By Tiffany Maleshefski
When you have a menu item named Bacon Bon Bons (prunes stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in smoked bacon), the intrigue enough should guarantee a full house, at least in your restaurant's inaugural year.
And with that savory security blanket wrapped around its shoulders, Gitane, the new restaurant brought to you by the same folks who’ve given you Café Claude for 20 years, enjoys its official opening on Tuesday.
The new eatery had a soft opening over the weekend, unveiling for friends and media folk its Portugese-inspired menu and outstanding cocktail program designed by the supremely talented Dominic Venegas (Range, Cantina, Bourbon & Branch). We overheard, by the way, Venegas talking about his involvement with the newly renovated Stanford Court Hotel and how he’ll be involved in getting Aurea’s cocktail program so get ready for
Anyway, we were talking about bacon and the overall creative menu that Executive Chef Lisa Eyherabide brings to Gitane’s hip little tables. Firing up cuisine that harks of her travels through the Southern France, Northern Spain, and Northern Africa, the menu is all over the map. Appetizers are a mix of incredibly approachable old favorites, such as the Pescado Frito (semolina fried calamari, smelt, and prawns, with eggplant, onion, fennel, brava sauce, and lemon aioli, $13) or your standard gazpacho ($7). Meanwhile, starters like the Sardines en Escabéche (marinated local sardine filets on puff pastry with tomato jam, capers, black olives and micro greens, $11) or the Roast Caille (California quail stuffed with chicken mousseline, raisins, shallots, port demi-glace, truffle oil, $16) are the menu’s more sophisticated fare.