Sometimes you have a better shot of finding a cab at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, on a rainy day, in Manhattan than finding a good old sc...


Sometimes you have a better shot of finding a cab at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, on a rainy day, in Manhattan than finding a good old school Italian red sauce restaurant in the city. Yeah, little Italy is flooded with old school spots, but over the past 20 years the quality of the food has become so bad that only a tourist with a fanny pack in tote can appreciate. Besides, I'm from Brooklyn, so there is a better chance of me joining Yelp than stepping foot into any of those places. There's also places like Carbone, where you have to wait weeks for a reservation or you end up eating dinner at 11:30pm on a Tuesday night at a small cramped table located near the bathroom. Then there are places like Galli in Soho. Galli is a little bit off the radar, but with food good enough to roll with the heavy hitters of the red sauce game.

Nestled on Mercer, between Grand and Broome street, Galli is adorned with huge sign that says "Restaurant." As we swung open two huge glass doors, we were greeted by a hostess who took us past a long white marble top bar, and past large leather booths to our seats in the back of the restaurant. Two menus were placed on our table along with thinly sliced Italian bread and a dish filled with olive oil and balsamic - official. The menu was simple, just straight up red sauce dishes. This is what we ordered: 

Gamberi ($17) Rigatoni, broccoli, fresh mozzarella  and shrimp served up in a creamy pink sauce. The Crunchy brocoli and perfectly cooked shrimp made me shovel every inch of this dish into my mouth. I've had this plenty of times in other restaurants and only a handful have nailed it, add Galli to that list.    

Fried Calamari ($13) Your standard fried calamari with a few plump fried shrimp thrown into the mix, served with a chipotle mayo and Galli's house tomato sauce. Tender in texture, but a little bland. A few spoonfuls of the house red sauce and everything started to make sense. I left the chipotle mayo sauce on the side because my Brooklyn card would be revoked if anyone found out I was dipping calamari into chipotle mayo.

Chicken Parm ($17)   A thin cutlet, breaded and fried, topped with Galli's house red sauce and served with a side of penne in sauce. I knew I was about to eat something good when I saw the burn spots on the cheese. It amazes me how many places can fuck up a simple dish like this but Galli got it right. Thin, crispy and a portion big enough to feed a small group of newly fired model. Galli's house sauce had me reaching for more bread to soak up all the red sauce goodness.

Red sauce spots are a dime a dozen in Manhattan, but finding a good one is nearly impossible. Either they're over-hyped, or some assbag from Ohio who grew up eating Totino's pizza rolls tries to reinvent the wheel. Galli just gets it right - bringing the old school into the new school without fucking it up.

45 Mercer St, New York, NY
‎(212) 966-9288 ‎



  1. This place sounds awesome. And I feel you on those cheesy burn spots... Mm...

  2. That chicken Parmesan looks so good I about to bite my screen lol