El Gaucho Seattle and Woodhouse – a Perfect Pairing

Talk about a fabulous Friday — we had one of our best Friday evenings in months, thanks to Cooper Mills, general manager of El Gaucho Seattle, and Bijal Shah, guest sommelier and owner of The Woodhouse Wine Estates. A delicious meal, robust wine, attentive staff and a fun atmosphere – what more could you want for a night on the town?

El Gaucho Seattle was absolutely nothing like we expected. For years, we saw the staff in tuxedos at the door and decided that El Gaucho would be elitist, too grand and too expensive for our Seattle casual tastes. Wrong! 

Warm, friendly and experiential, that was our evening at El Gaucho Seattle. Around us were people of all ages, dressed in an array of fashion from jeans to suits, having a great time. There were romantic couples in dark corners, groups of friends laughing in the bar area, an emotional homecoming for a soldier returning from Iraq, young people celebrating after their prom, and an  elderly pair toasting their anniversary with excellent wine from The Woodhouse Wine Estates (formerly Woodhouse Family Cellars). And there were dozens of people clad head-to-toe in white attire — white suits, white flowing dresses, white hats, even white shorts — heading for a private party downstairs.

We immediately felt comfortable and kicked back with pours from Woodhouse — Hudson Shah Chardonnay, Dussek Cabernet and Kennedy Shah Reserve Syrah. Next came the tastiest burger in town for me and a mouth-watering steak sandwich for Dave. Another myth shattered – our evening at El Gaucho Seattle did not cost a fortune.

And then yet another surprise – Cooper took us upstairs for a tour of the Inn at El Gaucho. Wow! What a difference from when we stayed there ten years ago when we first moved to Seattle and I started a new job at KIRO. At the time, our room had some character but was simply old. Now – it is elegant yet comfortable, and fashionably funky, or as they call it, luxury urban with a “retro-swank fifties decor.” I would definitely recommend the Inn at El Gaucho to friends and family who come to visit (and need a place to stay because of allergies to our four dogs)!