photo credit: Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte

Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte image

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte


MidtownMidtown East

$$$$Perfect For:Business MealsClassic EstablishmentCorporate CardsLunch
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Between the French maid uniforms, sub-par steak, and long lines to get in, Le Relais de Venise feels like an Epcot France Pavilion experience from the ’90s. And like most of our adult theme park experiences, it’s equal parts amusing and underwhelming. 

Since opening their first location in Paris in 1959, Le Relais has served one thing. For $34.95, you get two helpings of ribeye—in French, “entrecôte”—covered in their buttery chicken liver sauce, a walnut bistro salad, and unlimited fries. The only question you’ll be asked by the all-female waitstaff (the sauce and the sexism have stayed the same) is “How would you like your steak, madame?” before they scribble “R” for rare on your paper tablecloth.

Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte image

photo credit: Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte

This deal is supposed to be the main draw, but we don’t buy it. Dry bread to start doesn’t bode well for the rest of the meal: a salad that takes its time to wilt before it gets to the table, and steak that’s just a notch or two above Sizzler. Without the admittedly addictive sauce, it could best be described as edible enough. 

Still, people flock to Le Relais in Paris, London and Mexico, waiting in lines like the one in Midtown. And the outdated dinner theater does have its charms. After a couple glasses of their own Côtes de Bordeaux—basically a housemade Two-Buck Chuck—it’s a lot more fun to play American tourist, eavesdrop on the table two inches away from you, and wonder out loud why every painting in the room depicts Venice (before remembering Venise is in the name). If you’re playing hooky from work and looking to get a little wine drunk at noon, hit Le Relais for lunch and hope for a minimal line.

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