Just across the alley from its sister restaurant, Café Claude, Gitane is definitely the hotter Pippa to Claude's subdued Kate. The decor is unlike any other in the city: lush red lamps, tuffeted curved seats, and oversized contemporary art give it an eclectic vibe. The downstairs bar makes inventive and flavorful cocktails (many of them are sherry-based), and seats are usually in demand. Upstairs in the colorful dining room, guests dine on chef Bridget Batson's flavor-forward
cuisine. The eclectic Spanish-Mediterranean menu includes bacon bonbons (prunes stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in smoked bacon), lamb tartare, Catalan flatbreads, stuffed calamares, and quail stuffed with chorizo and apple. The wine list is packed with Spanish wines, sherries, and Madeiras, and the very capable staff can help steer you toward good selections. There is also outdoor seating, but the interior is a seductive part of the experience here, which is why it's also a popular date spot.