I’ve been to (and thoroughly enjoyed) the Cafe Gitane in Nolita, so I was thrilled to find out they had opened another location in the Jane Hotel, just five feet from my apartment. The West Village is in desperate need of affordable restaurants, so this unpretentious cafe with delicious and simple Moroccan-inspired food is heaven sent. The menu offers a great mix of light salads, plates to share, and a few heartier mains. The space has tons of light and is very inviting – and apparently well liked by models, artists, and Europeans alike. With eclectic mismatched furniture, a black and white tiled floor, large ceiling fans, a Victorian bar and servers in matching green dresses, the atmosphere is quite quirky, but charming nonetheless. This place is absolutely a new favorite and I intend it to be my go-to for casual dinners or evenings dining solo.
Last night was my second time trying Cafe Gitane in the hotel, and just as good as the first. My friend and I shared delicious avocado toast to start – big chunks of avocado, garnished with pepper flakes and a hint of citrus, spread on top of hearty, homemade multigrain toast. The combo was delectable. For our entrees, we had the hearts of palm and roasted chicken salad with a light lemon vinaigrette, and the famous cous cous with merguez sausage.
The cous cous is served as a tower beneath a massive blob of hummus, which acts as a wonderfully smooth compliment to the mass of grain. The merguez is smoky, salty, and cooked almost to a crisp; delicious as a cous cous side as well.
For dessert, we had the warm chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla gelato (straight from Italy as our waiter professed). We refrained from speaking for a few minutes so we could demolish both dishes. The food is great, the prices are even better, and the ambiance is just what I need after a hectic day at work – soothing, mysterious, and calm. Tables are easy to come by in the evening, but I predict that this place will blow up before long.
Address: 113 Jane Street at West Street in the Jane Hotel
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