Table Talk: Gallo family's new High Street restaurant represents Clintonville 'homecoming'

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group
Owner Nick Gallo (left), chef Libby Norris and sous chef Justin Bookhamer are opening Gallo's on High at 4215 N. High St. in Clintonville in January.

The Gallo family is getting reacquainted with Clintonville.

Nick Gallo and his cousin, Larry Gallo, are opening Gallo’s on High, offering a mix of modern American and Italian fare at 4215 N. High St. in the Columbus neighborhood.

The family’s neighborhood history dates back to GiAntonio’s Bakery, owned by Nick’s grandfather, Nick GiAntonio.

“It’s sort of a homecoming for our family,” Nick Gallo said.

GiAntonio's at 2885 N. High St. later was replaced by the original Mozart’s Bakery and Piano Café.

Nick Gallo and his brother, Tommy Gallo, along with Larry Gallo, are partners in Gallo’s Tap Rooms in Powell and northwest Columbus, long known for well-prepared tavern fare and New York-style pizza. Tommy Gallo also operates Gallo’s Kitchen and Bar in Upper Arlington.

The new High Street restaurant, formerly occupied by Little Eater, is thoroughly modern, with a polished cement floor, offbeat art installations, a stained copper bar and a brightly lit back bar. It seats 50 with COVID-19 coronavirus social-distancing rules.

The venue, slated to open the first week of January, is described as a place for all occasions – a leisurely dinner over wine or a major celebration – complete with an array of skillet-seared steaks that are finished in the oven, plus seafood, salads, soup and a multitude of pastas.

“We’re not high end, we’re not low end – we’re kind of right in the middle,” Nick Gallo said.

Chef Libby Norris, formerly of the Wine Bistro, among other venues, said she wanted to be creative and have fun with a few dishes.

One is the salmon papillote – a fillet, tomatoes, shaved fennel, zucchini, carrot and white wine-herbed compound butter baked in paper.

“It’s a way of seeing salmon, in general, people haven’t seen for a while,” Norris said. “It’s a way of bringing back a classic.”

She also touts the dry-aged double-cut lamb chops served with lemon risotto, blueberry gastrique and French green beans.

Dry-aged double-cut lamb chops served with lemon risotto, blueberry gastrique and French green beans will be on the menu at Gallo's on High, 4215 N. High St. in Clintonville.

“It’s just a really beautiful product, and nobody’s doing that,” Norris said.

The restaurant also will have a brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

“My thing about the menu is it’s priced for the neighborhood,” Nick Gallo said. “There’s some good comfort food on the menu.”

On the casual side, the menu will include plenty of handheld items, such as the chicken Parmesan sandwich, chicken wings and Angus burger.

Instead of pizzas, Gallo’s on High will serve flatbreads.

Most items are priced $8 to $20. Steaks start at $33.

Blackened scallops with sweet potato risotto will be on the menu at Gallo's on High, 4215 N. High St. in Clintonville.

“We’re excited to be part of the community,” Nick Gallo said. “We just hope the community is as excited to be part of us.”

Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays; the restaurant is closed Mondays. For more information, call 614-674-6223.

Beet carpaccio will be on the menu at Gallo's on High, 4215 N. High St. in Clintonville.

Devil is in the details at Seitan’s Realm

Rocker Kevin Ridenbaugh, a drummer who no longer is in a band, knows images can earn a lot of attention, but he swears there’s nothing evil about his restaurant, Seitan’s Realm, 3496 N. High St. in Clintonville.

“We always just have fun with it,” Ridenbaugh said. “We wanted to do stuff that was really edgy.”

Seitan refers to the meat substitute made from wheat gluten, which is pretty adaptable to colors and flavors.

It is used in virtually every sandwich offered by the restaurant, including the Beeef N Chedduh, which is served with the housemade signature barbecue sauce.

Ridenbaugh, a vegan for 10 years, said the sandwich is the top seller and stacks up against any competitor, meat-based or otherwise.

“I think it’s as good, if not better,” he said.

The menu includes the Notorious BBQ, which uses shredded seitan “porq,” a gyro and a cheesesteak sandwich, among other offerings.

Sandwiches are priced $9 to $12.

Open less than two months, Seitan’s Realm, which was borne of a food truck no longer in use, seats 16 per COVID-19 restrictions. It also has carryout, curbside and delivery services.

“It travels really well,” Ridenbaugh said of his food.

Bruno’s closes doors in north Columbus

Bruno’s Pizza & Restaurant, 1774 E. Dublin-Granville Road in north Columbus, has closed.

In a post on its Facebook page, the owners blamed the ongoing pandemic for the decision to go dark Dec. 13.

“After 48 years of successful business, it is with tremendous disappointment that we must close our doors and turn the lights out one last time,” the post said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary