We’ve been on vacation with Ross’ parents all week in Seattle. They wanted to take us out to a really nice restaurant at some point on the trip, but really didn’t know where to go. They had said they saw gift cards to some nice places at Costco that were a pretty good deal. They were $80 for $100 to spend-like Groupon! We hadn’t heard of any of the places they had there, and my Iphone was dead so I couldn’t Google any of them or their menus. With some help of some nice folks that happened to be in the isle, we chose El Goucho. I had heard of it before, as there’s one in downtown Portland. I remembered someone at some point telling me something about the place…couldn’t remember who or exactly what…totally not helpful. They decided to buy two of these cards and we took them to the register. They guy ringing it up scanned the cards with eyebrows raised. I asked if it was a good place. He looked at me like I were insane and said ‘oh yes’.
We got to the car and used the Ipad to google the menu. I felt the blood drain from my face as the menu loaded. See what I’m talking about: http://www.elgaucho. What we thought was probably way to much for two people to spend suddenly appeared to be way not enough. As I passed the menu around we began to figure out what the hell we were going to order. We also realized that we couldn’t get a glass of wine to go with our meal, so we cracked open a bottle and started passing it around. We also realized we were going to have to change into classier duds… that is out of whatever we happened to bring in our suitcases.
After a quick trip to a drug store for pantyhose and hair pins, we arrived looking…barely acceptable. I had nightmares of us not being allowed in but the minute I walked in I realized that this was the kind of joint that if you have the kind of money to eat here, you can dress however the hell you want. This is definitely one of those “old money” kind of places. Waiters in tuxes, white gloves, crumb-scrapers and table-side service. Incredibly old-fashioned. A place I could imagine Richard Geere’s character from Pretty Woman taking the newly-classed up whore Julia to. Thankfully Ross remembered at the very last second to pull my chair out for me as the hostess put the napkin in my lap.
I took some pictures in there, but you must forgive the quality. As you can imagine, this isn’t the kind of place you shoot a flash off in.
They ordered the $135 Porterhouse steak (split 3 ways, but still!) and I opted for the scallops and shrimp scampi. The food arrived next to the table and carved and prepared table-side. The baked potato was ‘fluffed and dressed’ by a dude in a tux and white gloves. It took two waiters to serve our meal. They had a sense of humor though, and let me take some pics of them and their efforts.
The meal was decadent. The chef sent us a basket of fruit and nuts to finish our meal, most of which was covertly stuffed in the doggie-bag for later. Even with splitting one entree 3 ways, we managed to have leftovers and go over the budget by $10. I must admit, it wasn’t the greatest meal I’ve ever had, although by far the most expensive. To be fair, they are known for their steaks. I did have a bite of the Porterhouse and it was something special. Suprisingly, the things I enjoyed the most were the sauteed tomatoes topped with parmesan and the corn. Yes, the $11 corn. I think this is the kind of place enjoyed by someone who wants that 5 star experience and service…and to watch for celebrities. That night there were some professional ball-players in there. I couldn’t tell you from what team.