Chef Nick Stanton and his business partners Guy Bentley, Mark Catsburg and Jon Harper run log-cabin party bar Leonard’s House of Love in South Yarra and the rollicking Leonardo’s Pizza Palace in Carlton. Leo’s by the Slice completes their trilogy.

Inside there are a few stools and a couple of booths. The seemingly worn-in checkerboard floors, red tabletops and timber panelling have heyday Pizza Hut written all over them. But that’s where the resemblance stops.

Here, the dough is designed for reheating – the 22-inch pies are three-quarter cooked, cooled, then finished off to order. Slices come out thin, crisp, piping hot and, most importantly, foldable – just like the paper plates they’re served on.

Stanton envisioned textbook New York-style toppings, but with dialled up quality. Leo’s uses That’s Amore mozzarella, purpose-made pepperoni from Gary’s Quality Meats and shiitake mushrooms grown in the Otways.

Other toppings include meatlovers with black pudding, a tropical pineapple and jalapeno version, and a vegan margherita that riffs on the hallowed Ramblr Chinese bolognaise pizza, subbing out the meat for pea protein.

The drinks list brims with two-dozen (mostly American) tinnies, plus house lager and Coopers Pale Ale on tap, starting at five bucks. A tight edit of lo-fi wines is full of strictly user-friendly varietals. Cocktail-wise, there’s a foamy Black Forest number with Jack Daniel’s; a boozy, Oreo-sprinkled frozen Irish Coffee (served in a paper cup); or go fresh with a Spritz, Sour or Negroni. A tight edit of lo-fi wines round thing out.

Leo’s serves the Chapel Street late night set well – slices are available until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.

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Updated: February 25th, 2021

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