5 pm-2 am Monday-Saturday. $$$ Expensive.
[NEW AMERICAN FOR NIGHT OWLS] It’s puzzling that a restaurant as sexy as Gilt Club doesn’t draw more couples on romantic dates: The gauzy gold drapes, plush red booths and gentle acoustics seem tailor-made for an intimate prelude to bedroom antics. Whenever I’m there, however, those booths are filled with teams of chattering whiz kids from nearby design firms. Then again, why not? The food, cocktails and service are excellent, and they’ve got the spare coin for delectable but petite $9 tureens of chilled beet soup with horseradish sour cream. I recommend the Blueberry French 75, made with house-infused blueberry gin, prosecco and lemon, properly served in a flute and a great foil for voluptuous duck liver pâté with wild mushrooms and Madeira, oozy Époisses cheese with mission figs, and crisp radishes with good butter. My whole Idaho trout made a capital base for fresh cherry tomatoes and greens, fava beans, pancetta and thinly sliced lemon. The wagyu beef top sirloin came rare as requested (though a tad sinewy) with interesting pickled green onions, fried shoestring potatoes and smoked bone-marrow vinaigrette. And at least one of two diners at our table went gaga for the oatmeal ice cream with rhubarb coulis and honey almond crumble. ANGIE JABINE.
Ideal meal: Pig runs the show here: pork tongue, pork belly (with pickled peaches, mmm), crispy pig’s ears, porchetta di testa (headcheese).
Best deal: Pick any three items off the small plates menu for $13. Happy hour 5-6:30 pm Monday-Friday.
Chef’s choice: The Pork Explosion. “Rolled pork head, pancetta-style, with tongue, crispy ear, picked red onions, pecorino and arugula. It takes what people would call the ‘nasty bits’ and makes it something that they want. We take the head and debone it, rub it and let it marinate for a couple days, roll it up like pancetta and slowly cook it for 18 hours.” (Chris Carriker)