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El Gaucho

jpc8015 Jun 7, 2009 09:21 PM

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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    ljohaines RE: jpc8015 Jun 8, 2009 10:17 AM

    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. e
      eddie_spaghetti RE: jpc8015 Jun 8, 2009 01:51 PM

      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
        porky pine RE: eddie_spaghetti Jun 8, 2009 02:03 PM

        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
        akq RE: jpc8015 Jun 8, 2009 03:01 PM

        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. b
          bourbongal RE: jpc8015 Jun 8, 2009 09:37 PM

          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
            equinoise RE: bourbongal Jun 9, 2009 09:58 AM

            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. m
            MichaelG RE: jpc8015 Jun 9, 2009 10:11 AM

            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
              jpc8015 RE: MichaelG Jun 9, 2009 11:58 AM

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

            2. c
              cnbstrempler RE: jpc8015 Jun 26, 2009 08:04 PM

              Back when I was feeling flush pre 2000, I took my entire extended family here for dinner (10 people) on New Years eve once. It was fantastic. We had 3 kids with us as well and the staff was very attentive and handled the kids beautifully. We had some drinks and some lower priced wine and our bill was ~$750 with tax and tip. Definitely not cheap but very nice. I've been back a few times since and it has always been very good and very professional. Daniels I do not recommend. The waitstaff that I've had there on 2 separate occasions (Bellevue both times) were pretentious and more than a bit rude. I don't expect that at a fast food place let alone a $60 steak place.

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                Leonardo RE: jpc8015 Jun 26, 2009 11:51 PM

                Here is a very recent review of the Portland one, which is what you asked for.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Leonardo
                  jpc8015 RE: Leonardo Jun 27, 2009 07:12 AM

                  This is a great review. Thank you. I am stoked to see that the Portland location was able to keep their cigar room. I've got a couple of Montecristo Media Noches sitting in my humidor waiting for a special night.

                  1. re: jpc8015
                    Dudley RE: jpc8015 Jun 28, 2009 07:37 PM

                    Good luck smoking your cigars at El Gaucho. Their policy is that you must buy one of their cigars. No BYO smokes allowed. Crummy policy.

                    1. re: Dudley
                      jpc8015 RE: Dudley Jun 28, 2009 10:46 PM

                      That is remarkably dissappointing. I'm sure that their cigars come with a pretty hefty price tag.

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