Our family just returned from a trip of a lifetime to Argentina where we connected to El Gaucho’s roots. We explored a region of the world we had never been to, and learned about El Gaucho’s heritage, which dates back to 1953, when the original El Gaucho opened in Seattle.
Our first stop was Buenos Aires and by the end of the first day, we already knew we’d be coming back. Buenos Aires is a dynamic and beautiful city full of parks, great design and architecture, and culinary diversity. The British, Spanish, Italians, French and Swiss all settled around this area and everywhere we went, there were great bakeries, pasta shops, butcher shops, and the local Parilla, or “grill,” restaurant. Everybody in Argentina grills over live fuel – meaning they either use charcoal or wood. No Argentine would ever be caught grilling a steak on a gas grill. The Parilla cuisine can be both simple and elegant, and is best described as an Italian restaurant that knows how to cook great steaks and meats.
At its heart, El Gaucho is an Argentine steakhouse, but we have an element that The Parilla does not – access to world class seafood.
El Gaucho Bellevue’s General Manager, Tony Capra, and Executive Chef, Tristan Chalker, also traveled to Argentina on a separate trip, to explore the wine country and experience the cuisine. You will see some new menu items in the coming weeks as Tristan gets to play with what inspired him on that journey.
I have written a longer blog post about our trip with photographic highlights for anyone interested in traveling there (click here). It was an amazing experience and the beginning of an annual pilgrimage for our team.
We are excited to announce a new addition to our family of businesses in June: Chef Jason Wilson’s The Lakehouse and Civility & Unrest is slated to open at the new W Bellevue as part of the Lincoln Square expansion. We just completed a tasting with some of our guests, and all of the menu items presented were well received.
Stay tuned for other announcements about a new lodging option, a farm, and enhancements to our loyalty program that will give you more options to dine, stay and play.
Until next time,
Chad Mackay | President & COO