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Jun 7, 2009 09:21 PM

El Gaucho

Is El Gaucho all that it is cracked up to be? I am looking at taking my wife to the Portland location for our anniversary next month.

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  1. We've only been to the one in Seattle and it was fantastic! We sat on a Mink! covered booth. The lighting was very, very low so you can enjoy all the flaming meals that are presented. But not to worry, they bring you little flashlights so you can read the menu. Plan to spend some money, but we felt our meals and great drinks were well worth the price. If you have leftovers like we did, they send you home with them in a bag that is filled with fresh fruit and nuts! Not a bad ending to a wonderful meal.
    Let us know how your anniversary dinner goes. We foodies love hearing all about great places to dine.

    1. I've been to El Gaucho (Portland) several times, and hands down it's my favorite restaurant ever. The food is so amazing, it would be a bargain at twice the price; and you'll get treated like a rockstar. When you get there, make sure to ask for Greg and he'll hook you up with a great table. Enjoy!

      1 Reply
      1. re: eddie_spaghetti

        I like El Gaucho but at twice the price it would hardly be a bargain. A 1 lb. Australian lobster tail would cost you $136!

      2. A voice of dissent - I've never been particularly impressed with El Gaucho (only been to the Seattle location). The steaks just aren't that special and the rest of the good (tableside caesar, etc.) is so-so. Service can be a major issue - we were forgotten several times on one trip and they weren't even that busy. Also, no creamed spinach on the menu (and I love creamed spinach with my steaks) - they did make one since we asked, but it wasn't very good.

        1. I've been there twice for dinner. I love the ambiance at El Gaucho - sort of retro, clubby atmosphere. And the food is very good. But the reason I don't go more often is the price -- in that price range there are so many great options that El Gaucho just never seems to make my "value for the price" cut. I can never seem to pass up Union or Restaurant Zoe to get back to El Gaucho.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bourbongal

            I've been to the Bellevue El Gaucho a couple times. The first time, the cavernous room was nearly empty, the service was very attentive, and the steaks and sides were quite good, although they overcooked one order. The second time, the place was busy, and service was very lackadaisical, with long 20 minute plus waits to get drinks, appetizers, etc. Given the super hight prices there, I think Daniel's or The Met represent better value for a steakhouse, though El Gaucho does have a swank atmosphere and nice touches like the gratis fruit and cheese at the end of the meal.

            Caveat: I'm not a huge steakhouse fan, and for that kind of cash I'd personally go to Union, Crush, Lark, Zoe etc. without fail. I had a very good steak at Union once.

          2. Yes, you'll enjoy it. Hardly a bargain - and certainly not a bargain at half the price - but a wonderful fine dining experience if you love a good steak, martini, and bottle of cab.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MichaelG

              That's exactly what I'm looking for! Only instead of the martini, make mine a Manhattan!