Gaucho Charlotte Street — London, UK
A staple of the London restaurant scene for the better part of two decades, the Gaucho brand is emerging, butterfly-like from a top-to-toe rebrand, starting with its Charlotte Street location.
Brighton-based DesignLSM has worked every trick in its bag, harmonising the restaurant’s two floors into a more refined version of its former self.
Taking its cues from Argentina’s vast, wondrous landscape of rolling grasslands, dramatic snow-capped peaks, rust-hued deserts and high-altitude vineyards, a base palette of ochre, grassy tones and deep inky-blue hues are layered with a gleeful mix of tactile textures and subtle notes that nod to the brand’s heritage. This begins with low-key rich velvets, gloss metal cladding, soft Kvadrat suedette, and supple leather upholstery - revealed through cosy banquettes and bespoke furnishings - and ends with standout features like the lasso-inspired lighting sculpture above the central staircase, a black marble bar, and a textured clay wall by Clayworks.
This all comes together to form an appropriate setting for the brand’s updated, more socially responsible concept, that also includes some new additions like the intimate Beef Bar and a cinema screen, which makes an appearance for the restaurant’s weekly Film Club.
Of course, the menu, overseen by the group’s culinary director, Mike Reid, still focuses on premium Black-Angus free-range Argentinian beef, resulting in juicy cuts of steak, like the spiral-cut churrasco de lomo, marinated in garlic, parsley and olive oil. This is served alongside favourites from fresh scallops topped with cauliflower puree to delicious empanadas, an extended vegetarian offering that nods to Argentina’s connection to Italy with creamy wild mushroom tagliatelle or beetroot risotto, and wines on tap, which works towards reducing the brand’s carbon footprint.§