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El Gaucho

El Gaucho exudes the same expensive serenity as Ruth's Chris and Morton's steakhouses.

Here, $40 steaks are a vivid reality (accompanied by side dishes for single-digit sums), a $200 dinner for two with wine seems a real possibility and a corporate credit card is a practical necessity.

But if you're not traveling courtesy of a corporation, you can cherry-pick your way around the menu, enjoy the atmosphere and negotiate a moderately expensive good time.

Starters include a tasty gravlax of smoked salmon and Swedish mustard crme fra”che, crab cakes, oysters Rockefeller and steamed clams for around $10. If you're feeling flush, contemplate steak tartare for $21 and crab and shrimp Louie for $24.

Steaks range from the 8-ounce Gaucho steak with lobster medallions and bŽarnaise sauce for $34.95 to an 18-ounce, garlic-pepper and rosemary stuffed rib steak for $42, ribs for $24 and rack of lamb for $39.

And if you want to boldly go where few do, try the ostrich filet with mushroom and Madeira sauce for $34.50.

Ñ Paul Duchene