For the most part, the High Street mall scene around Henderson Road is home to mostly casual joints: ice cream, barbecue, hot chicken. Gallo’s on High is an outlier in this sense. It’s a bit more upscale. It’s a bit like… if Post Modern Jukebox was a restaurant. It’s modern, yet sophisticated in an eye-catching way. Tinted shades on its large windows make it cozy and intimate with its dark floral-butterfly art theme reminiscent of something Alexander McQueen might design.
Part of the Gallo family of restaurants, the High Street location debuted in 2020. True to its classic vibe, the menu also features familiar elements. But here, the elements don’t feel tired, or like oversights that should have been reviewed and edited. Classic dishes look like deliberate, thoughtful offerings.
So, Chicken wings? Sure. The homemade version is seasoned with garlic and lemon pepper and the combo freshens up what might otherwise be a played cliché that’s unworthy of mind-blowing digs. The thoughtful execution of the meaty buds feels a bit like rediscovering what’s always been so lovable about the dish ($9).
As long as we remember you will find crab cakes on the small plates menu too. They received a mixed reception. Almost Zero Filling, They’re All Crab Meat ($16): That’s pretty awesome. That said, this is Midwestern crab, miraculously not a cool, chunky coastal variant. Given the elegant surroundings, it seemed reasonable to expect the kitchen to pull off a miracle by the sea. Solace can be found in the sauce with which the cakes were served, it is exquisite, to both creamy and smooth, but with the zing of mustard somehow toning it together. There’s also an intriguing spiny slaw on the side, with long, tender supernatural carrot curls.
For formal entries, the chicken Piccata ($20) is popular, and for good reason. Notoriously tender and juicy, Gerber Chicken Breast is served with angel hair pasta and finished in a perfect style, enhanced with a luxurious sauce with a splash of lemon, capers and melted Parmesan cheese. The dish is well executed, and while diners can invest more in the house steak selection, it’s hard to imagine a nicer treat than that offered by Chicken Piccata.
You can also score pizzas or, as the menu says, “little pies”. They are not that small; there are regular size pies, maybe 14 inches? (The measuring tape was in my other purse.) Variations include Pear & Prosciutto and a Margherita option. the Triple Pigs The pie ($14) includes ribbons of capicola ham, salami and bacon. Crushed plum tomatoes make a tasty combo with perfectly drained provolone and mozzarella. Everything is built on a fluffy homemade crust. The pie satisfies with all the luxurious elements of a boutique pizza.
Alternatively, the menu also offers a promising-sounding broccoli and cheese-based crust, for those with gluten sensitivities.
There are more classic options to explore in the menu; Caesar salad, pasta alfredo, again with updated touches: so zucchini noodles are an option. There is also a children’s menu. And a full bar not for kids with a thoughtful list of beers, wines and cocktails with cute names like Buckeye Battle Cry (it’s peanut butter whiskey, creme de cacao and bitters in chocolate).
You’ll find Gallo’s on High at 4215 N. High St. It opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For more information, visit gallosonhigh.com.
All photos by Susan Post