Sunday, March 18, 2012

Incredible Tapas in an Alley: Gitane

We had one of the best meals we've had in San Francisco in recent memory at Gitane, an Iberian-peninsula-inspired tapas place in a dark alley.
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The restaurant is small, dark, and cramped, but you will love it.

Bacon bonbons -- prunes stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in smoked bacon, spiced port glaze ($10).
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These sounded so promising, but they weren't actually that tasty. I was worried that we were going to have a bad meal.

Bastilla -- sweet and savory pastry with chicken, spiced almonds, apricot fennel salad ($13).
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Yes! Hot and flaky! Salty and sweet! From this point on, our meal was superb.

Calamares stuffed with bacon and onion, manzanilla olives, cherry tomatoes, heirloom potatoes ($16).
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Astounding. Our party of three all agreed that this was the star dish of the night. Even though garlic is not mentioned in the menu description, this skillet was a garlic lover's dream. Super flavorful. Super delicious.

Rabanetes -- sauteed radishes, harissa butter ($7).
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A tangy, crunchy, refreshing contrast to our entrees.

Caille -- Tolenas Farm quail, chorizo apple stuffing, celery root gratin and cider jus ($28).
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Fabulous! Tender, juicy, and luscious!

Bruxelas -- Brussels sprouts, golden raisins, pomegranate, brown sugar sherry vinaigrette ($7).
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Another great contrasting side. Shredded yumminess with tart pomegranate pops.

Beignets with melted chocolate, naughty cream, and seasonal fruit preserves ($7).
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A far cry from the glory that is Cafe du Monde, but the lovely dipping options made up for this. I was big fan of the naughty cream, which was basically vanilla bean cream.

I definitely want to come back to Gitane to sample more of its interesting menu. Lucky for me, Mr. Monkey feels the same.

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