The Gipsy Darling, a new restaurant on Chestnut, is already living up to its nomadic name. The American restaurant made its debut this week with an end already in sight having signed just an 18-month lease on the space. “It was easier to make bold decisions and be braver with things,” owner James Bourque told Eater, referring to the menu and decor, which skews funky. Two sassy wallpapers — one featuring palm fronds and the other a serious blue-and-white pattern — and bright colors fill the room. (It's interesting that it's not the first debut in the past week to feature palm fronds on its walls.) As for the food, from chef Kevin Fietek, who worked with Bourque in corporate dining, it’s an eclectic menu of amped-up American dishes like mussel and clam cioppino topped with fries and anchovy aioli.
People use ‘new American’ very lightly when we’re not sure what to call the food without calling it fusion because no one likes to use that word. So we said, ‘What is American food?’ What we really gravitated toward was late 50s, early 60s when cookbooks started coming together with tupperware parties and people stopped making aspics. We’re taking what has become American food and making it new, making it fun again. Every single dish should have something remarkable on it. Something you wouldn't expect either in the presentation or the preparation or the inspiration we draw.
Drinks are beer and wine only, so Bourque plans to get inventive with sake, soju and sangria. After 18 months, Bourque will reassess with the landlord and see where they stand, but he plans to start looking for a more permanent space in a year. The Gipsy Darling is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.