I caught up with a couple of old uni mates last night for reminisce and some gentle ribbing about ungracefull aging since the late 1990's. Stuart has just got a job up in the city so Andy and I tasked him with finding somewhere to eat. We usually go for lots of Guiness at Mulligan's on Cork St but we fancied something a bit different. Well as it turned out his PA recommended Gaucho and so after some aimless wandering I found Finsbury square and the very modernist entrance to Gaucho. It is certainly a clever restaurant space with the bar upstairs in a sort of swish greenhouse and the restaurant underground. I felt like I was entering a bond film lair. The bar upstairs was pretty nice with good service and they did make a very nice martini. After a bit of a wait for Andy who being new to London got a bit lost, we were taken down to the action. The restaurant itself was extremely busy but had a nice sophisticated buzz. I got the impression this was very much set up for people entertaining. We were given a couple of glasses of very expensive Argentinean Malbec to try but opted for something far more sensible. We started with a very nice merlot and had a robust Malbec with our mains.
Obviously with this being Gaucho we weren't there for a vegetable pie so we ordered steak. I went for ribeye, Andy fillet and Stuart a sirloin. Like "Goodman's" the waitress came around to show us the different cuts of meat which does add to the theatre. It was suggested we might want to share a starter platter whilst we waited for our mains. A classic bit of upselling but in actual fact the sausage platter was very nice and just the right amount. The steaks when they came were extremely good, mine had great flavour and was well cooked. I avoided the extra sauces and had a very good side of sweet potato chips with Chorizo. The conversation and wine flowed freely as we enjoyed a very good meal. We weren't really minded for desert but the waitress came along to show us their cheese board and suggested we share a selection. Again a good bit of upselling but the board was very nice. In fact the food was faultless and my only negative was my lukewarm coffee.
All in all a very nice experience. It had a very New York style and the ambience did make me forget I was in London. It may lack the soul of "Goodman's" but it does it's job with plenty of style. I felt well looked after and the food seem to come seamlessly. We all really enjoyed ourselves without going mad on the booze which is a good sign. The bill came to £90 a head which was expensive but we had been well fed and watered. I think the professional pushiness of the staff may not be for all but I thought they were good at their job. I've red some sniffy reviews about Gaucho but I have to say I liked my first experience. If I could sum it up I would say it was a very grown up experience. Worth a visit if you can find it amongst the concrete and glass jungle of Broadgate.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Food 9 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 7