We saw Sam Sifton's Times review of this place a few months ago, and decided to try and figure out what he likes so much about a restaurant known for cheap steak. We had no such luck. To be honest, we're having a hard time figuring out what makes this any better than a steak dinner inside Denver International Airport. I suppose you could bring in a full size bottle of shampoo if you want.
At Le Relais de Venise, there is only one thing on the menu. It's a three course meal that costs $24 and consists of the following: salad, steak, and frites. Loyalists maintain that this is a fantastic deal for a really good steak - and waitresses in French maid outfits seem to always get a mention. In reality, this is mediocre steak smothered in "secret" sauce to compensate for the fact that it's tough and chewy. Kind of like what McDonald's does with the McRib. If you ask us, we'd rather spend $22.50 on the Steak au Poive and frites at Les Halles - better price, better steak, better fries.
This begins with a salad topped with walnuts and a mustard vinaigrette. Not bad at all, but let's not throw points on the board for a pile of greens. Fries come out hot, and are crispy, salty and good. The steak is served sliced and covered in a secret brown sauce. It's definitely not the worst meal you'll ever eat, but like we said...you can do better for the money.