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Only open for the warmer of months, Gitano might not be around for much longer, but the Tulum-inspired restaurant which opened it’s doors this summer, paves way for a little Mexican escape, smack dab in between Soho and Chinatown. There was a lot to unpack about the new seasonal spot.
With palm trees and a twinkling light exterior, Gitano disguises a simple empty lot with tasty cuisine, themed drinks and ample room for dinner or cocktail savoring. After a brief stroll into the venue, you’ll find yourself lost in the set-up of the 24,000-square-foot restaurant, because it’s just as it’s branded. It really does take you away from the city life — unless you want to count the World Trade Center backdrop. Intimate yet spacious enough to fill 400 guests, the James Gardner and Melissa Perlman co-owned venue offers traveling-charged New Yorkers with what they want. Not only is there a small boutique shop and meditation area to heighten the escape, but the inner space of the restaurant lights up with lively music, a shimmering disco ball and frantic waiters looking to take orders in almost a hurry.
Gitano’s menu caters to its audience with modern Mexican offerings like guacamole, tacos, quesadillas and more. It’s a solid effort, but at those prices, this is ultimately not the kind of spot you want to set your sights on visiting with an empty stomach. In fact, it works best when you align all the stars yourself; find yourself a breezy afternoon where you’re eager for some light bites and drinks. On the cocktail front, the venue reaches for the inventive, with mixtures like ‘Jungle Fever’, ‘Disco Ball’ and signature mojitos/margaritas, but fails to live up to the kind of specialty Mexican cocktails you might desire.
You’ve might’ve heard Gitano’s recent health violations, but the goal of dining at this restaurant becomes quite clear shortly into your visit. You might not be there for the food, or the drinks. You might not even go for the instaworthy photos, but you might go to be a temporary tourist of Tulum — even just for a few hours — and in a city of 8.5 million, this can be hard to find. My advice is be quick, as Gitano NYC will only be open into the Fall.
Gitano is currently open and accepting reservations.
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