IN LAVISH SURROUNDINGS..
Gaucho on Park Lane has a wonderfully sophisticated and charming atmosphere that cannot be found in any other restaurant in Leeds. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a luxuriously self indulgent meal in lavish surroundings
You could easily miss Gaucho’s as it has an entrance below street level. There’s no glitzy sign but just a tasteful black and gold sign on the railings.
Journey down the stairs and I can guarantee you will not be prepared for what you experience the moment you open the door.
The black and white cowhide themed décor, glass ceiling and chandeliers may take you by surprise but its all part of the stylish Argentinian experience you are about to experience in a restaurant that gets everything just right.
Gaucho has lots of old style customer service and it integrates its Government Covid 19 regulations so subtly and with style. Temperatures are taken when your coat is taken and your track and trace form comes folded with a pen. The paper menu doubles as your place mat and even the hand sanitizers are sited so they are non intrusive to your visit.
This restaurant is more than just a steak house – it’s a celebration of Argentinian cuisine.
No visit to Gaucho is complete without starting with one of their cocktails in the mirrored cocktail bar where you can hear the bar man shaking your cocktail.
My partner started with Penicillin – no he wasn’t taking a medication but one of Gaucho’s exclusive cocktails. This was a mix of three different whiskies blended with Casamigos Blanco tequila, lemon juice, honey and ginger syrup. It had a distinctive taste of tequila and had more of a delicious gentle push than a harsh kick.
Mai Tai was my choice, a blend of three rums sweetened with Grand Marnier and orgeat with a touch of lime. It was a smooth drink with a subtle taste of the rums that didn’t drown the flavour of the Grand Marnier.
Tables and areas at Gaucho fit beautifully into social distancing because of the many break out areas for tables and we were seated in one of the bays which was rather romantic and had extremely comfortable seating.
Our server introduced himself and as is normal with Gaucho brought a selection of steaks on a board and described each one in detail. The staff really are well informed here and put it over so well.
All Gaucho’s steaks are from the Pampas Plains of Argentina whilst other produce, where possible is sourced from local producers.
But the restaurant’s menu is not all steak there is chicken, lamb and fish and at least two tasty vegetarian main courses and starters.
There is also a good reasonably priced wine list and it makes sense to choose an Argentinian wine like a White Malbec. This is a refreshing white wine that has a richness and depth.
For starters I chose Empanadas a traditional Argentinian dish. There was a choice of filling but I chose sundried tomato and mozzarella. It was packed with cheese and the hand crimped pastry was light and crispy. The dip contrasted beautifully with the slightly spicey taste of the Empanadas.
My partner opted for the Beef Carpaccio. There was a large portion of the thinly cut beef, smoked and salt cured in juniper and mustard seeds, bay leaf, and umami chimichurri sauce. This he said tasted just as it should do, with the flavours of the seasoning not overdone but allowed to come through gently.
Main course for me was fish of the day which was Cod. This thick steak of Cod was cooked to perfection. It was succulent, flaky, white and full of flavour. The cod was balanced on a bed of Quinoa, Cherry Tomatoes, Peas and Beans and was served with a blood orange sauce – a tasty and colourful addition to the dish. I forwent the usual chips and opted for some creamed mashed potato which was the perfect accompaniment
The steak my partner decided on was Churrasco De Chorizo. A spiral cut, marinated in garlic, parsley and olive oil. It was cooked exactly as requested medium to rare and the meat just melted in his mouth. To compliment his steak he had Bearnaise sauce and King Oyster Mushrooms pan fried with a chilli, garlic and chive dressing.
We decided to carry the Argentinian theme into our desserts. My heaven on a plate was Don Pedro that consisted of whipped ice cream, that was just so delicious, walnuts and rum, whilst my partner had no room for a dessert and sampled a dessert cocktail – Buenos Noches which he described as one of those drinks that make you want another one.
Gauchos is dog friendly as are many of today’s restaurants and hotels. So if no need to leave Fido at home bring him along after all he’s part of the family.
In what could only be described as monsoon weather we left Gauchos with no cares about the weather outside only what a superb meal we had had.
Gauchos 21-22 Park Row, Leeds.
Open: Sunday to Thursday 12 noon to 10.30pm; Friday & Saturday 11.30am to midnight. The restaurant also has a private dining area that in normal times caters for up to 16 but with social distancing you need to check for numbers.