Yesterday afternoon I met up with my three girlfriends from work for a snack and a chat at Cafe Gitane in the Soho/Nolita area. Cafe Gitane is an extremely precious coffee shop-slash-cafe-slash-doll house. It oozes cutesiness, if that makes sense. And even if it doesn't.
I arrived first and grabbed a table for four. Easing myself onto the sticky pleather seat, I laid my head back and absorbed some of the air conditioning. The place was very small and packed tightly with tables; there was a small bar/open kitchen taking up a quarter of the space. The whole restaurant was really not much bigger than an average-sized bedroom.
I'm not entirely sure what baked eggs are (well, I assume they're eggs, you know, baked), but this looked sort of like a casserole. It came with a few slices of baguette on the side, and between them, SL and A finished the dish. Even though I'm not a vegan (I looooove my dairy products), I'm not the biggest fan of eggs straight up, so I didn't take a bite. It looked tasty, though.
I ordered an arugula salad, which came with baby beets, bits of granny smith apple, crostini smeared with goat cheese, and a chopped-walnut-and-olive salad sprinkled on top. I asked for the dressing on the side, which came as requested, but the walnut-and-olive mixture provided enough moisture to the salad that I didn't need the dressing at all. The arugula was large leaves, not baby arugula-- that's not necessarily good or bad, just unusual, I guess. The beets were nicely cooked and sweet, and the crostini were tasty with their creamy and tangy goat cheese. The only failure of the salad were the bits of apple-- they were really mealy and tasteless (eew). Also, by the end, when I was down to a melange of olive, apple, and walnut, the flavor combination was sort of weird and overly salty. But overall, an interesting salad, certainly.
I'll admit that I don't usually like places like Cafe Gitane. They're a bit too pretentious for my liking, and I never really feel comfortable there. Cafe Gitane was a good place to catch up with friends, which is what we were using it for, even though it was a bit too loud to talk comfortably. The food was solid but not incredible, although the desserts that I spotted looked pretty good. Would I return? Probably not. But it was a pleasant (and blissfully air-conditioned) hour while it lasted. For not being crappy, but not being especially great, I'll give Cafe Gitane a solid 2 Offset Spatulas.