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Seattle's 5 best bars with outdoor seating
Our postcard-perfect summer is short but we Seattleites know how to squeeze every last drop out of it. When temperatures dip after sunset, do we cower back inside? Hell, no. "Garçon, bring us a blanket." Or we retrieve our jacket from our car trunk and weather the conditions, all while slouching in our cargo shorts and sandals. We look ridiculous. Never mind that. This is our summer. This is how we roll. Here's where to go:
AQUA BY EL GAUCHO: The wait isn't as long anymore now that this waterfront bar/restaurant added 75 additional outdoor seats with views of Mount Rainier, the Space Needle and Olympic Sculpture Park. There are two firepits and a wind screen to shield you from the elements... View »
El Gaucho Receives Restaurant Neighbor Award
Restaurants serve. People. Careers. Communities. That's why the Washington Restaurant Association (WRA) was proud to honor El Gaucho as a state winner of the acclaimed National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's (NRAEF) Restaurant Neighbor Award. Chad McKay, owner of El Gaucho, a renowned Seattle-based chain of steakhouses, received the Restaurant Neighbor Award at the WRA's spring board meeting, in Portland, from WRA President and CEO Anthony Anton. El Gaucho richly deserved this honor. Through financial giving, time and resources, El Gaucho has donated more than $3,000,000 since its inception in just over a decade, forging a strong bond with our communities and supporting numerous local charities including Seattle's Union Gospel Mission... View »
Burgers or Bust: Bellevue Burger Round-Up
The Pacific Northwest may be renowned for fresh seafood and ethnic eats, but Bellevue also knows how to dish up delicious burgers like nobody's business. Whether you are looking for an extravagant experience or a quick bite to eat, Bellevue has a burger for every occasion. From the classics to over-the-top creations, here are a few can't-miss picks from some of our dining spots around town... View »
The 15 Best Margaritas in Seattle
From old-school classics to fruity and frozen, here are our favorite margaritas in town. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo this Tuesday, May 5, we have rounded up some of the best margaritas in town—from fresh organic fruit juices to glasses rimmed with chili salt. We wouldn't blame you if you wanted to taste them all. Just don't do it in one night. AQUA made the list! View »
Downtown Bellevue Restaurants Embrace Vegan Options
Veggie options are becoming regular requests driven from consumers overall demand for healthy and fresh menu choices, and downtown Bellevue restaurants are listening. From menu creativity featuring vegetables to new culinary favorites, eating vegan has never been easier. – Kristin Wuhrman, Owner of Miss Bellevue Vegan. A perfect example is the Blackened Tofu Steak with Caramelized Onion and Charred Corn Succotash from El Gaucho's in Bellevue. Execute Chef, Sarah Scott created this dish as a result of frequent veggie requests from their busy lunch crowd. View »
El Gaucho's Béarnaise sauce recipe added to favorites
Some people pick up postcards or touristy T-shirts from places they visit to remember their trip. As for me, the best brand of memento from a trip is a favorite recipe shared by a chef that can be replicated at home — an edible souvenir to vicariously relive memorable moments of an amazing adventure. View »
AQUA's Taste Washington! Red & White Party
March 26th. A "Pre Grand Taste" event at AQUA by El Gaucho Seattle. Exclusive pours from magnums of 90+ point Washington wines and the culinary talents of Executive Chef Wesley Hood. Appetizers, wine and live music from The Ben Fleck Trio. $175 per tickets. 7-10pm.
Read all about it:
Tasting Room Magazine | Taste Washington! VIP Red & White Party »
Komo News | Taste Washington: A Gourmet Experience »
Seattle Met | 20 Ways to Celebrate Washington Wine Month »
Seattle Eater | Taste Washington Tickets On Sale Now »
Komo News | Cider Shares The Spotlight At Taste Washington »
Vancouver Sun | Fill your plate at food festival »
Movin925 | Enter to Win a pair of tickets to Taste Washington's Red & White Party »
Komo News | Seattle Refined: Photos of AQUA's Red & White Party »
Grazers: El Gaucho Seattle
By true definition, a gaucho is a South American cowboy, a wrangler of the four-legged beasts on the plains (or pampas) of his fertile lowlands. By Northwestern interpretation, El Gaucho is a definitive steak house and ode to the cowboys of the South, a quintessential proprietor of Certified Angus Beef and curator of restaurant experiences of yore.... View >
Best Restaurants in Seattle – AQUA is in the top ten!
A bright, open space with sculptural lighting and barrel-backed chairs invites guests to check out great views and a wonderful, seafood-based menu. Although options change depending on what's fresh, you may find oven-roasted Manila clams to start or Northwest oysters served with grapefruit tequila sorbet. Main courses include lobster risotto, Thai seafood stew and sesame-seared sea bass. If you prefer meat, there's rack of lamb, pork tenderloin, and grilled steaks. Vegetarians are pleased by plank-roasted vegetables, and desserts are eminently rich and satisfying no matter what you choose. In the mood for some music? Live piano music is a treat nightly from 5 p.m on.... View >
Super Bowl Snack Recipes From El Gaucho Chef Matt Brandsey
If you want to eat in style while watching the Seahawks take on the Patriots this Sunday, we've got some great recipes for you! Chef Matt Brandsey of El Gaucho shares his recipes for Crab Rockefeller Dip, Pulled Pork Sliders with Truffle Slaw and Fried Cheese Curds with Sriracha Lime Mayo.... View >
AQUA by El Gaucho named 2015 Restaurant of the Year
at the annual Washington State Wine Awards
Monday's well-attended 13th Annual Washington State Wine Awards [#wawineawards] celebrated restaurants, retailers, tourism professionals and distributors whose work raises the profile of Washington State wine throughout the state and beyond. Winners were selected from more than 130 nominations, a record number of submissions, and were chosen for their impressive menus, innovative educational programs and marketing efforts, and commitment to excellent service... View >
Meet Sarah Scott: The Newest El Gaucho Executive Chef
After six years working under former executive chef John Broulette, up-and-comer Sarah Scott has taken over the reins at El Gaucho Bellevue. I got a chance to sit down with her to talk about her style of cooking, what it's like to be a female executive chef at a steakhouse, and why butter is basically the answer to everything.
Q: Tell me about your cooking background?
A: Well, I started out cooking with my mom when I was pretty young. My mom had a hodgepodge style and she's from the Midwest, but I grew up with a lot of southern cooking since I'm from Florida.... View >
OpenTable diners select El Gaucho Portland as one of the 100 best steakhouses in the U.S.
In a nod to the long and rich history of the American steakhouse, we are pleased to honor the inaugural 2014 Diners' Choice Award winners for the Top 100 Steakhouses in America. These awards reflect the combined opinions of more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 20,000 restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia... View >
Two fine dining restaurants in the Pacific Northwest
Visitors to Portland looking for a fine dining experience in downtown Portland can check out El Gaucho, an intimate but not stuffy steakhouse. Here one can arrive dressed in business casual to evening wear and feel comfortable and at home.
Treat yourself to tableside service reminiscent of an area that celebrated indulgent dining experiences expanding over several courses replete with an extensive wine list. Among their popular items include fresh Northwest oysters on the half shell, a caesar salad made from scratch tableside and their 28-Day Dry-Aged Niman Ranch All-Natural Certified Angus Beef® Brand Prime steaks and custom aged Certified Angus Beef® Brand Tenderloin Filets. Also, those desiring a fine dining experience with an ocean view can check out Aqua by El Gaucho. This restaurant situated at the tip of Pier 70 away from the touristy crowds affords dinners relaxed views of the Space Needle, Magnolia bluff and Elliott Bay... View >
Best Bets For Seattle Restaurant Week
Restaurant Week kicks off Sunday and stretches out over two weeks (Oct. 19-23, 26-30), so you've got loads of time to indulge in some pretty incredible meals. With more than 160 places participating, making decisions about where to go can seem overwhelming, so we've picked some winners. These are dinner spots that typically run twice the cost of the three-course $30 meals served up during this crazy popular promotion. View >
The 2014 Best of the Northwest
Gridiron Vodka selected "Champion" in the Vodka category in the SIP Northwest Magazine Best of the Northwest 2014. Sip Northwest magazine is excited to release our third annual Best of the Northwest issue, showcasing the top travel spots, industry influencers, wine, beer, spirits, cider and more that are now crowned "2014 Best of the Northwest."
With more than 40 of the Northwest's sharpest professional palates as our panel, we have compiled our list of the 2014 Best of the Northwest beverages from more than 2,000 beverage submissions. Some of the most influential producers in each beverage are profiled, along with features of locally supporting restaurants, bars, tours and retailers.
Sip Northwest's 2014 Best of the Northwest issue is a versatile compilation of the top billing beverages of the year. The winners are listed below. View >
Changing of the El Gaucho guard: Father hands growing business over to son
It is a new era at El Gaucho Hospitality, formerly Mackay Restaurants. Chairman and CEO Paul Mackay is officially retired after more than 40 years in the restaurant industry, leaving the company with five El Gaucho restaurants, including Aqua by El Gaucho, a catering company and the Inn at El Gaucho. Mackay now lives in Walla Walla, has a wheat farm and is acquiring some estate vineyards. His son, Chad Mackay, 44, who has been running the business for some time, is now officially at the helm, president and COO of the newly branded El Gaucho Hospitality. View >
After 50 years in dining biz, El Gaucho honcho calls for the check
Paul Mackay, a fixture on the Seattle dining scene for decades, opened and managed renowned local spots like El Gaucho, The Metropolitan Grill and 13 Coins. Soon, he will be simply a diner. He's retiring after five decades in the business. Every few minutes, while Paul Mackay was back in the pantry of Seattle's old Aero Club putting together Caesar salad trays and shrimp cocktails, the swinging door to the dining room would fly open and it would all hit.
The tinkling piano and the oozing saxophone. The skeins of laughter and the clinking glasses. Corks popping. Cutlery clattering. Waitresses in gold lamé whooshing past."It was all out there," Mackay recalled the other day. "All the excitement was out in the dining room." View >
WRA members and Seattle's Union Gospel Mission
Resturants are vital to our local communities. They support sports teams, host fundraisers and so much more. In Seattle, one way that restaurants help the community is through work with the Seattle Union Gospel Mission. View >
Seattle opens the door to Chinese tourists
Chinese tourists who visit Seattle's El Gaucho steakhouse will soon have the option of ordering off menus printed in Mandarin Chinese. The restaurant is also recruiting Mandarin speaking servers and/or hostesses.
"We're going to see an explosion (of Chinese tourists) over the next few years," said El Gaucho CEO Chad Mackay. He should know. Mackay is the former chairman of the Visit Seattle board of directors and now serves as chair of the finance committee. As we reported in this week's print edition, Visit Seattle — a private nonprofit working to promote tourism throughout King County... View >
Snoqualmie Showdown Brings Together Famous Foursome
Fred Couples & Steve Ballmer Vs. Rick Neuheisel & Mitch Levy
August 4 Charity Event at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge Open to Only 500 Fans, Signals the Countdown to the 2014 Boeing Classic. A foursome of Seattle's biggest names will battle it out for bragging rights and to raise funds for local charities at the Snoqualmie Showdown, a two-man, alternating-shot competition that will serve as the countdown event to the 2014 Boeing Classic. Sports Radio 950 KJR AM's morning host Mitch Levy has brought together an impressive pairing of friends and colleagues and will team with Rick Neuheisel, the Huskies' Head Football Coach from 1999-2003, to take on World Golf Hall of Famer and Seattle native Fred Couples, partnering with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Fox12 Oregon Features El Gaucho Portland Executive Chef Alex Parsons
and Junki Yoshida to promote Soulful Giving Event
View Video >
Korean Power Blog Features AQUA
These beautiful images need no translation!
Pac-12 Ultimate Road Trip: Week 5
"...And speaking of critical intra-division games, we're going to hop on a flight Friday morning up to Seattle, grab dinner at El Gaucho, and then watch Washington host the Cardinal on Saturday. (Or you could drive it … 1,428 miles from stadium to stadium). " View >
Bloody or Burnt, How Much Will That Steak Cost You?
"Eater rounded up the price of a rib eye at nine restaurants serving the classic marbled, ultra-flavorful cut. These bad boys range from 14 to 18 oz. and are served a la carte...Keep in mind that quality of meat varies and prices are without tax. The priciest slab of meat? 28-day dry-aged Niman Ranch certified Angus beef at El Gaucho. Exec Chef Matthew Brandsey tells Eater, "the intensity of flavor that comes from this cut feels like little tiny ninjas punching your taste buds." View >
Seattle's Greatest Classic Decks
"The waterfront restaurant Aqua—formerly known as just "Waterfront"—is run by posh Seattle standby El Gaucho, and they do not mess around. The waterfront seating is on the pier—directly upon the glinting Sound—with grazillion-dollar unimpeded views of Mount Rainier to the south, the Olympics to the west, and, around the other side, the sculpture park for a little culture." View >
Bring the Houseguests!
"Don't hate her because she's beautiful. This sprawling, window-walled sensation at the tip of Pier 70 features cruise-ship vistas of Elliott Bay, along with an interior view—shiny exhibition kitchen, shiny copper light fixtures, shiny gorgeous people—to rival them. All brought to you by impresario Paul Mackay, who changed the name of this specimen (from Waterfront) to highlight its status as surf-and-turf sister to his bet-a-million local steak house chain, El Gaucho." View >
Bartender Crush: Rob at AQUA by El Gaucho
"Name: Rob Where: AQUA by El Gaucho Buy Him A Shot Of: Cheap whiskey—usually Jim Beam—and a Miller High Life. Ask Him To Make You A: Manhattan, or you could mix it up. "I like it when people give me components that they want in a drink and I'll take it from there," Rob says. View >
Nosh Pit Weekly Planner: June 25–July 1
"Midsummer Night's Dream Cabaret at El Gaucho.
This Belltown steakhouse will serve up a four-course dinner to accompany a burlesque-style cabaret performance of Shakespeare's summery play. A cocktail hour will start at 7pm, and the full menu is available online. Reservations for the $150 event can be made by calling 206-728-1337.." View >
Employers worry over effects of $15 wage law
"All eyes are on Seattle as it moves toward a $15 minimum wage, the highest of any major city nationwide. On June 2, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring employers to pay at least $15 an hour in the next three to seven years, representing a 61 percent increase over the state's current minimum of $9.32. Mayor Ed Murray, who subsequently signed it into law, said it was a bold — but not dangerous — experiment. Labor activists hailed it as a landmark victory for low-wage workers..." View >
Is There a Downside to a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage?
"The International Franchise Association has made defeating Seattle's $15 per hour minimum wage its "top policy fight," arguing that laws like these unfairly discriminate against franchisees, who will be lumped in with big businesses and forced to comply with the law by 2017, the earliest deadline of the staged roll-out. PayScale spoke via email with Chad Mackay, President and COO of El Gaucho, a high-end steakhouse chain based in Seattle, for his take on how the law could affect both businesses and workers." View >
8 Seattle Restaurants Offering Dad's Day Menus
"Perfect for Father's Day, the Sunday brunch menu at this Elliott Bay-side restaurant has lots of shellfish, salmon, El Gaucho beef and their signature Gaucho Benedict baked into a tart shell. The fried chicken with Beecher's cheese biscuits is to die for. Plus, the Wicked Mary is pretty amazing. The full menu can be viewed online. Price is $39/person, $19/kids, free for kids 5 and under. Reservations: 206.956.9171." View >
6 Things to Try at Aqua's Gorgeous Waterfront Brunch
"Aqua by El Gaucho is now open early on Sundays, rolling out a sumptuous brunch buffet, which can be enjoyed on one of the coolest patios in Seattle, sitting out over Elliott Bay with Mount Rainier begging to be photographed along with the parade of pretty food. Here are 6 things you should try. 1. Start with a Bloody Mary. The chili-salt rim is a warming eye-opener. And we could eat those blue cheese-stuffed olives all day long. 2. The fried chicken and biscuits are smothered in sausage gravy. As if that wasn't enough said, the biscuits get a major flavor boost..." View >
10 best places to get an outdoor drink this summer
"Everyone loves outdoor seating, even more so if you live in the Seattle area. It's not just the Rainier views and the gentle breeze, but also the fact that there's still light out at 9 p.m. As someone who covers the drinking scene, I've been to many rooftop bars and patios, even weathering stiff winds and drizzle during the summer. Seattle can be a cruel, cruel place. But when it's perfect, there's no place like it. You want to, no, you must be en plein-air. To that end, here are my top 10 places to drink outside this summer...” Read Article >
Best Steakhouse Restaurants in Seattle
"For a "truly excellent" "carnivore experience", these "classy", "Rat Pack"–style steakhouses serve up "perfectly prepared" cuts in dining quarters so "dimly lit" that "tuxedoed servers" are on hand to provide "flashlights" and "walk the ladies to the restroom"; not surprisingly, it all comes at an "astronomical" price, though the "popular happy hour" is an "amazing value." View >
20 Seattle Restaurants That Aren't Stupid Loud
"Anyone who's dined out in the last half-decade has experienced the explosion in restaurant noise—a trend owing to fashionably unupholstered interiors, ever louder music, and restaurateurs who believe that the noisier the scene, the greater the perceived popularity. (Some restaurateurs hire consultants to design noise in.) Downtown, head for El Gaucho..." View >
Sometimes a company's best gift comes from the heart of its expertise
"Not to say that the kitchen crew at Seattle's Union Gospel Mission doesn't deliver tasty meals, but something happens twice a month that seems to cause a noticeable spike in attendance for lunch. Every third Thursday and on the last Wednesday of the month, the food comes from El Gaucho, one of the city's most celebrated gourmet restaurants. The food is prepared in the kitchens of El Gaucho and its Aqua restaurant and transported to the mission in Pioneer Square, where hundreds of homeless men, women and children will sit down to what may be their best meal of the ...” Read Article >
El Gaucho Bellevue – Brunch Brunch Bunch
"The weekend starts on Sunday morning for me. That's mostly because I work during the week, Friday and Saturday I hang out with my friends at some bar downtown, so I don't really start to relax until Sunday morning. And if your life is as hectic as mine, then I am sure you agree that nothing hits the spot like a Sunday brunch. El Gaucho is known for their food (especially their steaks) and so when I heard they'll be offering brunch, I knew I had to check it out.” Read Article >
8 Great High-End Happy Hours Around Seattle
"One of the city's prettiest restaurants - on Pier 70 - also is one of the priciest with entrees in the $30 to $40 range. But there's sweet relief daily between 4 and 6 PM when well drinks and house wines are $6 and dishes are deeply discounted. Standouts include the aptly named Wicked Shrimp ($7), the Ling cod and chips with Cajun remoulade ($8) and the outstanding steak frites for $14. Yes, that's pushing the limit on what passes for a good deal, but that crazy good demiglace makes it worth the extra expense. 2801 Alaskan Way; 206-956-9171” Read Article >
Boating season can be delicious dockside – Happy Hour at Aqua
"Aqua by El Gaucho sits at the far end of Pier 70. The restaurant's glass front allows a panorama of the waterfront that is as awe-inspiring as the menu prices: Dinner entrees average $55. There is, however, an alternative to those pay-for-view prices: happy hour (4-6 p.m.) at Aqua's bar, a sinuous curve of pale blue glass along windows facing north. Here, skilled bartenders take as much care making 10-buck happy hour martinis and Manhattans as they do constructing pricier cocktails with an array of house-infused spirits. Wines by the glass, sangria and beer cost even less.” Read Article >
El Gaucho Steak House, Seattle,Washington
"On a recent visit to Seattle, I had the distinct pleasure of dining – on my birthday – at El Gaucho, the renowned steakhouse recognized in all of the Northwest as one of the very best. Entering the restaurant, I was impressed with its theater-like ambiance – the only lighting was of softly glowing lamps. An aura of excitement swirled around the restaurant as dishes were set aflame and steaks sizzled at tables – all this to the accompaniment of live piano music playing softly at the open bar. I knew I was in for a most memorable evening – and I was right!” Read Article >
A Taste Washington Survival Guide: 10 Tips and Tricks from a Seasoned Veteran
seattlemet.com | March 25, 2014
Taste Washington—the state's premier wine and food event–is coming up this Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30, at the CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle. The event, which features 226 wineries and 68 restaurants, is the single largest regional wine event held under one roof... Read Article >
15 Must-Try Bites at Taste Washington
zagat.com | March 26, 2014
It's easy to feel overwhelmed at Taste Washington. The two-day celebration of the state's ever-growing wine industry - with some Northwest beer and local spirits in the mix - is coming up this weekend. Hundreds of wineries will pour their finest and dozens of restaurants will serve samples of dishes designed to wow the thousands who show up to this popular event, now in its 17th year... Read Article >
Sivi Mennen, AQUA by El Gaucho General Manager,
Named a 2014 Seattle Tourism Ambassador
We are thrilled to announce that Sivi Mennen, AQUA by El Gaucho's General Manager, was named one of four Tourism Ambassadors at the Visit Seattle Annual Meeting and Luncheon, held on Tuesday March 18th at the Sheraton Hotel. The Tourism Ambassador award recognizes those who uphold the highest service standards, and regularly go above and beyond to serve and assist visitors, promoting the industry and city. Read Article >
April 17, 2013 | El Gaucho Hospitality Receives National Restaurant Neighbor Award,
Gifts Prize Money To Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission
OLYMPIA, Wash.—The WRA is proud to congratulate El Gaucho Hospitality for receiving the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) 2013 Restaurant Neighbor Award. The iconic Puget Sound restaurant was honored in Washington D.C. today during the NRA’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington D.C., where El Gaucho Hospitality owner Paul Mackay accepted the award.... Read Article > | View Video >
January 17, 2013 | El Gaucho Hospitality’s Chad Mackay is named theJanuary 14, 2013 | El Gaucho Hospitality named
Washington Restaurant Association’s
2012 Full Service Operator of the Year
The Washington Restaurant Association (WRA) this week honored Chad Mackay, president and chief operating officer of El Gaucho Hospitality, as its 2012 Full Service Operator of the Year, for his extraordinary service within the industry, the community and beyond.... Read Article >
Washington State Wine Commission’s
2012 Restaurant Group of the Year
Washington State Wine Awards toast people, places that make wine shine
After a decade of honoring restaurants, the Washington State Wine Commission expanded its prestigious award program to celebrate additional industries and individuals whose work raises the profile of Washington State wine throughout the state and beyond... Read Article >