BY CAROLYN ONOFREY
If you close your eyes you can almost imagine yourself in the swank SoHo apartment you don’t have – a wide open space with 20 foot floor to ceiling windows, bathed in the morning sun as you sit at your breakfast table leisurely sipping a cappuccino and enjoying a croissant… At least that’s what I envisioned when I was delivered my cappuccino and croissant at Galli – a restaurant who prides itself on a neighborhood atmosphere serving Italian comfort food.
Galli launched its Buon Giorno menu this year, just in time for the first glimpse of Spring. A light cafe style menu comprised mostly of fruit, yogurt, and pastries. As I sat enjoying the simplicity of my half grapefruit sprinkled with raw sugar, I looked around the dining room to see only a few tables occupied – those who did have people at them were couples with young babies. Although I had admittedly never put much thought into where a young couple with a new baby went if they wanted to treat themselves to brunch, I was happy to see that it was at Galli. A type of safe haven – a family place accented by photographs from the owners’, Steve Gallo (Brio Downtown) and Michael Forrest, own family albums.
Breakfast continued with fresh berries, Greek yogurt, and granola – a light and healthy way to start the day. Bistro tables at the front of the restaurant near the bar are the perfect place to enjoy the homemade granola and the people watching of Mercer Street – the back dining room; the perfect place to hide out and soak up the sun streaming in from the skylights.
I often seek out neighborhood type places where I can enjoy breakfast without being rushed and leave not feeling like I just consumed my body weight in bacon and eggs or indulged in the all-you-can-drink brunch, which seems to run so rampant these days, leaving nothing of my Sunday but a sleepy lump on the couch. After Galli, I am ready to take on the city – run those errands I have been meaning to run for the past three weeks or take a long walk to enjoy the beauty of the city at the first signs of spring.