About AQUA by El Gaucho

2801 Alaskan Way
Pier 70
Seattle, WA 98121
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Named Gayot’s Top Ten Seafood Restaurants in America in 2012, AQUA by El Gaucho sparkles at the tip of Pier 70, offering Seattle’s best waterfront dining experience. In addition to fantastic views and ambiance, guests are treated to the legendary El Gaucho personalized, fine-dining service and live music nightly. Our award-winning wine list, coupled with a menu highlighting fresh wild seafood preparations, as well as 28-Day Dry-Aged Niman Ranch All-Natural Certified Angus Beef® Brand Prime steaks and custom aged Certified Angus Beef® Brand, are all prepared on an open-pit charcoal grill in the exhibition kitchen. AQUA by El Gaucho delivers a quintessential Seattle fine dining experience.

Dining Style:
Fine Dining

Cuisines:
Seafood, Steak, Northwest

Hours of Operation:
Open at 4:00 pm daily. Dinner: Nightly from 5:00pm.

Cross Street:
Broad Street

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$50 and over

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(206) 956-9171

Website:
http://www.elgaucho.com/aqua-by-el-gaucho.html

Entertainment:
Live piano music seven days a week.

Parking Details:
Valet parking is available on Pier 70.

Executive Chef:
Wesley Hood

Additional:
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Private dining at AQUA by El Gaucho is a memorable occasion. Our beautiful and incomparable private rooms are available for lunch and dinner service Monday through Friday and dinner service on the weekends. We also provide buyouts of our entire restaurant. Please contact Carly Geer at 206-956-8171 or cgeer@elgaucho.com for information.

Restaurant Photos

Seafood Bacchanalia
Sweetcorn
Emerald City Volcano
Stuffed Colossal Prawns & Seared Diver Scallops
Appetizers
Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts
Australian Rock Lobster
Lobster Mashed Potatoes
Baked alaska
Classic Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Seared Sesame Chilean Sea Bass & Grilled Hawaiian Swordfish
Entrees
Bailey's Chocolate Caramel Bread Pudding
Bone In Ny Strip Steak & Rib Steak
Oysters
Clams With Fennel, Bacon, Tomatoes, Garlic And Pernod
Barbecued Prawns
Pomegrante Lemondrop
White Cosmo
Ahi Tuna Tartare
Crab Macaroni & Cheese
Vegetable Risotto
Grilled Chilean Seabass
Calamari
Filet Aqua
Crab Cakes
Spicy Crab Bisque
Roasted Sweet Corn
Wicked Shrimp

Private Dining

AQUA by El Gaucho, located at the tip of Pier 70, features luxurious private dining rooms and an outdoor dining patio with an unparalleled 270-degree view of Elliott Bay, Seattle's skyline, and the Olympic Mountains. Each room features window shades and direct access to our spacious waterfront.

AQUA by El Gaucho Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.6

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

90% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Seafood
Seattle / Eastern Washington
Seafood
Seattle
Best Restaurants in Waterfront / Belltown ›

Scenic View (176)
Special Occasion (170)
Romantic (126)
See All
Great for Outdoor Dining (104)
Fit for Foodies (94)
Good for Groups (78)
Notable Wine List (75)
Hot Spot (28)
Neighborhood Gem (22)
Vibrant Bar Scene (22)
Great for Brunch (18)
Great for Lunch (11)
Late-night Find (11)
Kid-friendly (10)
Modern Decor (2)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Casual (1)
Seasonal (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Good for a Date (1)
Fun (1)
Local Ingredients (1)
People Watching (1)
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This was not a cheap experience... but i ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined 5 days ago

This was not a cheap experience... but it was worth it. Best meal of 2016 for me.

The food was nothing short of spectacular, the sparkling rosé was quite nice, and sitting outside along the harbourfront in the evening was wonderful. All in all, a great time.

Only oddity: they seemed to want to convince us to sit inside... I don't know why. Eventually we just said we wanted to sit outside (the weather was great, so why wouldn't we?), and they accepted that.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Waterfront, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Awful service and bad staff.

vip
 (New England)
·Dined 5 days ago

Awful service and bad staff.

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food1
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This was a lovely restaurant, with a gre ...

 
 (Washington DC)
·Dined 5 days ago

This was a lovely restaurant, with a great location and wonderful food and service.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Modern Decor, Notable Wine List
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food5
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value4

I was looking forward to going to AQUA a ...

 
 (Vancouver)
·Dined 5 days ago

I was looking forward to going to AQUA again. I had been there on a business dinner many years ago and it was good.

I was somewhat disappointed on my recent visit. It just seems like a "stadium" restaurant that caters to corporate business accounts and special occasions.

The view is spectacular and the restaurant is attractive. The banquette we were seated in was very comfortable and I loved the piano music.

I guess I was looking for more from the food and service. Both could have been better. The wedge salad was fine, however, the tomatoes could have been local vs Charlies Produce this time of year. My swordfish had good flavor however it was over cooked. Not something expected from a restaurant that prides itself on fresh seafood from the PNW and beyond. The sword from from Hawaii and it was very fresh. Overcooking it took all the flavor and moisture out of it. Too bad! We ordered a side of grilled seasonal vegetables. What season are we in? Summer with lots of choices. We could have had the same in the winter. A missed opportunity.

The service seemed more corporate then warm and friendly. At one point 3 different team members wanted to take my friends salad away when she told our server she was not finished.

I would probable come back for the view and the ambience. I like many things about AQUA, however, I will come prepared to expect less from their food program.

Tags: Seasonal, Modern Decor, Casual, People Watching, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Fun
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food3
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The hostess did not even smile, and with ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined 5 days ago

The hostess did not even smile, and with the 20%!tip added,!the wait staff does not have to give the same level of service with personalitiles.

Tags: Scenic View, People Watching, Great for Outdoor Dining, Seasonal, Special Occasion, Cozy, Romantic, Modern Decor, Good for Anniversaries, Waterfront
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food3
ambience5
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We go to many great restaurants. This is ...

 
 (Houston)
·Dined 6 days ago

We go to many great restaurants. This is one of the best. Amazing food, impeccable service. A repeat without a doubt.

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food5
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Second time here in a month. Great frien ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined 6 days ago

Second time here in a month. Great friendly staff. We sat outside and everything was perfect.

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food5
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Mischarged & when I pointed it out to th ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined 7 days ago

Mischarged & when I pointed it out to the waiter he already knew the problem but hadn't fixed it in advance or mentioned it to me. When I spoke to the manager he confirmed it was a known problem. It seems if you know you're overcharging you should proofread and correct the checks before giving them to customers. Thought Food was fair at best and overpriced. Restaurant was so loud it was impossible to relax.

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food2
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Good restaurant but expensive and very h ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined 7 days ago

Good restaurant but expensive and very hard to find. Signage could be better.

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food4
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I made a reservation for an outdoor seat ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined 7 days ago

I made a reservation for an outdoor seat but wasn't guaranteed it and when we got there the patio was not busy at all. I had my small dog and they were cool with it except they didn't bring him his own water like most Washington dining facilities do. We only had drinks and the service was good. I would go back for a meal sometime. It is very clean and upscale atmosphere.

Tags: Late-night Find, Cozy, Sunday Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Great Beer, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Modern Decor, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
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Best waterfront restaurant on a great da ...

vip
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Best waterfront restaurant on a great day. Lamb was great as was my companions salmon. Sides of corn and asparagus were perfect. Service attentive and professional.

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food5
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Very expensive, overrated restaurant. Gr ...

vip
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Very expensive, overrated restaurant. Great views, but the food is just average.

Tags: Scenic View
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food2
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Large, open venue; lovely. Great staff, ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Large, open venue; lovely. Great staff, really good food but a bit pricey.

Unfortunately, it's hard to find between 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm due to the glaring setting sun in your eyes. To get to the entrance one walks down an asphalt alley leading to the parking garage. During the summer, their pretty neon sign isn't lit up until almost 9 pm and I walked right past it so I was flustered, lost and sweating by the time I found their back deck which doesn't look at all like a pier. (Summers in Seattle are warmer than they've ever been).

Tags: Scenic View, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
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Absolutely amazing time as always! The s ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 15, 2016

Absolutely amazing time as always! The staff wrote me a birthday card and all signed it. It was just wonderful! Delightful food. Delightful experience. Can't go wrong with Aqua!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Scenic View, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
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Our family enjoyed a spectacular meal at ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

Our family enjoyed a spectacular meal at Aqua last May for a birthday celebration. Unfortunately, on this recent occasion, celebrating our anniversary, my husband and I were very disappointed. The service was excellent, as were the stunning views, but the food was inconsistent and some of it was simply not good. The clams, although in a delicious broth, were overcooked. The calamari was perfect though. The salads didn't have any flavor, but my husband's chicken was flavorful and cooked perfectly. The biggest disappointment was the Chilean Sea Bass I ordered; it was stringy, and flavorless. I'm not sure I've ever returned a dish before, but I did this time- it was inedible. Our server was very understanding and deducted the price from our bill, but I was disappointed after having had such high expectations. I'm afraid we won't return.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food2
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We do enjoyed the food, awesome view and ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

We do enjoyed the food, awesome view and of course the great service.

I would gladly recommend this restaurant to my friends.

Tags: Scenic View, Good for Groups, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion
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food5
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First of all, the service here is except ...

vip
 (San Antonio)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

First of all, the service here is exceptional and very "old school". The food was quite good as was the presentation. While others have complained that it is "pricey", I would contend that it was not any more so than a similar type establishment. Dress up, enjoy the view and sunset and have fun; we did!!!!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food4
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Excellent food, kind and thoughtful serv ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Excellent food, kind and thoughtful service (the server actually dissuaded my husband from ordering the $22 Oscar (crab and bearnaise sauce) topper for his cedar plank salmon due to it likely detracting from the smokey flavor profile, )and a stunning summer's evening view; portion sizes were adequate, not tiny (such as those at The Butcher's Table, which I also tried the same week), but not what I would call substantial. Be prepared for a very (and I mean very) expensive meal if you'd like two or more courses and any alcoholic beverages. Thoughtful touches, though: splitting our gazpacho between two bowls when we mentioned we were sharing. The avocado sorbet in the gazpacho was sublime, by the way. Halibut cheeks with nectarine pico de gallo were also seared beautifully Crab Mac n' Cheese was gorgeous, but I think we could've eaten two bowls of it, rather than just the one.

Tags: Scenic View, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic
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The food and service at Aqua is very goo ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

The food and service at Aqua is very good. However, we were very disappointed on our most recent visit when we were not given an outdoor table as requested when the reservation was made. I understand that they do not guarantee it - but this was our third visit to Aqua within two weeks and I had explained when I called that we were hosting special guests from out of the country. If some preference is not given to their loyal customers, what is the point of being a regular patron?

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Scenic View
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I took a client here for dinner because ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

I took a client here for dinner because I had heard such great things about Aqua. A friend raved about the food and could not say enough about the views. I believed I made the right decision as the the restaurant was packed. But, sadly, the food was really quite average and there was nothing distinctive in the preparation. There was a noticeable absence of comments from my clients and my wife about the food which is unfortunate. The service was stellar and the view fabulous, but that needed to be married with top notch food. That's not what I experienced.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View
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food2
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For an El Gaucho restaurant, thought the ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

For an El Gaucho restaurant, thought the service would be a little bit better. Bartender acknowledged us when we first sat at the bar but took a long time before he returned for our order. Food Server was not attentive - water glasses went empty, items ordered where forgotten as needed to remind him we want another item such as coffee. Well-done steak was surprisingly burnt given the origin of this restaurant with even server acknowledging but they did take it off the bill. Everyone else's dishes (all seafood) were of good quality. No true vegetarian entree on the menu (assembly side dishes isn't an entrée). All in all, I wouldn't write them off because of this one time but if anyone asked I would tell the my experience which is primarily a server-based issue.

Tags: Scenic View, Special Occasion
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This is BY FAR my favorite restaurant in ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

This is BY FAR my favorite restaurant in Seattle! It is well worth every penny. The food is to die for! I particularly like the Chilaen Sea Bass but every single entre, appetizer, side and dessert is incredible. I could also rave about the service...literally perfect. We had our wedding reception at Aqua two years ago and have been back several times. This most recent occasion was for our 3rd anniversary. I mentioned it on open table and Aqua put rose petals on the table and wrote happy anniversary on our dessert plate. Those touches, the beautiful sunset and the live music made for the ultimate romantic dinner. Perhaps we should start celebrating quarterly :-)

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Late-night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene, Romantic, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
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food5
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Amazing food and services. Can't say eno ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

Amazing food and services. Can't say enough!! Highly highly recommend it.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Scenic View, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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Very poor front desk offhand attitude. ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on August 8, 2016

Very poor front desk offhand attitude. Not used to this sort of service. Did not get table requested for special occasion by window.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
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value2

Awesome!! Great place and wonderful vi ...

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

Awesome!! Great place and wonderful view.

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About what I expected for a waterfront v ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

About what I expected for a waterfront view tourist type restaurant. Was surprised that the bread they served was practically inedible, like stale Wonderbread with no flavor or texture. Given all the wonderful bakeries in Seattle there is no excuse for bad bread. Maybe they don't want you to fill up on the bread so that you order expensive a la carte sides. Luckily the rest of the food was much better. Noise level high, nice to have piano music but they played Happy Birthday about every other song.

Tags: Scenic View
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This is my new favorite place in Seattle ...

vip
 (San Antonio)
·Dined on August 7, 2016

This is my new favorite place in Seattle to eat. Beautiful view on Pier 70. Food and service was exemplary...

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We were first time diners that took out ...

vip
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 6, 2016

We were first time diners that took out of town guests here. The food wasn't bad but certainly was not representative of Seattle's wonderful high quality seafood. Two out of three of the salmon choices were very overdone, even though med. rare had been specified. I had the halibut and it was dry and flavorless. We don't mind paying more if the flavors and combinations are special but this meal was far from it.

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Very good food, amazing outdoor deck, an ...

 
 (Palm Springs)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

Very good food, amazing outdoor deck, and great service. Overall a great meal. The only downside is it is an expensive restaurant.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Scenic View, Notable Wine List
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Exceptional, as it always is. The staff ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 4, 2016

Exceptional, as it always is. The staff are the very best in the city

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List
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Very expensive. Great for special occas ...

vip
 (Hawaii)
·Dined on August 3, 2016

Very expensive. Great for special occasions.

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The food, the service (Sara) and the amb ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

The food, the service (Sara) and the ambience was perfect--a little pricey but worth it and will return in the future.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Scenic View
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Standard seafood faire nothing surprisin ...

 
 (Kansas City)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

Standard seafood faire nothing surprising or intriguing.

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food3
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My son's sirloin steak was excellent. Bu ...

 
 (Caribbean)
·Dined on August 2, 2016

My son's sirloin steak was excellent. But my stuffed shrimp and my wife's opa was dry and mediocre for flavor. I have had better at a chain restaurant.

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Found out about this gem from a we just ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

Found out about this gem from a we just meet. He it highly so we gave it a try. Glad we did!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies
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Great views, good food, and super servic ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

Great views, good food, and super service--knowledgeable and very attentive. Wine mark-up is high, but the cocktails are decent.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Scenic View
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My wife & I have enjoyed dining at our f ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

My wife & I have enjoyed dining at our favorite waterfront establishment, Aqua, formerly known as the Waterfront Restaurant, for the past 10 years. We have come to appreciate the impeccable attention paid to your dinner guests, from the moment we are greeted by the friendly valet staff, the Hostess and eventually the Servers' and Waiters', whom manage to cater to our every need, without intrusion, which I think is a most difficult task to perfect. I personally marvel at the manner in which your Waiters' & Server's perform Ballet like interactions, as they flawlessly deliver/remove the various dinner courses to their guest's table, while somehow managing to remain unobtrusive. We would like to mention Teri from Texas, who was our sever. She was especially attentive to our desires, helping us in our selection of sides to ensure we would be able to manage the portions provided. As to the meal itself? It was excellent! You have never disappointed us.

Tags: Special Occasion, Scenic View
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food5
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When we were finally seated we were over ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

When we were finally seated we were overlooked for a long time. When we finally got someone's attention the service was great, but for an expensive place the fact they forgot about us entirely for half an hour is pretty poor. You can write all the hand made cards you want, but when you make your customers work to get your attention, you're doing it wrong.

1 person found this review helpful.
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Matt Daniels was a fabulous server. He ...

vip
 (San Antonio)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Matt Daniels was a fabulous server. He provided a very interesting night, full of ideas for exploring the menu. We appreciate the time he spent with us.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
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The food was great. Very very expensive. ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

The food was great. Very very expensive. Service was good. The 30% gratuity automatic add in was a surprise. Did not expect almost $40 for a tip.

Tags: Special Occasion, Hot Spot
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