courtyardThere is a beating heart of Europe slapped in the middle of Georgetown: outdoor drinking, light entrees and elegant pastries are yours for the taking if you just know when to turn off M Street and head down a stone flight of stairs. 

The most tantalizing offering from Leopold’s Kafe is also the first thing you see: a lovely, sun-drenched courtyard. Dotted with friendly orange umbrellas, the stone courtyard is just far enough away from M Street’s hustle and bustle to feel like a real escape. The Austrian restuarant is hugged on three sides by Cady’s Alley, bordering a side street melange that only enhances the continental flavor with its upscale home design shops whose names require additional apostrophes.

I skipped down the stairs from M St on a recent visit to find the courtyard full of merrymakers on a sunny post-work spring afternoon. The most notable table, perhaps, was the boisterous crowd of preppy Spanish speakers (staffers from nearby embassy?)  who were clearly several rounds in to the happy hour. The inside of Leopold’s is crisp, modern and fairly uncomfortable looking. Luckily my friend Jean made arrived a few minutes early and snagged a coveted seat on the patio with the Spanish revelers.

More photos and food reviews after the jump. (more…)