The original plan was to visit Pulino’s, an inviting pizza/Italian restaurant I spotted on the corner of Bowery and Houston one night (more on that in a near-future post). But when Sarah and I got there after trekking 30 minutes in the pouring rain only to be told it was a 40-minute wait, we decided to wander around instead. Several round-about blocks later, we ran into another friend and a “local” who directed us to Cafe Gitane.
It’s a small, buzzy Northern Moroccan/French restaurant with a pretty fashionable crowd (couldn’t expect less in Nolita). By this time, we’re so hungry and everything looked great on the menu so we started off our 3-course meal with their baked feta with thyme, tomatoes and capers.
It was pretty good, but I think I may have OD’d on the feta/thyme combo with my own cooking at home. Sarah went for a chicken baguette sandwich and I ordered a baked pasta with gorgonzola and roasted tomatoes. Both ended up being a lot more bland than we had hoped for.
Sarah barely got through half her sandwich and I wasn’t really excited about my pasta either. We tried to salvage our meal by ordering their chocolate bread pudding in the end…
…but unfortunately, tasted more like burnt bread pudding. We barely finished this one either. We were dying for some flavor! I read somewhere that it’s less about the food than the drinks here, which may be true. And the place is cute enough but probably won’t being going back for dinner. A nearby French restaurant I did like (but haven’t been to in ages) is Lucien — small dishes but pretty tasty.
242 Mott St.
at Prince St.
New York, NY 10012