Gallo Nero in Hell’s Kitchen
Distinguished by it’s little black rooster (gallo nero) sign, this quaint little restaurant holds a lot of charm. Unless owned by the same restaurateurs or perhaps just a stolen decor, Gallo Nero is almost identical to Bocca di Bacco, located just 10 blocks north on 9th Avenue.
I’m always a sucker for this decor. Wood slabs for tables, beige walls and candle light flickering off the hundreds of bottles that fill the shelves. The menu, although a bit confusing the way it’s laid out (the primi piatti and secondi piatti are not separate!) carries a variety of modern-meets-traditional Italian cuisine.
We began with a cheese plate accompanied by a walnut honey. Of course, always good (hello, it’s cheese) I find it could have used a little more garnish or tantalizing additions. Also, the menu claimed a “truffled” honey and believe me, there was definitely not any truffle. Don’t say truffle if you can’t deliver people! It’s very upsetting to my taste buds!
For an entree, I ordered the special. Mezzi Rigatoni w/ Shrimp and Asparagus in a Vodka sauce. The vodka sauce was delicious, the shrimp nice and tender, and I enjoyed the way the asparagus were thinly sliced length-wise and on a diagonal instead of chunky pieces. All in all, another solid Italian restaurant in the neighborhood. Although, I’d recommend Bocca di Bacco over Gallo Nero any day of the week. The service was just okay.