While in New York for the weekend, one of the things I was most looking forward to was a night out with my friends. When Saturday night rolled around, we had to pick a place for dinner. I left the decision making up to the NYC inhabitants who are familiar with the hottest places. They decided on Cafe Gitane, a small restaurant tucked away in the West Village. After a long walk from the subway, we arrived for dinner around 8 p.m. The nondescript exterior of the Jane hotel opened up to a charming part Moroccan, part Parisian cafe full of paper lamps, tapestries and colorful tiles. We sat down in the cushy sofas and took in the scenery. The place had a good vibe, and while full of models and hipsters, it was surprisingly casual and not pretentious.
We started with some drinks; a melon mimosa for me and their Lillith cocktail for my friend. The fresh watermelon juice in the mimosa was super refreshing and so good. The mix of gin, lemon juice and champagne in the Lillith was smooth and tasty, and I’ve decided that I’ll be adding lemon juice to all my champagne going forward. After the avocado toast appetizer (a must-try!), I took my friend’s advice and ordered the signature dish, the Moroccan couscous. It was huge! Definitely big enough to feed two people. I was pleasantly surprised with the mix of pine nuts, potatoes and raisins. The rest of the table opted for the spicy meatballs in tomato sauce (complete with a boiled egg), the heart of palm salad and the steak frites – all of which looked delicious! The service may have been a little slow, but the affordability of the meal made up for it.
Cafe Gitane may be my new favorite place in New York. I’ve heard their brunch is amazing too, so I’ll be returning to check that out during my next visit.