This review is for the Midtown East location of Le Relais De Venise L’entrecote. The previous review I had was for the closed SOHO location, which I was complaining that they charged $5.50 for tap water back in 2018. Fast forward about 3 years later post pandemic, how does this location fare compared to the previous one? I will say much better. Note that this location did not appear to charge for tap water.
The decor is very French cafe centric. It definitely reminds me of some Parisian restaurants where the tables are very close together. The interior definitely feels like it’s aging a bit because it’s not as refined as other French restaurants in the city such as Balthazar.
The service for the most part was pretty fast and expedited. You don’t interact with the wait staff too much because everyone gets the same set menu (salad and 2 servings of steak frites). Despite the attitude of some of the staff facially expressing they hated their job or their life, they still attended to us. There were some miscues throughout the night if you go off script just a pinch.
The left is a sex on the beach cocktail. It was a very mild and fruity cocktail with vodka, pineapple, and other juices in it. I don’t remember what else was in it, but it was definitely very smooth. Note that we had to ask for the cocktail menu.
The right is a glass of malbec from Chateau Haute-Borie. It was pleasant and paired well with the steak.
They also served some bread. We saw some tables had olive oil and vinegar, but it was never offered to us to begin with. We had to ask about it. Don’t bother asking for the butter because they said they don’t have any when we asked.
This is the green salad with walnuts. The dressing was a light mustard vinaigrette. This was pretty good as it reminded me of a drenchy Caesar salad. The mustard itself was subtle and not bold.
The steak frites came with a grilled beef steak, crispy french fries, and their sauce. The sauce was pretty good, albeit lukewarm, and was very buttery with some thyme and dijon mustard flavors to it. There are some recipes online that claim to have duplicated the sauce. The french fries were piping hot, thin, crispy, and salted nicely. The beef steak was cut into several thin slices. I ordered mine rare (they don’t offer medium rare), and I thought it was cooked perfectly. After you finish this first plate, they come back and give you some more french fries and the remaining parts (i.e. second serving) of your steak. Don’t ask for ketchup because they said no when we asked.
The creme brulee came with torched sugar crystals on top and a cold creme in the middle. It was good, but again, nothing out of the ordinary compared to other creme brulees.
At the end of the day, this really is about the steak frites and the steak sauce. If you’re in the Midtown area and crave for an affordable steak set, this might be a good option. Make sure to set your expectations such that this restaurant really is about just serving a few things, and it does it reasonably well. The vibe may come off a little pretentious, but don’t let it deter you even if the wait staff is a little grumpy.
Good tasting steak that’s probably a good place to go to if you’re looking for a fancy but “quick” meal
“Fancy” is a very subjective word here. I noticed many of the patrons were actually fairly young, so understandably this might have been their tier of fancy. But for those that have dined a bit, this definitely is very far from fancy.
I wanted to check this place out after hearing about this place being the best for Steak Frittes
Someone please tell me how an Elitist believed with conviction that a ~$35 steak frites restaurant would have the best steak frites? There should be lines out the door!