's Pizza  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

4 Responses to “Leones Pizza: It’s a Toss Up”

  1. I’ll GLADLY trade you 20 New York-style pies (that seems to be all they sell here in Philly…ugh) for ONE Iacono’s old world pep. Deal??

    • We just need to figure out a meeting place – Pittsburgh? I might trade out the pizza for some Cheeseteaks and donuts. You can order Massey’s Online for Delivery which might get you close to the Columbus style you are craving. And you might be able to have Ezzo’s ship you some pep – > It would make for a good blog post.

  2. A friend and I were not feeling our go to pizza joint (Hound Dogs), we really wanted to try something new. Leones came up in a search of local/new pizza. I would not call Leones a “hole in the wall” but it had the feel of one (not in a bad way). We ate at the restaurant, sitting right next to the counter. The owner and his “girlfriend” or “partner” were very nice and talkative.

    We started out with the house made Meatball Parmigiana appetizer. Two decently sized meatballs in a sea of house marinara and a light dusting of cheese. It was a good meatball was light and very well seasoned, but I won’t lie it was lacking something. Further investigation would probably help me pin point the problem.

    For pizzas we ordered two 8 inch pies: Margherita and Bianco. I will agree with you on the Bianco, perfectly balanced with creamy ricotta and smooth mozzarella. I always enjoy a pizza that strays away from the traditional red sauce.

    The Margherita was not bad, but not a pie that stands out in my mind it was basic.

    My over all first experince was good and I would go again. Though I have not been there since the first time I went which was back in February. Thanks for the great read this morning!

  3. Kate B said

    You had me at cannoli and then you went and told me there’s a white pie? I grew up in NJ, where white pizza was a menu staple and spectacular cannoli were available at even middling Italian bakeries. (Plus friends with several families whose Nonnas all made amazing cannoli.) These are two things I can NEVER resist on a menu and that has ensured that I will definitely make a field trip to Leone’s in short order. A little East coast comfort food in the Midwest, hurray! Thanks for the heads up!

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