I tweeted something about El Gaucho this morning, and they retweeted it, of course. It got me to thinking about why I like El Gaucho. Why go to a regional steakhouse in cities (like Seattle and Portland) that are chock-a-block full of the national chains like Ruth’s Chris and Morton’s, and local old-timey favorites like Ringside in Portland?
The answer, for me, is rather simple: El Gaucho approaches steak with value propositions on every level – quality, preparation, ambiance and service that is unequaled on every level.
They have combined the best of “old-world panache’ with modern service.
I’m particularly fond of El Gaucho for their offering of two very traditional menu offerings that are seldom found anymore, table side preparations of steak tartare and chateaubriand.
Restaurants seem to shy away from steak tartare these days, probably because it’s raw beef and some perceived potential for liability (rubbish). The traditional dish has always been prepared at tableside with egg, capers, onion and seasonings to taste. They mix it, offer you a taste, and you can correct to your own palate. That’s service. Served with toast points.
(I previously did a mini-post about this dish a couple years ago).
Chateaubriand, the elongated beef tenderloin from which filet mignon steaks are cut, is one of the ultra-premium cuts of beef available today, and is the perfect selection for two or more diners. It was first served to Napoleon, and is traditionally accompanied by a rich Bernaise sauce, silky, buttery with a touch of tarragon.
The atmosphere at El Gaucho is dark, but warm and inviting, perfect for a romantic interlude or discreet business event. Classic cocktails are artfully mixed by the competent drink masters tending bar.
My only regret about El Gaucho is that they haven’t expanded beyond the Pacific Northwest. One can always dream. Dinner menu.
(This photo from El Gaucho’s Instagram site).
El Gaucho Steakhouse Review