Restaurant review: Gaucho Manchester
- Credit: Archant
Covid-secure dining in Manchester works beautifully at Gaucho – and the food is pretty outstanding too.
It’s been many, many months since I last headed into my favourite city for a night of feeling a little bit glamorous and all grown up. Since March it’s been home cooking for the family every night for night after night, after night... When the restaurants were told they could open again, with certain restrictions in place, I was thrilled. Then had a moment of wobble – did I want to risk it? My husband rolled his eyes, but I can’t be alone in that concern, surely?
So when it came time for our first foray into the strange new world of Covid-safe dining, we headed to Gaucho Manchester feeling both excited and a teeny bit apprehensive. I needn’t have worried an iota. It’s all totally under control – not only have they devised a one-way system in and out so you don’t bump, literally, into other diners, but they have overshot the Government advice on seating diners at different tables 1m apart and gone for a full 2m between every table. It’s not a small venue, so you might think that such a dramatic reduction of possible diners would have an effect on the atmosphere, but it really doesn’t - we went along on a Thursday and there was a pleasant buzz of conversation to be heard from all around the room, making it feel, almost, like life used to.
Gaucho Manchester is a carnivore’s delight, so my husband fit right in, immediately diving into the menu and salivating over the array of steaks to choose from, all from Black Angus cattle raised on the pampas of Argentina, widely thought of as the home of the best beef in the world. I am less red meat focused, so ordered myself a Rhubarb Blush cocktail (vodka, Chambord, egg white, lemon juice and rhubarb syrup – and very delicious too) , completed the track and trace forms and reviewed all the options open to me.
The Bull & Bear has opened its doors again and is definitely a Manchester must-dine.
For our starters we chose a very un-Argentinian but irresistible Burrata, which comes served with roast and fresh tomatoes dressed in truffle oil on a slice of toasted bread, and empanadas – the Latin equivalent of the Cornish pasty. The burrata was soft and creamy and wrapped itself around the explosion of tomato flavours like a dream. I think I may never eat tomato without a dressing of truffle oil again, and I really need to find a local supplier for a regular burrata fix. The empanadas, one beef and one lamb, were equally delicious – packed with moist, spiced meat they were a taste of heaven for one so long restricted to her own cooking.
My husband, on recommendation, opted for the Churrasco de Chorizo. Not a paprika packed sausage, but the house speciality, a spiral-cut sirloin steak, marinated in garlic, parsley and olive oil, and served medium rare. I knew it was good before I even asked, as he spoke not a word but simply applied every ounce of his being to the enjoyment of something he had missed very, very much. I did check, and yes, it was ‘incredible’, he says, ‘just a fabulous cut and a fabulous flavour and perfectly cooked too.’ I opted for the Spatchcock Chicken, a half bird roasted and then finished over the BBQ, giving it that smoky, slightly charred flavour that’s just pure summer.
Too full for pudding (a rare state indeed for me) we simply sat and relaxed, sipping red wine and chatting, enjoying our grown-ups’ night out and feeling really very Covid-secure indeed.
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