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Fort Greene’s culinary renaissance continues: Restaurant Gia, an "American bistro," opened on Lafayette Street in February, adding to the area’s ever-expanding dining scene.

Manager Tracey Grant, the sister of owner-chef Ian A. Grant (Gia derives from his initials), describes the food as "American with French and Asian touches." The chef is an alumnus of Jean-Georges and Bouley in Manhattan, and The River Cafe at Fulton Landing.

Ian’s intention, says Tracey, was to "bring a touch of Manhattan" to his Fort Greene neighborhood. The renovated space has a glass front and is divided into a downstairs bar complete with comfortable leather chairs, and an airy, pale lavender dining room upstairs.Waitress Anna Grundstom (pictured) delivers elegant cocktails.

Grant’s dishes feature global combinations like branzino (sea bass) served with basmati rice, bok choy and coconut, or potato pancakes topped with smoked salmon, roasted slices of tomato "petals" and caviar.

To ease our present angst, Grant suggests a civilized, late-afternoon cup of tea in his artbook-filled library. Twenty varieties, including spiced plum and passion fruit, are served from 3 pm to 5 pm.

Restaurant Gia (68 Lafayette Ave. at South Elliott Place) accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Entrees: $20-$24. Tuesdays to Thursdays, the restaurant serves lunch from noon to 2:30 pm, tea from 3 to 5 pm and dinner from 5:30 pm to 11 pm. The kitchen is open until midnight on Fridays. Saturdays and Sundays brunch is served from 11:30 am to 3 pm and dinner is served 5:30 to 11 pm. Closed Mondays. For reservations call (718) 246-1755.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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