At a previously abandoned block in Soho, the wooden boards keeping people out remain. However, if you walk by now, you can see palm trees and tropical plants peeking up over the top.
The block is abandoned no more. Instead, it’s home to Gitano, a popup restaurant and bar with major jungle-oasis vibes. In fact, if not for One World Trade Center looming in the background, you would forget you were in NYC entirely!
Gitano opened earlier this summer to much fanfare, becoming such a celebrity hotspot that lines of people waiting to get in wound around the block. That is until the restaurant was temporarily closed, twice, due to health code violations and demand predictably slowed.
However, Gitano has since addressed the challenges of setting up a popup restaurant in an abandoned city block, and resolved those issues. Now Gitano has been slowly gaining back its popularity, and rightfully so, in my opinion, since dining there is a fun, unique experience that instantly makes you feel like you’re Tulum rather than New York City.
Jess and I sat down one evening to sample Gitano’s new autumn menu. Although the restaurant feels so summery that, if not for the white pumpkin on the table, we would have forgotten entirely that it’s actually fall!
We started with a round of drinks, both of which were fabulous!
I had the Gitano Margarita with Gem & Bolt, lime, rosemary and cucumber.
And Jess had the Mexican Sangria with Watts Up Rosé, Mayan brandy, watermelon and seasonal fruit.
For dinner we ordered… everything!
Ok we didn’t actually order everything off the menu, but we did sample quite a bit!
We had the Chicken Tinga Sopes with scallions, tomatoes, cilantro and chipotle sauce. They were fine, but not that remarkable.
The Quesadilla, on the other hand, was delicious! It has zucchini blossom, queso Oaxaca and epazote. It was our favorite thing we ate all night!
My second favorite dish was the Pork Belly Carnitas Tacos with chicharrón, purple cabbage and salsa verde. I definitely ate more than my half of them (sorry, Jess)!
And because you can’t ever go wrong with Burrata, we dug into Gitano’s version with butternut squash, tomato, and annatto seed vinaigrette.
Overall we enjoyed the experience (who doesn’t love a tropical jungle?!) as well as the food and drinks. Gitano is only open through the end of October, so I recommend stopping by as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on this fun popup!
You can make a reservation here.
P.S. In the spirit of all things fall, my plaid top is by Petersyn. You can find it here.