Gitane boasts an Iberian (Spain, Portugal, France) heavy wine list, although California is nicely represented. The sherry list is impressive, with plenty of Madeira, Port, brandies, and after dinner sips. An interesting companion to the hearty quail and chorizo entrée is a 2008 Domaine des Ouled Thaleb Benslimane Zenata ($12 glass, $35 carafe, $48 bottle), a 100 percent Syrah from Morocco. It's big and bold in keeping with warm Moroccan temperatures, but maintains just enough acidity to pair with food. It's welcome given the strong Moroccan food influence. After dinner pleasures were strongest in an earthy Charleston Sercial Madeira ($15 glass) from Rare Wine Co., and Gutierrez Colosia Moscatel Soleado Sherry from El Puerto ($10 glass).
My favorite cocktail on the new menu is the oldest recipe from 1800's San Francisco bartending legend, Cocktail Bill Boothby, after whom our local educational spirits hub, The Boothby Center, is named. The Boothby is essentially a Manhattan (bourbon, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters) topped with sparkling wine. It's lush, sexy, and full bodied... not at all unlike Gitane.
6 Claude Lane, SF
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