Fans of Italian comfort food will be pleased with the offerings are Galli in SoHo, a recently opened, mid-priced restaurant on Mercer Street.
True, residents of SoHo apartments aren’t exactly hurting for good places to eat these days. There’s the pasta at Aurora Soho, the Thai party-food at Kelley and Ping, the BLT at Bar 89, everything at The Dutch, a pre-Angelika supper at Burger and Barrel, a mac-n-cheese quick bite at MacBar, the pasta at Mezzogiorno, the meats and the pasta (again) at Osteria Morini, the salads and pasta (yep!) at Caffe Falai, the lobster roll at Ed’s Lobster Bar, and, that great Soho classic, a late-night burger at Fanelli’s.
All of these are excellent options in the immediate area, depending on the occasion, meals I’ve enjoyed and recommended many times over the years… and that’s not including anything in next-door Nolita!
That said, in Soho as everywhere else, there’s always room for a good, relatively-inexpensive restaurant. Enter Galli, a friendly, mid-priced Italian spot that just opened on a quiet stretch of Mercer Street that, fingers crossed, will be more a neighborhood place than a scenester-magnet.
Michael Forrest co-owner Steve Gallo, who runs a few “cult favorites” on Long Island, La Piazza and Mama Theresa’s, neither of which I’ve heard, seem committed to serving the community (Galli is open all day, with a European coffee bar sort of vibe in the morning), while recognizing that, because this IS Soho, there will certainly be some partying going on here as well.
Anyway, I popped in over the weekend on my way to a movie (it’s only about three blocks from Angelika), and the signs are pointing in the right direction.
The Galli Soho menu is filled with classic Italian crowd-pleasers: a bunch of appealing-sounding starters and salads, nearly 20 different pastas, a few gently-priced mains, all supposedly based on “tried-and-true Gallo family recipes”.
I went my usual route at places like this, getting a salad and a pasta and, I’m happy to report, both were tasty and satisfying. My Kale Salad was bright and balanced, filled with orange slices, almond slivers, avocado slices, crunchy carrots, and drizzled with an orange-y olive oil. Nice. And my rigatoni-based dish, called Salsiccia, looked a little wet, but tasted just fine, the chewy pasta fortified with crumbled sweet sausage, cherry tomatoes, wilted baby spinach, and a light marinara.
The servers were friendly, the music Pandora-set-to-”Indie”, the decor rustic, the room, especially in the back, airy and bright. We’ll see how things go, but for now at least, Galli is definitely worth putting on your Soho options list.
Galli is located on Mercer between Broome and Grand Streets, and is open from 9:00 a.m. until late at night (they’re a bit vague right now) seven days a week. The website isn’t finished as of right this second, but they’ll probably at some point post the whole Galli menu.
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