Seattle >Food & Dining > Aqua By El Gaucho
2801 Alaskan Way # 70, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812147.614815 -122.355064
Neighborhoods: Belltown, Downtown
Such a dynamite space, this seafood palace couldn't be any closer to the water. Warm weather means the outdoor deck is open, with the salty scent of Elliott Bay stirring your appetite for oysters, salmon, halibut and much more.
What used to be Waterfront Seafood Grill is now Aqua. Same owners, though - the venerable Mackay family, known for their expansive, "go big or go home" restaurants, and Aqua is no exception. It looks mostly the same, with splashes of bright blue and rust thrown in to give you the illusion you might be on the Mediterranean. You're not, although the seafood is just as fresh.
Something good is going on – Always been a big fan of El Gaucho, but never all that impressed with its seafood sister, until my last visit. It was a quiet night and everything was wonderful! I find when restaurants are slow the service and food can suffer. Service was flawless, food was perfect and the cocktails were well, cocktails..... Yummy!
High Prices, High Quality – This place is fairly specular - stunning views, decadent and inventive seafood dishes, state of the art service etc. The prices are exceptionally high, and I don't think the food QUITE lives up to the fine-dining vibe, but if you've got some cash to burn, its a spot to see.
Excellent Seafood – You'll never be disappointed with the food here. I had an excellent tableside spinach salad which is not always on the menu. I can't wait for it to return to the menu.
Well at least the view is nice. – The restaurant is huge with a big deck.. no doubt for tourist a good place to watch the ferries come back and forth. But make sure they are tourist with a lot of money to spend. The Brunch was overhyped and really expensive... I thought the staff was nice.. but the general manager seemed very intent on only talking to those he thought were important... at one point talking to the table near me with his backside in my face while I tried to eat. This experience was average.. but falls below average once you get the bill...
Completely underwhelmed – Let me preface this by stating my co-worker and I went to this restaurant without reservations in casual dress. We're in town for business and found a number of positive reviews recommending this restaurant. It has a beautiful view and a wonderful outdoor dining area. The overall atmosphere is very nice. The disappointment is in the limited selection of the menu and the lack of attentiveness on the part of the wait staff. Maybe I'm too accustomed to the prompt attention experienced in the Midwest and the South. While the waiter was knowledgeable in the menu selections, he was disengaged and rarely seen once our food was ordered. For the cost of dinner, I would prefer someplace else that actually appreciated my business.
Exceptional, remarkable service. – Those of us on expense accounts have dined in every restaurant in Seattle. rating food quality is rendered subjective by perspective. The total dining experience is is more about service and attention to detail. The staff at the Waterfront has mastered the art of impeccible service. We were a restaurant-weary-not-easily impressed party of four. From the valet to the reception desk, to the bar staff, the waiter(s), the wine steward, the table attendants, the service was seamless yet unobtrusive. While the food was delightful, well prepared and presented, it was truly eclipsed by the amazing manner in which we were treated. We speculated that employees are either carefully screened or magnificently trained. This is the restaurant to keep in mind when you want to impress or be impressed by the lost art of customer service.
Not what I'd hoped. – The evening started with promise. The white cosmos at the bar were excellent and the service was good; however, $35 for a dry piece of salmon with a rather bland sauce was a little much. I had really hoped to find an excellent dining experience on the waterfront, unfortunately this place didn't deliver.
Even in the rain it is great – Normally I go to Waterfront for the summer patio but I dropped in last night for dinner and even in the rain of winter Waterfront is beautiful. The service staff is friendly and truly appreciates their guests.
The food was amazing.. Marquesa Prawns are stuffed with seafood and even my vegetarian friend was thrilled with her meal of grilled veggies in puff pastry.
The bar menu is affordable and we had a great time as usual... Kudos again to another great night out.
Nice venue, but don't go for the food... – This restaurant has very good service and expansive views and a high style interior which shows well at night. However, our food has always been a bit disappointing. When you pay $25 for entree I guess our expectations go up. Sole, shrimp etc have been average. Lobster risotto during their lobster festival was a resounding flop. One wonders who created a risotto with whole basil leaves, mozzarella, raw tomato wedges, zucchini and rice cooked in a broth w/o discernable seafood flavor. While our other dishes have been 'competent', this restaurant does not deserve outstanding ratings, unless that is, you don't/can't cook yourself or avail yourself to the seafood at Pike Market... Disappointing. I have no problem spending $$$ on dinner. I just like to have good food.
I traveled 300 miles – I live 300 miles away and the Waterfront is my absolute favorite restaraunt. The last time I was in town, my friends and I came here and we had the best time. We could have easily been blown off because we were three young girls, but the staff and service was great. They made sure we had a great time. Our meals were excellent. The "Baked Alaska" dessert was awsome too, mainly because of the presentation. The night was somewhat spendy, but it was really worth it. I can't wait to go back.
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