Gitano is celebrating its sixth birthday this December with the unveiling of its third location. Opening in time for Art Basel Miami, Gitano at Casa Faena has brought its signature approach to the food and beverage program at the 40-room boutique hotel, located within the Faena district.
Gitano chief executive officer James Gardner, who started the concept in Tulum and opened a second outpost in New York, had been mulling several opportunities and spaces to expand in Miami before connecting with Alan Faena. The hotelier’s team had reached out last year about collaborating, but the timing hadn’t worked out.
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“And then this year Alan and his partner Len [Blavatnik] were in Tulum visiting earlier this year, and I invited him to come to dinner with me at Gitano,” says Gardner. “We sat together with a couple of friends, and he absolutely loved what we’re doing. I think for both of us it was a lovely moment. He and I both thought there was a great synergy between what we’re both doing,” he adds. “It was a combination of meeting Alan, loving him, really respecting what he’s done with the brand, and then seeing this property Casa Faena.”
The Gitano team was given creative freedom to bring their concept into the space, working across the building’s various public spaces including a restaurant, lounge, and rooftop terrace. Gardner describes Gitano at Casa Faena as intimate — the dining room seats around 80 — and the vibe is slightly more elevated than the locations in Tulum and New York. The space integrates artwork and jungle-thematic greenery, reflecting the beach surroundings and Spanish architecture of the building.
The menu from Consulting Chef Mads Refslund of Noma will be consistent with what’s offered at the group’s other properties, with the concept still rooted in a modern, clean approach to Mexican cooking. The beverage menu, created by Courtney Lane, will include staple cocktails such as the Gitano Mezcal Margarita and Jungle Fever.
The launch will kick off during Art Basel with live musical programming and a collaborative foliage installation with Manscapers and St. Germain. But Gitano at Casa Faena isn’t a pop-up, and the aim is to keep up the appeal once everyone goes home. “We’re excited to bring people all year round to Gitano in Miami Beach,” says Gardner.
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