I have stopped into Gitane many times just for a drink off of the alley of Claude Lane in Union Square and I finally had a chance to try the food. The restaurant is small with the bar on the first floor and the dining room on the second floor. It’s a gorgeous room with a speakeasy vibe and a vast bottle selection at the bar.
The three items we ordered in the dining room were all excellent. We started with the well- balanced La Pera salad of Asian pear, red endive, dates, Marcona almonds, blue cheese, and honey- orange vinaigrette. Next we had the Tartare of Sonoma lamb with eggplant compote, cucumber, olive, and mint. This is the first time I’ve had a lamb tartare and it was a great dish using the best part of the loin that was so flavorful, fresh, and mild. For the main course we had the Cabrilla. It was a perfectly cooked piece of blue nose bass with fennel, pepper coulis, quinoa, preserved lemon, and black olives.
The service was perfectly paced and efficient and the sommelier came over to help us pick out a good wine to pair with all the courses. I would highly recommend Gitane as a destination restaurant or if you’re in the neighborhood, stop in for a drink and a nibble at the bar and take in the hip atmosphere.