we are gaucho

Guest Experiences

El Gaucho • AQUA by El Gaucho • The Inn at El Gaucho

  • Celebrating 20 Years

    El Gaucho’s 20th Anniversary Gala

    benefitting USO Northwest

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Heartwarming Stories From Our Guests

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We strive to deliver world class food, service and ambiance each night to every guest. But don’t just take it from us – hear it from guests who have experienced El Gaucho for themselves.

  • Home Away From Home at AQUA by El Gaucho

  • A Special Place to Share a Memorable Experience

  • The Clark’s Celebrate their 60th at AQUA

  • Wine Tasting by Cindy Kroeger & Peter Mason

  • Son’s Birthday by Romi Mahajan

  • AQUA Therapy by Mary Bass

  • Special Events by Monty Montoya

  • Building Relationships by Jim & Nancy Ellis

  • Finding Love by James Bell

  • Charity Dinner by Monty Montoya

  • The Guest by Peter Mason

  • The Birthday Party by Stan Harrelson

  • Building in Bellevue by Matt Lessard

  • The Major Donor by Monty Montoya

Iconic Experience Contest

Meet the Winners

  • Iconic Experience Contest

    Grand Prize Winner:
    Kimberly Kahoot & Dr. Michael Flynn

    Read the story


    It wasn’t supposed to be. He was from Oregon. I was from Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada. (However, my home setting was the city nearby- Winnipeg, Canada). Where my prospective ‘match’ should be from was not specified. His settings were: Home city: Portland, Oregon. His Prospective Match’s Home City: Portland, Oregon.

    There he was, in my ‘inbox’, handsome, smiling and tanned, at a fishing lodge…Wait! ..that fishing lodge…that looks like it could be in MY neighbourhood! But whaaaat? Portland, Oregon!? Sixteen hundred miles and a border lay between us. There was a sort of safety in all that distance; a confidence in knowing it was not to be. So, of course I reached out. “Hey! Portland! Where were you fishing?”. His response? “Hi! My favourite place in the world: Lake of the Woods, Canada” Me: “You’ll never guess where I’m sitting right now. Serious…”

    Fast forward one month, where emails have become phone calls, which soon become skype. We discover we both love the outdoors, traveling, fine food and wine. We discover our birthdays are two days apart, and coming up fast. I announce that I am taking myself on a birthday trip..Perhaps it could be Portland. He enthusiastically agrees, then offers to show me around town. Then he sweetens the offer: “Come to Portland, and I will take you out to El Gaucho, for a birthday dinner you will never forget.”
    Our airport meeting is comfortable. We both laugh, then hug each other forever. It feels like we are both coming home to each other.

    Dinner is true to his word: Unforgettable. The place is classic, solid. Soft guitar music and candle light, unobtrusive, welcoming staff. Those amazing escargots….MWAHHHH!. The wine list is manna from heaven. Cocooned and comfortable, we share our way through our meals, feeling like we have found “our place”.

    I cannot say with exactitude that the fact he gave his last juicy morsel of filet to me played a role in it. Perhaps it was the greeter settling us into the most intimate and private booth. Or maybe it was the prospect of returning to this restaurant with someone so lovely. We shall never really know. But, here we are, four years later, husband and wife. Our wedding was at a local vineyard last summer. Our guests stayed at the Benson, so they too could enjoy the bounty next door.

    Our annual birthday(s) and anniversary pilgrimage to ‘St. Gaucho’ continues, where we reverently toast Love, our good fortune, and delicious food. Those iconic black and gold matches come home with us to light our mealtime candles, so no matter where we are, we can be reminded of where it all began.



  • Iconic Experience Contest

    2nd Place Winner:
    Denise and Jane Camp

    Read the story


    My wife and I have been together for 28 years. We share a love like no other. She has taught 38 years in at risk youth schools in the inner cities. About 2 years ago I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Our perfect life was turned upside down. I was so scared and depressed. It got to the point that I would no longer answer the phone because all I kept hearing from my doctor was abnormal test results. I got Jane to call the doctor and pretend to be me. She could break the news to me and it wouldn’t be as hard to digest versus being alone and hearing it. Jane was my rock. I knew she was scared but she stayed so positive for me.

    I had a full hysterectomy in May and all my tumors were removed. I still have the bad dreams of dying. Cancer is horrible. This summer Jane surprised me with 2 nights at the El Gaucho Inn Seattle. The week before we left I fell at home and sprained my MCL. The Inn had stairs I had to navigate. We were planning a romantic dinner downstairs but my knee was having none of it. In stepped your employee Lee Rouseau and the rest of your amazing staff. They brought the dinner to our room with a beautiful table decorated with rose petals. I still tear up when I think about that night. Jane had planned on retiring this year but with my medical bills and ongoing treatments is not able to. I would love to treat Jane to your beautiful Inn. She is so unselfish. Even after a long day of work she’d come home and tend to me when I was so sick. She never complained. Just kept telling me everything was going to be ok. Thanks again for making us feel so special. We were truly honored to stay with you.



  • Iconic Experience Contest

    3rd Place Winner:
    Laelita Rossellini

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    The El Gaucho has played an important part in my life for many, many years. On my 21st birthday my father took me for my very first drink, which was a specially crafted birthday cocktail, created, shaken and poured by the legendary Mr. Al Black at the original El Gaucho. Soon after that the El Gaucho closed and my friends and I found that the 13 coins, Metropolitan Grill and Lafitte’s had the best dining experiences in the city. I still have a menu and some plates that I bought when Lafitte’s closed.

    I was thrilled when the El Gaucho re-opened in Belltown. I live in the neighborhood, making it the perfect first choice for happy hour; it is the best in town. We celebrate birthdays and special occasions and random dinners with you (always dressed up). I always request a table facing the busy flaming kitchen and the curved bar with the piano so full of delightful laughter and clinking glasses.
    I have enjoyed the Pampas Room and the Big Picture many times. When my condo flooded I stayed at the Inn at El Gaucho for five nights. The main event that I enjoyed at the Seattle El Gaucho was Valentine’s Day when your wonderful server Rebecca Olsen signed as witness on my certificate of marriage.


  • El Gaucho Hospitality

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