Gaucho Piccadilly Bar and Roof Terrace
Occupying a former Spanish ambassador’s imposing townhouse, Gaucho’s moodily lit Buenos Aires bling interior is as heavily choreographed as an Argentine tango. For drinks, stake out the steakhouse’s bars. The penumbral ground floor lounge is a cosy cocoon on wintry nights. In warmer weather, chill on the restaurant’s smart street level terrace or press on upstairs to the bold second bar which leads onto a heated terrace (complete with a cabriolet-style folding roof, should showers threaten. The same drinks and tapas menu - pillowy empañadas, juicy scallops and ceviche or platters of plump sausages - is available throughout. Classic Buenos Aires cocktails include a Cointreau and apricot brandy-laced gin martini known as The Claridge, Cogote (a Chivas Regal mule) and A La Antigua: a Manhattan combining Ron Zacapa 23 year-old rum and Cynar. Figure on around £10 for signatures such as the Giovannoni (a vodkatini made with Torrontes white wine, rosehip, peach and passion fruit-enhanced Ketel One). Drinks are well balanced although we rate the Pommelina – the bar’s grapefruity answer to the classic Caipirinha – so it’s actually Argentina 0, Brazil 1.