It has been the most anticipated restaurant launch in Birmingham and now the opening date is almost here.
We had a sneak preview of the acclaimed steak chain Gaucho before it opens its doors on Monday, May 8.
We can confirm it looks to be a superb addition to our impressive restaurant scene.
The 120 seat bar and eatery, housed in one of the city’s most prestigious addresses - 55 Colmore Row - is in the heart of the blossoming business district which has seen a number of recent restaurant openings including Alchemist and Gusto in recent months.
The decor is decidedly decadent with lavish lighting throughout to complement a super sexy dark aesthetic - perfect for evening dining. It is certainly high in the running to win the award for the sexiest restaurant to open in Birmingham (see our video above)
There is lots of natural, carved wood - inspired by the giant Ombu trees in Argentina - and the colour scheme is more muted than Gaucho’s older restaurants with a focus on neutral colours.
But make no mistake, this is signature Gaucho for those already familiar with the famed brand. And the open plan design means it should be the place to see and be seen in Birmingham.
Diners and drinkers will be taken into the main restaurant by hosts who will lead them to either the bar or straight into the main dining area. There are booths as well as a separate dining room.
The bar offers a menu of 120 Argentinian wines including those from Gaucho’s own vineyards in Mendoza.
There is also an extensive cocktail menu including the intriguing cafe de leche cocktail - Gaucho's take on the classic espresso martini - Appleton Estate rum, dulche de leche, mascarpone and espresso, finished with grated dark chocolate and orange zest.
The Birmingham Mail can exclusively reveal that Gaucho is the latest venue to sign up to Birmingham Cocktail Weekend this summer.
The restaurant will also have a stall at Colmore Food Festival in June.
55 Colmore Row home of Gaucho, has been redeveloped at a cost of £30 million, and developers were looking for “the right aspirational restaurant” to move in.
The Gaucho brand founded 23 years ago, hadn't opened a new eatery since 2010.
Marketing Director Matt Ford told the Birmingham Mail: "When we decided to open a new Gaucho restaurant, we looked at two locations - Birmingham and Edinburgh. As soon as we visited Colmore Row we just fell in love with the area and knew it had to be Birmingham."
" All the local businesses have been very welcoming, " added Matt. " It's great we're close to guests at Hotel du Vin and we're very excited for the opening of the hotel at The Grand.
“We are really pleased with the look of the restaurant. It's more open plan than our flagship Piccadilly restaurant in London but still feels very intimate and relaxed.”
The focus is of course on quality steak flown straight from Argentina.
What does Matt recommend on the menu?
“The 300g medium rare rib eye steak (Ancho in Argentinian) - delicately marbled throughout for a superb flavour with peppercorn sauce and fries - enjoyed with a glass or two of Vina Patricia malbec of course.
Desserts includes Argentinian’s famed Dulce de leche cheesecake. " Argentinians like to put dulche de leche which is a type of condensed milk with caramel - on everything. But trust me this cheesecake is amazing.”
There are a selection of non- meat dishes including pea and marjoram ravioli - petit pois,mint, watercress and Parmesan butter sauce and grilled swordfish steak - marinated in citrus zest, aji molido and honey. Served with cucumber and coriander salsa.
Matt added: “ For me there is no greater match made in heaven then incredible steak and wine - served up in an incredible setting which we hope Brummies will agree we have created.”
Gaucho opens Monday, May 8 for lunch and dinner. The restaurant also offers brunch and a children's menu.
A two course lunch menu is priced at £24.50, 3 courses are £27.50.