Gallo Nero is a Hero for Girls’ Night

Girls Night.
It has to be cute.
It has to be delicious.
When the weather is below 30 degrees, it has to be a 5 minute walk from the home base.
And…it has to be CHEAP…sorry, Kardashians, we don’t quite have your budget.

Kara and I wandered into Gallo Nero, a romantic looking wine bar with hopes that it would fit all of our criteria. Though we were perhaps the only 2 people in the place not making out like it was 8th grade (if we ever do that, we are filming it and making money off it), we still had an AWESOME meal.

The bread brought out at the beginning of the meal was truly top-notch. Holey, pliant and sour with a chewy, flour-y crust, this is a bread basket at its finest – it whets the appetite but does not make you eat the whole thing so you feel like a bowling ball by the time you are done with your meal. The olive oil served with it was fruity and light, a welcome compliment.
We started with the trio of bruschetta. Starting from the top, going clockwise:

Tomato – this was simply canned tomatoes cooked for HOURS until they formed a sweet, sticky, intensely tomatoey paste. Seasoned liberally with pepper and shards of fresh basil, this was a tomato lover’s DREAM! It was so good, I intend to make it at home..why have I never done this before???
Wild Mushroom – the only dissapointing one of the bunch. The mushrooms had been cooked too long, and were dried out and a bit tough. They lacked that lucsious, meaty taste and mouthfeel that well made mushrooms have.
White Bean – STOP THE PRESSES! Hummus…you have been truly and completely replaced. This white bean dip was insane! Creamy but textured, gaarlicky, vaguely carb-y, with hints of rosemary. It was not assertive or overly smooth like hummus can be, but almost like roughly mashed potatoes. I could have eaten a bowl of this with some bread and caled it a day.
But then I would have missed…

Portugese Octopus with olives, tomatoes, celery and potatoes.
What do they DO to their octopus in Portugal? Do they massage these creatures and feed them champagne like kobe cattle? Do they just compliment them a lot? Whatever they do, it is WORKING! This octopus was so tender, it actually cut with a fork – something almost unheard of for octopus. It was very much like a white fish-mild, of the ocean, but not salty at all. The braised celery was tender and delicous, and the olives and tomatoes brought salty and sweet notes to the dish. The potatoes were just perfect – crispy on the outside, fluffy within. A swath of tangy balsamic vinegar brought the entire dish to life. It was really simply outstanding.

Kara’s gnocchi were a hit, too! Too often, these potato dumplings can be leaden, gooey glutinous affairs (just ask Kara about the time SHE tried to make them). these were fluffy, soft, light as air dumplings that were mild and hearty. In a basil and tomato sauce with melty, creamy mozzarella cheese, this was a totally perfect rendering of gnocchi. 
Gallo Nero is a GREAT find. The food was delicious, the prices were extremely reasonable and…if you want to make out with your lover…this is the place to do it! 
Dark, romantic and delicious…what more could a girl want?
And, oh yeah, you know it…that’s what she said.

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