Gitane 8/24/13 [San Francisco]
Was taken to Gitane for the first time for an early birthday dinner last night. I tend to be very picky and jaded about fancy SF restaurants. But I was completely wowed by this place. This atmosphere is described as sexy on the website. I found it warm and very relaxing, almost soothing. It comes across as unique without being trendy and pretentious or cold as some fancy SF restaurants are. The service was excellent and welcoming. The food is innovative rustic spanish inspired cuisine. Here is what we ate:
Lamb tongue and sweetbreads salad. Excellent. The sweetbreads were crunchy on the outside and creamy inside. Tongue was very meaty.
Crispy suckling pig confit with braised mustard greens. One of the most amazing things I have eaten all year. Hard to say which I liked better the moist pork or the mustard greens. I love mustard greens and can't remember a more perfect preparation.
Braised rabbit meatballs. Very good although not as much wow factor as the previous apps.
I had the pancetta wrapped Guinea hen ballotine. Excellent. The hen was very moist and flavorful. Melted leeks perfectly complimented.
Got to try the pancetta wrapped rabbit which was fantastic and spicy and the duck which was excellent.
For dessert we got this chocolate budino which was like very comforting chocolate pudding.
All in all an excellent meal. The vibe is relaxing, welcoming and down to earth in contrast to someplace like Benu. Wish we had come here sooner. Not super expensive for a special occasion place.
Inside Scoop reported today that co-chefs Patrick Kelly and Bridget Batson have both left.
I'm sorry I didn't have a chance to return under their watch.
A new co-chef, Patrick Kelly, came aboard in November 2012 and revamped the menu significantly at Gitane. He came from Napa’s Angele and SF’s La Folie, so has tilted the cuisine toward more French technique.
Joining a couple friends for dinner here in February 2013, it was all new to me anyway as a first timer. The fanciful plating and finesse of the cooking seem quite a departure from what I’d read here about Gitane so I’m glad that a new thread’s been started to mark these changes.