Restaurant Review: Gallo's Tap Room

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The basketball Buckeyes play lots of games on Tuesday nights and loyal fan that I am, I feel compelled to watch them all. What's more, I know that on those nights I'm definitely going to have a good time even if Diebler's threes aren't falling, our zone D won't hold water, and our whole team is repeatedly getting beaten to the boards.

Why? Well because if it's Tuesday night, I must be in Gallo's Tap Room out on Bethel Road.

Gallo's is unique among sports bars in Columbus. First of all, it's not an overt ex-frat hangout - not that there's anything wrong with that! And the place isn't bright and loud or in general trying too hard while delivering too little.

No, Gallo's is dark, modern and almost nightclubby, with lots of handsome and inviting woodwork and a massive, distinct carousel-like wagon wheel structure hanging above its wraparound bar.

Plus, this place is positively brimming over with top-shelf beers - from Rogue to Bell's to Samuel Smith, they've got it all here. Those cool brews comes in mighty handy on Tuesday evenings, because that's when Gallo's excellent wings are on special.

Gallo's (which means rooster in Italian) whips up some wicked wings that are really something to crow about. They're plump and meaty, always crispy and not oversaturated with a bunch of leftover grease. Sold on Tuesdays for an enticing 40 cents apiece (in multiples of five), they arrive dramatically on long, rectangular red platters.

Since I want to avoid feelinglike I'm missing out on anything, I like to order Gallo's wings in all four of their interesting styles. In order of increasing sting, that would be: garlic and herb - though they look naked, these are dressed in a buttery sauce with a mild garlic and herb rub that still delivers plenty of punch; teryaki wasabi - a somewhat sticky glaze with a not over-the-top soy-based sweetness held in check by a finishing nudge of horseradish; Buffalo - what you'd expect, only more of it; and the hottest wings at Columbus' coolest sports bar, the Sriracha-fueled, garlicky, slightly sweet and quite spicy Cockfight Reds.

Tack on an order of Gallo's good fries on the side - one gargantuan dish of those crispy critters is plenty for the whole table - and you've got a starting five that will never let you down.

Gallo's Tap Room

5019 Olentangy River Rd., Northwest Side