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Restaurant Review: Gallo’s on High

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Gallo’s on HighFind Gallo's on High at 4215 N. High St. in Clintonville - All photos by Susan Post
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For the most part, the High Street strip mall scene around Henderson Road plays home to mostly fast-casual joints: ice cream, barbecue, hot chicken. Gallo’s on High is an outlier in this sense. It’s a little more upscale. It’s a little like…if Post Modern Jukebox was a restaurant. It’s modern, but sophisticated in a snappy throw-back way. The tinted shades on its big windows make it cozy and intimate with its dark floral-butterfly art theme that’s reminiscent of something Alexander McQueen might design. 

Part of the Gallo’s family of restaurants, the High Street location made its debut in 2020. True to its classic vibe, the menu features throw-back, familiar elements, too. But here, the elements don’t feel tired, or like oversights that should have been revised and edited. The classic dishes feel like deliberate, thoughtful offerings. 

So, Chicken Wings? Sure. The house version is seasoned with garlic and lemon pepper and the combo freshens up what might otherwise be a played-out cliche that’s unworthy of the spiffy digs. The thoughtful execution of the meaty knobs makes it a little like rediscovering what was always so lovable about the dish ($9). 

Chicken Wings

As long as we’re reminiscing, you’ll find Crab Cakes on the small plate menu, too. They earned a mixed reception. Almost zero filler, they are all crab meat ($16): That’s pretty awesome. That said, it’s midwestern crab, it’s not miraculously somehow a fresh, chunky coastal variant. Given the sleek environment, it seemed reasonable to expect the kitchen might somehow pull off a seaside miracle. Consolation can be found in the sauce with which the cakes were served, it’s exquisite, at once creamy smooth, but with the zing of mustard that somehow harmonizes. There’s also an intriguing spiky slaw on the side, with unearthly long, tender loops of carrot curls. 

Crab Cakes

For formal entrees, the Chicken Piccata ($20) is popular, and for good reason. Notoriously tender, juicy Gerber chicken breast is served with angel hair pasta and finished in textbook-perfect style, highlighted by a lux sauce with a touch of lemon, capers and fused parmesan. The dish is nicely executed, and while guests can make a bigger investments from the house steak selection, it’s hard to imagine a nicer treatment than what Chicken Piccata offers. 

Chicken Piccata

You can also score pizzas, or as the menu says, “small pies.” They’re not that small; there’re like regular-sized pies, maybe 14-ish inches? (The tape measure was in my other purse.) Variants include Pear & Prosciutto and a Margherita option. The Triple Pigs ($14) pie features ribbons of capicola ham, salami and bacon. Crushed plum tomatoes make for a saucy combo along with perfectly drippy provolone and mozzarella. It’s all built on a chewy, house-made crust. The pie satisfies with all the lux elements of a boutique pizza. 

Triple Pigs Small Pie

Alternately, the menu also offers a promising-sounding broccoli-cheese based crust, for those with gluten sensitivities. 

There are more classic options to explore on the menu; Caesar salad, alfredo pasta, again with updated touches: so zucchini pasta noodles are an option. There’s also a kid’s menu. And a not-for-kids full bar with a thoughtful list of beers, wines and cocktails with cute names like Buckeye Battle Cry (that’s peanut butter whiskey, creme de cacao and chocolate bitters).

You’ll find Gallo’s on High at 4215 N. High St. It opens at 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. 

For more information, visit gallosonhigh.com.

All photos by Susan Post

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