Have you ever gone to a place because, as basic as this sounds, it’s “aesthetic goals?” Listen there is no shame in my game, I love to explore places that are visually pleasing to me. You would think living in NYC every place you step into would be curated to the heavens, but surprisingly there are a lot of places in NYC that for lack of a better word are pretty standard. However there are some hidden and not so hidden gems, so I decided to profile some places that I find aesthetically pleasing and would look amazing on your insta. And if you think its completely shallow to go to places because they are visually appealing this is not the post for you…I’ll see you in my next one!
The first place on the list is Gitano Jungle Room. I first saw this place on a night out to the nightclub Jimmy (also pretty instagramable with a swimming pool in the middle of a rooftop) and my friend and I knew that we wanted to come back and check this place out during the daytime. And listen when it comes to aesthetics, Gitano did not disappoint. Gitano along with Jimmy is part of the James hotel located on 23 Grand St in Soho. The website for the James hotel describes Gitano as “inspired by and imported from our home Tulum in the Yucatan Peninsula.” With its lush greenery, rustic furniture, and clay pottery, it does take me back to my trip to Tulum. Something you should know about me, and this is my blog so Ill talk about myself as much I want thank you very much, is that I am such a rainforest baby. The reason why I travel so much to Oceania is because the raw beauty of the ocean and lush greenery brings so much joy to my soul. Funny enough this place looked so similar to my airbnb in Tahiti (oh you fancy huh?) that is was all a little eerie. So being in Gitano surrounded by all that greenery and relaxing atmosphere made me feel right at home and I felt so inspired by this place. From what I understand Gitano stated out as a famous lounge in Tulum founded by Derek Klein and expanded to NYC. My friend and I went for lunch so I can’t speak on the night life experience, but I’m sure its quite an experience in the best way possible.
Ok so here are some of the negatives…When my friend and I arrived for lunch there were only a few other people in there, but there was a point in time when my friend and I were the only 2 patrons in the restaurant. However, they barely refilled out water glasses and I know this sounds like a stupid criticism but if there’s only a couple of patrons in your establishment I don’t understand why they weren’t more attentive to our needs. Also my friend and I both ordered the burger and we both had issues with our food. Did I mention the place was almost empty? So I wanted the burger medium rare and only pickles on it with the avacado on the side. However, it came out deffinetly just rare (which I eat but not what I wanted or ordered) and with a chipotle mayonnaise based sauce on it. Because I can eat rare, I didn’t sent it back to be cooked more but I did ask for a new bun without the sauce.
My friend also had the burger medium rare and hers was cooked to perfection. However, they forgot her avocado and her bottom bun was soaked with the sauce on both sides of the bun so when she picked it up her hands were covered with the sauce, so she had to eat it with a knife and fork. For those of you that have been to Gitano please let me know if that’s how they normally bring it out to you because we were both confused. We made light of it saying our palettes were just too mediocre for a swanky place like this and thats how you are suppose to eat a burger with a knife and fork. Paying $19 for the burger neither one of us was completely satisfied with what we got. I also had the “Jungle Fever” cocktail which was very good, but also pretty standard for a mezcal, lime juice, and chili cocktail.
Overall, I if I had to rate this place, and keep in mind my mediocre palette, I would give it a 3/5. The ambiance and atmosphere of this place is amazing and so different than any other restaurant I’ve been to in NYC. However, the service we received was less than desirable. It wasn’t horrible by any stretch of the word, but we did both expect more especially when this place was almost empty. So for the final comments I will deff come here again, but only for a drink at the bar (and when I saw drink I mean singular because the cocktails here are $19) and enjoy the beauty of this place. Pro tip come here during the late lunch hour times during the weekday and maybe you’ll get lucky like us and have the place to yourself and can take as many insta shots as you’d like without anybody getting in your way.