Opening in the former Yuzu in the Marina in mid-January will be THE GIPSY DARLING, a New American restaurant that is a family affair: James Bourque is working alongside his Peruvian-born mother and owner, Margot Bourque (who is also working with the assistance of her husband). They come from a corporate dining background and are excited to launch their first public project.
Their vision is to offer an experience that is approachable, accessible, affordable, and casual. Their executive chef is Kevin Fietek (James Bourque met him six years ago). Fietek has worked in food service for 12 years, and he has been an executive chef in corporate/employee dining the past four years, most recently at Chevron’s global HQ in San Ramon. The menu is going to be updated weekly and will really be fine-tuned based on the dishes their customers like best. Some initial menu items include blood orange and pear toast with micro radish, pear, whipped chèvre, and cracked pepper; duck confit with sweet potato chips, housemade farmer cheese, parsley couscous, and celery slaw; and bacon-wrapped shrimp and grits with creamy Gruyère grits, roasted corn, and fig glaze.
The “gipsy” pays homage to a nickname Margot’s mother gave her, “gitana,” since she loved travel and world flavors. She is also quite the host, and her love of big gatherings drew her son James to food and restaurants. He really wants to create a personable experience for their guests and wants them to feel at home. (He began in corporate dining as an assistant manager for a restaurant group, and in four years, he was managing 26 locations across the U.S. and Canada for a major Silicon Valley company.) They care a great deal about using ethical ingredients and quality sourcing and will be working directly with a farm in Morgan Hill, which will provide produce. Look for some farmer’s dinners too.
What’s interesting is they have a short-term lease, just 18 months, which will then go month to month, so they’re having fun with the project, knowing that it’s pretty short term. The decor of the 64-seat place is definitely playful, with a midcentury look, plus some “new Baroque” elements with the wallpaper and other details. They are transforming the 14-seat sushi bar into an open kitchen experience, so guests can interact with the chef. There will also be some booths and regular tables too.
They will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Look for a really strong espresso program too—James has learned quite a bit from some past work he did with the Google offices in Santa Monica and Intelligentsia. Breakfast will start at 9am, with lunch 11am-1:30pm or 2pm, and then dinner from 5pm onward; closed Mondays. Beer and wine will be offered.
Wallpaper and lighting at Gipsy Darling. Photo via Facebook.