I have been looking forward to the opening of a good steak house near Shad Thames for some time and was happy to learn last week, when peering through the window, that Gaucho were to open today. I was given a card and today decided to give it a try for dinner. I phoned and booked a table for 8.30. On arriving at that time I was told that my table would not be ready for ten minutes and shown to the bar. When at the bar I saw that there were many empty tables so I decided that this was not the sort of place I wanted to frequent and walked out.
Since I did not eat there I cannot pass comment on the food!
This is quite usual nowadays - it allows the restauranteur to create a 'buzz' in the bar area, making the place look more popular, and claw some additional revenue from those who become thirsty while waiting. Perhaps it would have been better simply to say that you'd like to go straight through to your table and not hang around in the bar?
I consider myself a bit of a steak afficionado. Gaucho is good, in fact, very good for London, but falls short of the classic steak houses like Morton's and Ruth and Chris in the US. I think it's a fun place to go with a group of carnivorious chaps and get stuck in, but I'm sure my girlfriend wouldn't like the macho atmosphere which was prevalent in the City branch I went to.
Thanks Carmenes - but I did ask to go direct to my table and was told I would have to wait. I think I am too used to being able to go direct to a table in all the other Shad Thames restaurants and have been spoilt in the past.