HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
What have you made lately?

Le Relais de Venise

Scribbler Jun 11, 2009 11:57 AM

The NY Times reports today that this Paris restaurant now has a branch in NYC. A simple menu of steak frites and salad made for a very memorable meal on our Paris honeymoon. Would love to go back and re-live the moment. Anyone been to the NYC yet??

  1. b
    Boswell Apr 12, 2010 09:18 AM

    I went there for lunch last week, and I enjoyed it well enough, but I didn't find it to be a bargain and probably won't be back. When I ordered, only two levels of doneness were offered---medium and rare. I wanted medium rare, and the waitress advised me to take medium. Bad decision---it arrived barely medium pink, and the second serving, having sat over a candle for a while, arrived well done. The sauce rescued it though.
    The two-servings thing is a bit of a pointless gimmick I think. The steak and fries are served on a breakfast-size plate, and filling it twice is just meant to create the impression of generosity and abundance. Better, I think, just to fill a dinner-size plate once and be done with it.
    Next time I want steak/frites/salad, I think I'll go to Les Halles, where it's only $17.50 at lunch, $19.50 at dinner.
    Best part of the meal---the $11.95 half bottle of house Bordeaux. Startlingly delicious for generic cheap Bordeaux.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Boswell
      janethepain Apr 12, 2010 09:31 AM

      Yeah, I was saying earlier, if you put the entire steak on one plate, it would be a small, thin piece of steak - aka, NOT a great bargain. the two serving gimmick seems to be working on everyone though -_-

    2. t
      Trungtr Apr 9, 2010 05:43 AM

      We went to this location on Easter weekend of 2010 and loved every bit of it.
      We have been going to the one in Paris (Porte Maillot) for the past 25 years. My parents, my brothers and my sisters are big fans of the place and I can be very bias when I review this place. In the past, we scheduled our Paris trip to visit the place (I think they close during the month of August).
      I think the steak served in NY is even better than the one in Paris. The sauce is also as buttery, livery as smooth as in Paris. The salad dressing is also pretty authentic. The profiteroles may not be as good because French dairy products are fresher. However, do not pass on these profiteroles because they are still quite tasty. Cappuccino is also very aromatic.
      I don’t think the $24.00 per serving is that pricey considering you get a salad and two servings of meat. Of course, I don’t eat a large portion of meat for dinner. When we were there for dinner, we asked to split 3 servings for the four of us. The next day, we came back for lunch and we split 2 servings for the four of us. They give you a 20% discount if you come back for lunch (with the dinner receipt).
      The atmosphere of the place is very European. As in Paris, the service is handled by waitresses in black and white dresses. The only thing different from the Paris location is that there is more room between the tables and no smoking. Also, I miss being greeted by the tall elegant French hostess.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Trungtr
        janethepain Apr 9, 2010 10:19 AM

        two dishes among four people? boy, you must have been a hit with the waitresses.

        1. re: janethepain
          chow_gal Apr 12, 2010 11:11 AM

          Keep in mind this is the only post by Trungtr. I thought it sounded suspicious.

      2. j
        jjensen1 Mar 7, 2010 01:44 PM

        I have to agree with the earlier posts...I think this is GREAT. i have been to the Paris location, London Marylebone and now NYC. Minus slight atmosphere differences, they are all the same. Quality meal for a very reasonable price and the House red is actually good. I think it is under $20 for a bottle..you do not find that often in the city.

        1. janethepain Jan 25, 2010 07:23 AM

          I don't think this place is a very good bargain, let alone worth a trip for food. Yes, you get two helpings of steak, but the first helping isn't that large, and the second is about 3 more strips of cut steak. French fries are unlimited, but .... they're just french fries. If you laid out the whole meal at once (smallish, thin steak and big portion of fries), it's still not worth paying $25.

          The steak itself isn't anything worth going out of the way for - reminds me of hanger steak elsewhere. The sauce isn't as orgasmic as Sam Sifton would like you to believe - it's basically a creamy/fatty sauce to drown your slightly-stringy and cheap steak in.

          I got my steak done "blue" so I can't comment on problems of overdoneness, etc.

          1. Miss Needle Jan 24, 2010 07:44 PM

            I was there and thought it was OK for the price. Quality of meat is not steakhouse quality and I wasn't too keen on the four choices they gave you for how you wanted your meat cooked: blue, rare, medium rare and well. For sirloin, my preference is medium rare (at rare, meat is too difficult for me to eat as it's too chewy). Since that wasn't an option, I ordered it rare. They cooked it a perfect rare and it was really difficult to get it down. The chicken liver sauce definitely helped. Fries were pretty good and salad was fine (I'm not a salad gal).

            I was a bit peeved by the dessert menu. Everything was in French and some of the items were very vague. Le Gateau de Relais? I understand some French and knew it meant the house cake. But that told me nothing about what it was. I'm thinking the waitresses probably get tons of questions about the dessert items. Well, Le Gateu de Relais ended up being two small slices of cake -- one chocolate nut flour cake and one chocolate flourless cake served with whipped cream. It was fine -- nothing earth-shattering, but good enough.

            Would I go back? Probably not unless somebody insists. It's a good deal as the meal (excluding dessert) was $24. But I think I'd rather spend my money elsewhere.

            1. j
              joonjoon Aug 31, 2009 02:01 PM

              Do NOT order your steaks rare or MR at this restaurant - you've got to get it blue. I just went with a big party and the people who ordered their steaks rare or MR were disappointed, whereas those who ordered blue were unanimously satisfied. There's such a difference in the texture of the meat between rare and blue here for some reason, and you gotta go with blue.

              1. g
                gloriousfood Jun 25, 2009 05:27 PM

                "The only condiment served is mustard....Oh, yeah, and there are no reservations, no butter for your baguette and no steaks cooked medium rare."

                Sounds like quite the place!


                1. c
                  coolblursn Jun 24, 2009 07:53 PM

                  Are they open for lunch or just dinner?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: coolblursn
                    RGR Jun 25, 2009 06:25 AM

                    You could call and find out. 212-758-3989

                    1. re: coolblursn
                      lawgirl1984 Jun 25, 2009 01:46 PM

                      I've called. They are open for lunch. Had dinner and it was quite enjoyable.

                    2. D...DF Jun 16, 2009 09:42 AM

                      Anyone been yet? I love both Paris locations I've been to.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: D...DF
                        P_K Jun 19, 2009 07:32 AM

                        Am going to try to go this weekend. Has anyone else been yet?

                        1. re: D...DF
                          boccalupo Jun 26, 2009 02:31 PM

                          Was there today for lunch.

                          I got my steak rare. Normally I would get medium rare, but this is not an option. The rare was truly rare and I think I would go for medium next time. Medium here (my dining partner had hers medium) is probably like a NYC medium rare (which usually comes out more medium than rare when I order it). The steak itself is sliced and comes slathered with their herbed/butter sauce. Normally I am not crazy about sauce with my steak, but this steak is not particularly flavorful. I thought the sauce was good, but if you don't like the sauce it might be an issue.

                          The reserving half the steak and frites doesn't seem to do much for the steak, but it is nice to have fresh frites.

                          The fries were good, thin fries. I prefer my fries a bit thicker but these were quite good.

                          The house Bordeaux is very good and nicely priced. Can get it by the glass, half liter or bottle. There are other wines as well.

                          My dining parter, who is French, really liked it and is looking foward to going back. I thought it was OK, and next time I will get my steak medium and skip the dessert.

                          No complaints about the service. The waitress was very kind and did a fine job, even though it was her first day.

                        2. c
                          comiendosiempre Jun 14, 2009 01:59 PM

                          I saw it being built and have passed by a couple of times in the evening. There are certainly diners in there. The menu that is posted out front is very small. Maybe it is just an example of what they offer? Though that seems odd. I also had thought it would have some more atmosphere. From the outside it looks pretty plain vanilla. Yet, will have to give it a try soon.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: comiendosiempre
                            RGR Jun 14, 2009 02:37 PM

                            No, the menu you saw is not a "sample." Le Relais de Venise serves exactly one thing: steak frites. Period. You can read about it here: http://www.relaisdevenise.com/

                            1. re: RGR
                              comiendosiempre Jun 14, 2009 05:38 PM

                              That is very funny. The one thing I did see was the steak frites on the menu. I figure, Ok, I can get that, but what else do they have? Thanks for posting the website. We will definitely have a visit.

                              1. re: comiendosiempre
                                RGR Jun 14, 2009 05:57 PM

                                Actually, not only do they serve nothing but steak, but as I understant it, there's only one cut -- the "entrecote." (Note: The official name of the restaurant is Le Relais de Venise l'Entrecote.)

                                1. re: RGR
                                  rothsteg Jun 15, 2009 10:47 AM

                                  I was taken to the Parisian original over thirty years ago and it's been a family favorite ever since, so when my son discovered that it was opening, we walked in on "friends and family" weekend, Sunday, the day before the formal opening. Other than the fact that they didn't have most of their wines in yet and they were only offering a few of their desserts, everything was almost identical to Paris. The menu, prix fixe at $24 is their lettuce and nut salad with a mustard/walnut dressing, the sliced steak, served in two portions, with their patented sauce and traditional pommes frites. The house bordeaux was quite drinkable at $19 a bottle. It's nothing fancy, but, IMHO, is good food,

                                  1. re: rothsteg
                                    RGR Jun 15, 2009 11:00 AM

                                    If the quality of the food is high, a $24 prix fixe sounds very reasonable to me.

                                    Even though they are now officially open, I don't think they are taking reservations. When I called yesterday (Sunday) and asked if we needed reservations for that evening, the woman replied, "Only walk-ins." For various reasons, we ended up going someplace closer to us.

                                    1. re: RGR
                                      David W Jun 15, 2009 11:13 AM

                                      If it's like the one in Paris, they don't take reservations, ever.

                                  2. re: RGR
                                    P_K Jun 16, 2009 10:50 AM

                                    I just went to the London Marylebone location, and RGR is correct, they only seemed to offer the entrecote cut. The meal was fabulous. The sauce was an incredible complement to the steak, and profiteroles rounded out the experience quite nicely. Looking forward to visiting the NYC location, which apparently opened on the 8th: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2009/06/...

                                  3. re: comiendosiempre
                                    ChefPeter Jun 24, 2009 09:23 PM

                                    when ordering the ONLY QUESTION presented is what temp do you want your steak, except for the obvious drink order. There is one salad, and one steak I think there are a few deserts though. The only doing one thing I am sure they do it right. Oh yeah they give you half of your steak at a time.? to keep it warm. Personally being American I am sure my steak would be plenty warm even if it were gigantic. Seems like a gimmick I wonder how it well it actually works?

                              2. s
                                smarty Jun 14, 2009 11:14 AM

                                also wonderings if anyone has been to the NYC one? Loved our meal in the Paris restaurant.

                                1. b
                                  boccalupo Jun 11, 2009 12:32 PM

                                  They opened up recently near where I work. I thought the place was just called "L'Entrecote". Lexington and 52nd Street. I didn't know about the Paris connection, but figured with a name like that, it would seem to be a good bet for steak frites. Was planning on giving it a try for lunch soon.

                                  Show Hidden Posts