Galleria offers old-world Italian in artsy atmosphere

Galleria offers old-world Italian in artsy atmosphere

By Jeremy Gonsior

At the Galleria, they like to say “each order is a work of art.”

Maybe it’s because the bistro, located in Holland’s Washington Square, is connected to a working art gallery featuring more than a dozen artists. Guests can wander through the space with a glass of wine, soaking up creative inspiration with each and every step.

Or perhaps it’s because the chefs — Chef Sacha, Chef Sofia and Chef Israel — approach each plate with a dedication to detail. They strive for a beautiful presentation. They want customers to taste the quality. 

Whatever the reason, like great artwork, Galleria sparks a response from its customers, owner Pamela Ratti said. She wanted dining at Galleria to be far more than just a meal.

“‘Wow, what a cool experience!’” she said visitors often say after a meal at the bistro. 

A business — reimagined

For a business that re-opened during the pandemic in 2020, Ratti couldn’t be happier about the results. She and her husband, Chef Sacha, completed major repairs to the building in late 2019 and early 2020. The space was previously occupied by Pereddies Restaurant. 

“We decided not all of the components would be coming back,” she said. 

They temporarily closed the kitchen because so much of the building had to be updated. The reimagined space then began with the art gallery. 

“For a long stretch, we had zero employees,” Ratti said. “Slowly but surely, we were able to open up parts of the business.”

Galleria has grown to 12 employees now. They added the bistro, cooking classes, art classes, a bar, catering and various event spaces. 

“All the experiences are under the same roof,” Ratti said. 

Chef Sacha
Chef Sacha

Culinary arts

While diversification is key to ensuring it survives, Galleria will maintain a strong focus on its bistro dining experience. 

Ratti described the bistro as “old-world cuisine.” Its pizzas are among the signature items on the menu, with fresh, house-made Neapolitan dough as the base. Chef Israel studied the art of making Neapolitan pizzas in Napoli, Italy, and brought that expertise to Galleria. Popular pizzas among customers are the mushroom and gorgonzola pizza and the prosciutto pizza, Ratti said. 

“They are delicious … to die for,” she said. 

The rest of the menu changes often, depending on the season, but there is usually seafood.

“The mussels are always a big hit with focaccia bread,” Ratti said. 

Other common entrees include grilled salmon, fresh pasta and chicken parmesan. As far as appetizers, the charcuterie board features assorted cured meats, cheese, fruit, nuts and crackers.

Customers interested in wine will discover Galleria has a unique selection from small vineyards that are hard to find in the area, Ratti said. 

No reservations are necessary at the bistro. Simply walk in and grab an available table. 

“I don’t want to rush someone out of their table,” she said.

Thinking ahead, Galleria will keep expanding its offerings. The big question now is whether to offer lunch in the future.

“It’s really going to come down to demand,” Ratti said. 

The Galleria bistro is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

447 Washington Ave., Holland