We all know that one of the most difficult things about being an adult is having to decide what to have for dinner every night. So, when a restaurant comes along that takes that decision entirely out of your hands; you welcome it with open arms (and mouths, of course). For almost twenty years, Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte has had Londoners queueing round the block to get their hands on the only dish they serve: steak and chips.
The original Le Relais de Venise was opened in Paris in 1959 as a way for Paul Gineste de Saurs (a winemaker from Gaillac) to diversify his revenues. He didn’t have a great deal of restaurant expertise, and so he decided to keep the menu simple. And we mean simple. Serving up salad, steak and fries at a reasonable price to attract a high number of customers was his formula. And it’s a formula that has certainly stood the test of time. There are now five Le Relais de Venise bistros worldwide, two of which are here in our capital city. Aren’t we lucky?
The restaurant is a dream for the indecisive as you’ll only have to make one decision. Simply tell the waiter how you’d like your steak cooked and voila: you’ll be presented with a grilled beef steak, golden French fries, and their ‘famous’ house sauce. Bon Appetit!
Of course, there’s more to the experience at Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote than just the main course. For £29, you’ll get not one, but two servings of steak and frites, plus the starter. Yes, that’s right: there’s also only one starter on the menu and it comes in the form of a fresh and crunchy walnut salad with a mustard vinaigrette.
If you’re starting to miss your freedom of choice, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a plethora of dessert options to choose from. From pastries and profiteroles to crème brûlée and – of course – cheese; there’s plenty to take your pick from. There’s also a wide variety of French wines to choose from – but what did you expect? The bistro was started by a winemaker, after all.
The temperature has dropped, so where better to warm up than inside a cosy French bistro? I guess I’ll have the steak and chips, please…
You’ll find Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte at 5 Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2AD and 120 Marylebone Lane, W1U 2QG.
Plan your visit here (although they don’t take bookings so may the odds be ever in your favour).