Michael Bauer swings back on into Gitane this week following the change-up last fall that brought in chef Bridget Batson's husband, former Angèle chef Patrick Kelly, as co-chef. (This also follows on the restaurant's fall from grace, in Bauer's eyes at least, since he dropped it from his Top 100 last year.) He skips the new tasting $65 menu, offered as the only option now upstairs, and opts for the à la carte menu instead, finding that the Spanish small plates are "more traditional" than before.
He loves a plate of crispy roasted artichokes with olive oil and manchego, and the substantial cheese-stuffed canalones with veal breast. He also adores a couple larger plates, like the pan-roasted dourade with charred leaks, puréed white beans, and sea urchin; and the saddle of rabbit with bacon, caramelized squash puree, and nettle coulis. And he can't help but mention the famed bathroom, declaring it "one of the best in the Bay Area" after Eater did the same in 2011, and after it was shortlisted in a national contest as well. All told: three stars. [Chron]