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Restaurant of the Week: El Gaucho Seattle

El Gaucho is the premier luxury steakhouse of the Pacific Northwest, with six locations in the region today, and its flagship Seattle location dating back to 1953. That storied location finally closed its doors in 2020 and moved to its new home in the historic Union Stables building, and while the space is new, the impeccable service and old-school first-class charm, and mouthwatering flavor-forward food remain the same.

El Gaucho Seattle was an institution, a place as renowned for its classic aesthetic and atmosphere (it felt like where Don Draper would go for a steak after work) as its incredible cuisine and service. The restaurant possessed a unique and undeniable mystique and charm. But all good things must inevitably come to an end and in 2020 the old El Gaucho Seattle shut its doors to its new, equally historic home in Belltown.

The new building — which dates back to 1910 and is listed on Seattle’s National Register of Historic Places — once housed hundreds of horses (fitting given that “gaucho” means cowboy), and is full of wood and exposed beams that have been left intact. The new space has its own unique classic feel, with a large open-air kitchen and multilevel seating layout. We are proud to report that the new El Gaucho is no less timeless and captivating inside than its beloved forbearer.

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Of course the other cornerstones of what makes El Gaucho are present as well. First-rate service has become synonymous with the brand, and it is something that extends from arrival throughout your meal. They remember your name, your drink and allergy preferences and vigilantly attend to you during your time without ever being remotely bothersome. El Gaucho really does set the standard for Seattle steakhouse service. 

El Gaucho is also one steakhouse that still implements waiter captains. Being attentively cared for by a tuxedoed staff makes the dining experience feel special and elegant in a way that few other modern fine dining experiences do. This place harkens back to an era when people got excited and dressed up for dinner, and it feels exciting and special in a very welcome way.

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And then there is the food. It is definitely a “flavor-forward” and “old school” menu — some incredible cuts of meat, a few tested and true appetizers, a choice selection of seafood and salads and sides. Everything is simple, done to perfection and bursting with rich flavor. Steaks, naturally, are a must. El Gaucho Seattle serves 28-day dry-aged Niman Ranch prime cuts perfectly grilled on charcoal to trap in all the flavor.

A few more musts are the dishes that come with flame-forward presentations courtesy of your waiter captain. The Flaming Sword Brochette of Tenderloin is sliced and skewered, and the Bananas Foster Flambe is a pitch-perfect rendition of a beloved classic. Each is served tableside in an elaborate flaming display, destined to delight all in your dinner party.

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In summation, we are pleased to report that the new El Gaucho Seattle carries on the beloved tradition of its predecessor, adding its own worthy chapter to the storied brand’s longstanding legacy, and making it a fantastic option for any night on the town.

For more information about El Gaucho Seattle and to see the full menu, visit elgaucho.com/elgauchoseattle.

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