Leonardo’s Restaurant: Diani Italian pub with pizza worth dying for


Pizza and wine. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Last piece from Diani, I promise. If you find yourself in Diani soon, visit this restaurant and bar. You won’t miss it at night; it glows like a luxury ocean liner. It invites you with light and brights and if you aren’t zipping past in their trumpeting tuk-tuks, you will hear the bubbling sounds of diners and cutlery and music.

I know little about interior styling, nor have I been to Italy, but I know that Leonardo’s is as close to Italy as anything else can be. Think of La Casa Di Nico Ristorante in Village Market in Nairobi but without the red checked tablecloths. Their table shows white-washed wood underneath the high makuti roof. We picked a booth—they have these beautiful booths that overlook the road, only a handful so you will be lucky to get a free one.

The booths are intimate and decorated with red cloth. Order a pizza because it’s an Italian restaurant. They have great pizzas and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like pizzas that much because I’m middle-aged and wheat can kill me if I get overly friendly with them. But you are in Diani and what is life if you can’t eat tasty things that can kill you?

Who wants to die after living off vegetables and fruits only? So have a pizza. All their pizzas are worth dying for. Also, have a drink because you must be on holiday and people on holiday have a drink or a pretend drink in the form of a virgin cocktail.

At some point, a man with a heavy Italian accent going around the table speaking with his hands will come around the table and say hello, are you having a good time? You will ask him if he is Leonard and he will laugh and say, “No, no, my father. He ran this place for many many decades and he left it to me, I run.” I think he is called Roberto, all I know is his name must have ended with an ‘O’. Leonardo is a stepping stone to the Diani night. It’s an appetiser to the meal. If the appetizer is wrong it ruins the main course. Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about that.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.