Earlier in the summer, we decided to visit gigi. It had been on the tips of everyone’s tongue (no pun intended) for a while and frankly, we felt a little left out. We went on a Friday night and were seated immediately, at, in our opinion, the best spot in the place: right at the line.
We ordered a couple bellinis and the spritzer of the day. The bellini’s were good, not anything remarkable, and not really highlighting the OMG FRESH PEACH taste of summer produce, but it was light and fresh and a nice pairing with the food. The spritzer, on the other hand, was, to say the least, not enjoyable. It was chalky tasting with only a tinge of coconut flavoring. However, because it was only $2, we drank the chalk and marveled at its pretty, pink color.
The fruit salad was light and aesthetically pleasing, like the ahi crudo. The dishes shared similar flavors, evident by the same flecks of seasonings in each. It was a nice spin on fruit salad – a little savory, a little spicy, and introduced us to a new fruit – jackfruit, which I later saw at the Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market. Before breaking this fruit down, it literally looks like a porcupine is taking a nap. If you don’t believe me, here’s a look.
The use of yellow watermelon in several dishes was great, and I’ve been searching farmers markets for such ever since (with sadly no luck). The cornbread with bacon butter was sweet, crumbly, and had just a hint of bacony goodness. This summer really should be called The Summer of Pork for us. We jump at the chance to eat anything porky…evident by the bacon chocolate bar I just devoured from Whole Foods. The corn bread and its accouterments was no exception, and we ate it happily.
The soba noodles weren’t anything to write home about, although we did clear our plates. The dish was oversauced, and the sauce was a little bland. Nonetheless, the noodles were chilled, had contrasting textures with crunchy cukes and soft cabbage, and the dish was plated nicely. The addition of edamame in the noodles was the best part. The pork buns could have used a little more sauce, as they were a tad dry, but the bun was soft and doughy. The fresh cilantro made a huge flavor difference and really heightened all the other ingredients. The peanuts added a much-needed crunch.
The best part about gigi were the freshness ingredients and the price – SO cheap for such high quality products. The waitress told us that produce came in each day from a local farm. We watched a guy on the line use a mandolin on little radishes for the entire hour we were there and stared as the guy at the stir fry station repeatedly tossed the wok full of veggies. The servers weren’t as accommodating and nice as they could have been, but if we ever get the munchies in Midtown, we would probably go back to gigi. Open until 3 am on weekdays & 5 am on weekends.