WITH GENUINE TASTES OF LATIN AMERICA
Gaucho is a truly a hidden gem right in the centre of the city.
Situated on Park Row it has an entrance below street level, which is easy to miss, there’s no overbearing glitzy signs and as you go down the dimly lit stairs there’s an air of mystery about the place.
But as soon as you open the door you will discover a stylish, sophisticated restaurant in which everything is just right.
The glass and chandeliers and the black and white cowhide themed décor may take you by surprise but once truly inside you will love it its all part of the Argentinian experience.
It’s the perfect place for that romantic Valentine meal or if you are searching for somewhere different to take mum on Mothers Day then this is the answer.
There’s lots of old style customer service here. When we arrived we were greeted and helped off with our rather copious winter coats before being escorted to our table with its novel swivel chairs, which should be compulsory in every eatery!
Gaucho is not just a steak house – it’s a celebration of Argentinian cuisine. The restaurant has maintained its classics but there’s a new collection of dishes which reflect the creativity and innovation of Latin American culinary glamour.
Before we ordered our server brought to us a selection of the steaks on offer on a board and described each of them to us in detail. The staff here really know their stuff and put it over so well.
All Gaucho’s steaks are from the Pampas Plains of Argentina whilst chicken lamb and cheese are sourced from local producers.
But its not all steak at Gaucho there is a great menu of fish dishes and at least two vegetarian main courses and starters.
My colleague chose Empanadas as her starter. The pastry was light and crispy whilst the fillings were very tasty. Her particular favourite was the sundried tomato and mozzarella which was packed with cheese. The dip that they came with was very tasty and contrasted beautifully with the spicy taste of the Empanadas.
I decided to try one of the new starters and I was not disappointed. The cured Patagonian red prawn tiradito came with pickled cucumber, salsa Verde and a whipped cream fraiche. There was an ample portion of these succulent prawns and the pickled cucumber enhanced the flavour of the prawns whilst the whipped cream fraiche could not have been a better accompaniment to this dish.
For my main it had to be steak and I decided on a small ribeye. This arrived exactly cooked as I had asked – very well done. Yet it was still succulent, moist and tender with a full bodied flavour and a superb tasty blue cheese sauce.
My colleague went for the Gaucho Burger. The burger itself was cooked to perfection, moist, well seasoned and tasty. The combinations on the burger could not have been better, the bacon was crispy, the pepper mayo gave the burger a flavour kick, the melted cheese was flavoursome and the addition of Guindilla chilli topped off all the flavours and tastes.
We decided to share sides choosing a very refreshing Rocket and Kale Salad with Parmesan and pumpkin seeds, spinach with garlic and lemon, a lovely combination.
But the biggest surprise on the sides menu was the broccoli. Now I don’t particularly like it – in fact at times I loath it but this broccoli was different as it was cooked with stilton and almonds and I just loved it.
When it comes to desserts Gaucho will have you lost for choice. An ice cream lover I could not resist Don Pedro. This was light whipped ice cream and walnuts served with a blended room – just the sweet for an ice cold night.
My colleague’s heaven on a plate continued with the Argentinian theme with a trio of Argentinian classic desserts, Cinnamon churros, Dulce de leche pancake which was crispy and very filling and Giant alfajores with almonds which I couldn’t resist having a piece of.
The staff at this restaurant are attentive and friendly and make no attempt to rush you through your meal making for a real relaxing evening.
Once you find the place, and we walked passed twice and get over the shock of the crystal and cowhide décor, which you eventually warm to and learn to love as its part of your dining experience, you’ll find Gaucho one of the city’s finest if not the best for food, service and value – and tailormade for that Valentine’s meal.
Gaucho 21-22 Park Road, Leeds LS1 5JF. Tel: 0113 246 1777
Open Sunday to Wed 11.30 – 23.00; Thursday and Friday 11.30 – 24.00
Saturday ll.00 – 24.00