A worthy successor to longtime occupant La Traviata, Gina’s Kitchen has opened in downtown Austin, bringing a classy, beautifully remodeled dining room and well-thought-out classic French and Italian dishes to the area. At a recent lunch, we started with a novel Caesar salad (the crisp lettuces were young escarole and radicchio), generous with the Parmesan but blessedly light on the anchovy flavor. It made a nice prelude to duck leg confit (the just-crisped skin embracing moist meat) with garlicky braised kale and tender navy beans on the side. Since the place is within walking distance of our office, three of us strolled down on another spring day to share smoked salmon dip with crème fraîche, which we scooped up with house-made, sea-salt-dusted potato chips (if you’re feeling indulgent you can add Siberian sturgeon caviar at $55 for 15 grams). One friend had a well-browned half a spring chicken with a nice slice of bread pudding on the side. The other checked out an order of mussels, their broth boosted with fennel and anis-flavored pastis. A single cannolo had lost its crunch but the fine cocoa-nib-studded mocha filling made up for that small lapse. The tall narrow room, with a limestone wall on one side and a fancy bar on the other, is quintessential historic Austin.