Vegetarians look away now! Gaucho restaurant is unashamedly about meat. It’s a true meatfest, which includes some truly fine steak, cooked beautifully.
After the Thermapen steak workshop at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School, I was feeling myself to be a bit of a steak buff. But where other restaurants bring a cheeseboard, at Gaucho they bring a meat board – explaining the different cuts and marinades of their offering. I began to feel like a real amateur ….
Gaucho is about big, glamorous Argentinian cooking and drinking. With a great little bar upstairs and beautifully styled, glossy interiors downstairs, you might think you had woken up in a bright, shiny new world where everything is made of glass. I liked it though – it literally shone on a dismal January evening – though the light over tables can be a bit dim, making reading the menu slightly difficult.
The best thing about Gaucho is that they have a big (of course!) and very clear gluten free menu. You can see this online before you arrive and it is packed full of delicious and stunning choice. Given my now legendary steak knowledge, I went for some ribeye, while my gluten-eating friend shyed away towards the chicken.
To start, lightly toasted gluten free bread was brought, with butter on a shiny steel plinth and little pots of chimichurri sauce (the Argentinian equivalent of salsa verde). We side-stepped the starters to leave room for the main event. If having steak, you choose your cut, your cooking and your sauce.
My steak came beautifully cooked, with a slick of meat juice and sides of really crunchy thin chips and some excellent green beans with garlic and herbs. While in my heart I feel we have a robust farming industry in Scotland and I should not need to eat steak flown in from the other side of the world, there is no denying it was succulent, very tasty and went well with the tiny pot of béarnaise sauce on the side. We can forgive Gaucho as it is All About Argentina, including the wines. We had a great bottle of Viognier (Seleccion G’ Luigi Bosca) and the barbecue-charred chicken was also flavoursome.
After all that meat, we also missed out the puddings, but there is a good choice for GF including a rice pudding, ice creams and a praline mousse (which looked gorgeous).
Apart from the wonderfully shiny décor, the thing that really stood out for me at Gaucho was the service. The restaurant employs the smiliest and most professional staff: they made the visit a joy. Add to that a pretty extensive gluten free menu, and Gaucho becomes one of my stand-out meals in recent months. The bill is not small. You will pay for your airborne steak’s first class flight with onboard entertainment– but it is definitely worth it.