A tropical oasis is now open for business in SoHo.
The 30-foot coconut palms rising above the vacant lot at Canal and Varick streets (and piquing the curiosity of all passers-by) made their big debut last week with the opening of a new seasonal restaurant and mezcal bar. Gitano NYC is the American outpost of the original jungle-themed lounge in vacation destination Tulum, Mexico. The name “Gitano” means “gyspy” in Spanish.
Business partners James Gardner and Melissa Perlman offer a taste of Tulum’s natural beauty in a 24,000-square-foot tropical garden with the downtown Manhattan skyline as a background.
Gitano NYC accommodates as many as 450 people on the grounds, under a central black matte Bedouin tent, on twin dining decks and in an uncovered outdoor lounge. The restaurant also features a 40-foot reflecting pool, a cafe featuring coffee from Intelligentsia, a resortwear boutique, an educational urban farm, oversize disco ball and a “meditation labyrinth.”
Helmed by Bodega Negra alum Yvan Lemoine, the kitchen will rotate menus throughout the summer, based on collaborations with famous chefs like Noma co-founder Mads Refslund. Mezcal cocktails, such as the Gitano margarita and Jungle Fever (chili, lime, cilantro), will be a constant. There’s a huge, open oven on the premises too, so expect some wood-fired Mexican fare.
Hours so far are: lunch Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; sunset cocktails and dinner Sunday through Wednesday, 5 to 11 p.m.; sunset cocktails and dinner Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight; and weekend brunch 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take a first look inside, as captured in photos of last week’s preview party: