Le Relais de Venise, the outpost of the French restaurant that simply serves steak frites smothered in a secret sauce that one believes has chicken liver in it, has opened a new location in Soho. A big place with the same feel and decor. Not French but Italian, with big paintings representing life in Venice. No, you are not mistaken: I said Italian. I love the story of Le Relais de Venise. It all started in 1959, when a winemaker named Paul Gineste de Saurs decided to buy an Italian restaurant in Paris with the intention to use it to showcase the wine produced by his family, Château de Saurs, wine still proposed at the restaurant. As he had no experience in the restaurant business, he decided to keep the Venetian decor, add L'entrecote (strip steak) to the name and propose a single item menu: steak frites. Instead of serving the steak with the traditional butter with parsley, he served it with what is still today a secret sauce. Close to 70 years later, the concept is still there and grew more popular. I mean, if you are serving one single dish, you need to do it well and I have never been disappointed.
Each time you go, you get the same modus operandi. First, they ask you how you would like the meat cooked: rare, medium or well done, with no in between. They will write your choice of temperature on the paper tablecloth. Then if you would like to drink something.
Then, they would bring bread (baguette) as well as a salad, always a bit overdressed, topped with walnuts.
Then was the meat, sirloin, topped with that delicious sauce I mentioned before, where I love to dip the fantastic fries they serve there. My steak was rare and Jodi's medium, both perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. Know that when you dine there, they will bring two servings and if the person you are with only wants one, don't be shy to ask for their portion...That's what I always do with Jodi...
The food was fantastic and we even got 50% discount following an offer they posted on their Instagram profile, making the experience even more sweeter (offer available until Labor Day 2017, but we fortunately had a screenshot of the post as at first they did not apply the discount). Anyway, with or without discount, Le Relais de Venise remains one of my favorite steak places in New York City and I am glad they are opening another location. I highly recommend this place.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote - 40 Thompson St, New York, NY 10013