6 Claude Lane,
+1 415 788 6686
View bar's website
Dining: Tues-Wed: 5:30pm-11:00pm; Thurs-Sat: 5:30pm-midnight; Bar: Tues-Sat: 5:30pm-1am
Gitane claims to be ‘a modern, funky and artistically bold restaurant’, though if you’re particularly sensitive about your interiors you might well notice that the ‘shabby chic’ printed wallpaper doesn’t line up properly, the modern tapestries are rather garish, and the velvet-embossed curtains clash with the velvet-embossed sofa.
No matter, sit at the bar and focus on the cocktail menu: it reads well and is divided into ‘cocktails on the stem’, ‘cocktails over ice’, and ‘vintage cocktails’. The food menu is an interesting mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, French and Moroccan cuisine ranging from roasted quail to grilled swordfish. There’s a small restaurant area upstairs, and a big mosaic-tiled bar downstairs where you can also order food too.
It’s worth mentioning that we went in winter when the high ceilings and glass frontage meant it was pretty cold at the bar... in fact, very cold. I’d advise a winter coat and a scarf if you’re planning to stay for more than a couple of drinks. Gitane is good for casual, relaxed drinking, but if you’re looking for finessed cocktails, then perhaps make this your starting point for your night out in San Francisco.