Trudging up from the Lincoln Center craft show at lunchtime, we passed "Gitana" (249 Columbus Ave. (Bet. 70th and 71st St, I think--across the street from China Fun.)Phone No. 212 579-9929.
It looked small and dark (only one other diner,) but the menu was short--usually a good sign when a restaurant doesn't serve aardvarks to zebras. Not expecting too much, we ordered simply. Well, what a nice surprise for the Upper West Side. The food was fresh, tasty and very attractively served. Enthusiastic waiters appeared immediately.
We chose a plate of pinwheel-shaped serrano ham wrapped around creamy, tangy fillings of goat cheese. And a huge bowl of spinach salad with great tasting mushrooms, tomatos and what I believe was Cabrales Blue cheese (very smooth and creamy. The menu said "Manchego"--but I think they substituted.) Every salad item was fresh and crunchy. The light vinagrette just the right accent. In fact, I could see the chef working from scratch in the kitchen. The only other diner was finishing up a green pepper stuffed with some Spanish cheese and flaked Hake. Looked delicious! Portions were ample and prices between $6 to $9 per plate.
The dinner menu is larger--and Ill have to go back to try it. ('Tho I do wish the trend was not towards such hard, minimal chairs that make you wish you'd bought a cushion!! Those of us with lower back problems notice that sort of stuff!)
Has anyone else tried Gitana?? Any reports on more food items? We Upper West Siders have to keep one another alert to anything decent that opens in the nabe.
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