I rarely get excited about a new place or a hip place to eat. I figure if the restaurant is going to survive it has to have a combination of good food and good service beyond the 6 month honeymoon period it may have “rocking the dining scene”.
Stepping into Gitane, I felt a sense of energy and excitement I haven’t felt in a restaurant in a long time. Something about the place, the mix of colors, smells, and sounds that moved me a little. The smell of the grill at Kokkari, the buzz at NOPA, or cured meat at Diavola all strike me as energetic. But in the end, despite the atmosphere, all have to deliver.
Gitane delivered numerous courses of excitement and variety. The stuffed squid was absolutely my favorite that evening, followed by a close second of Morcilla sausage. We had lots of dishes at the table and not one was left with a scrap of food. Fideos (my new favorite dish thanks to Clyde Common in Portland) was a big hit with the table. All of the seafood was tender and the dish well-seasoned. The chickpea stew that accompanied the rock fish was outstanding. I would have liked to order a side of that alone. The scallops were also well prepared. Overall, the food was wonderful.
The only real complaint I have was kitchen speed. Our server had mentioned that the restaurant was a little slow in total patrons that evening, despite a full dining room upstairs. While our orders were always brought at once, the timing from our initial order to the first plates being served and then our mains being served was a noticeably delayed. Don’t know where the communication broke down, but it seems that it took a while for our server to “get into the grove” that evening.
I have no doubt that I’ll be returning to Gitane.