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Restaurants & Bars

Gallia Report

C. Simon | May 4, 2002 10:17 AM

Although it's unfair to judge a restaurant that is merely days old, I offer the following review of Gallia, just to add to the knowledge pool. Gallia is a new restaurant on Washington St. in the South End whose executive chef comes from The Federalist. The menu is intended to be "Mediterranean", and the wine list refletcs that, with only one American option among the decent sized wine-by-the-glass list.

In short, Gallia showed promise but didn't hit on all cylinders. We had: (1) a young lettuce salad with onions, sheep's milk feta and almond dressing; (2) tuna carpaccio with beef tartare, a raw quail egg, and capers; (3) risotto with "roasted" calameri, peas and green olive sauce; and (4) roast chicken with creamy polenta and mushrooms fricasee.

The salad was adequate, but not thrilling. A decent salad.

The tuna carpaccio was tasty, if a little dainty and timid.

The risotto, which was billed by the waitress as one of the favorites, was a big disappointment. I keep getting burned, thinking I'm going to like risotto, and it always turns out to be a bland lump of mush. I had hoped that peas and green olives could add flavor to the mush, but I searched in vain for flavor. A shame.

The "roast and braised chicken" was, for me, the big hit of the evening. Perfectly cooked chicken, bursting with flavor, beautifully moist. The creamy polenta and mushrooms fricassee added just enough richness. No cripsy skin for lovers of that. But, a very good rendition of a sometimes boring menu item.

Perhaps worth a return visit eventually, but in the meantime, there's too much other food to be had to return anytime soon!

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