Cork’s answer to Jamie’s Italian, acclaimed Cork chef-restaurateur Brendan Cashman’s new venture in Wilton (opposite Cork University Hospital) is bright and spacious, with an eager to please team - and the food, as you’d expect, is excellent.
Billed ‘an Italian restaurant’, Brendan promises ‘something for everyone’ in this pleasingly understated modern space, and his overlapping day and evening menus certainly deliver so, even if you are in around noon, you’ll always have a terrific choice.
From a great range of starters, for example, you could begin with the wholesome zuppa, or maybe fried baby squid with roast garlic, lemon and aioli, while the wide selection of salads includes the very tempting bresaola (cured beef from Vialtelina in Lombardy) with toasted pine nuts, pesto, sweet red pepper and parmesan shavings.
Pizzas and pasta dishes play a prominent role of course (pasta lovers should try the penne with sautéed chicken, roast garlic, tomato, chilli, basil and cream - it’s oh so tender …) and evening menus gear up with more meats and fish.
At dinner time, unwind over a sharing plate - you can’t do better than antipasto misto, the classic selection of Italian meats and salamis, Italian cheese, marinated olives, semi sundried tomatoes, sweet roast pepper, olive tapenade, basil pesto and crostini - or try a delicious shaved fennel and orange salad, which works equally well as a refreshing starter or as a side salad with a fish main course such as pan fried sea bass.
While poultry and fish are popular choices - oven baked whole sea bream with panzanella salad is especially appealing, also roast chicken supreme with a Portobello mushroom, garlic and herb cream sauce - a 10oz sirloin should satisfy the hungriest steak lover.
You can’t leave an Italian restaurant with something sweet and, while short, the dessert list offers plenty of temptation. Tiramisu, of course, and good ice creams - or perhaps an affogato (scoop of ice cream with a hot espresso poured over) might fit the bill. Alternatively, simply round off your meal with good a good coffee (by Green Bean) with chocolate truffles.
The wine list offers about a dozen each of whites and reds, including some organic wines - and, perhaps surprisingly, it’s not dominated by Italian producers.
Children are made very welcome by the impressive service team and have their own Little Italy corner of the menu, which offers favourites like chicken goujons, but they can also have also more grown up choices if they want them.
Given its wide appeal, high standards and value for money, Gallo & Galetti should please a lot of people and it will be very handy when visiting the hospital. It’s another interesting change of direction for a fine dining chef - and having a top chef at the helm is a big bonus for customers at this very accessible restaurant.