Good News/Bad News: La Relais de Venise

After opening branches in Paris and London, the steakhouse Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecote is trying to win over the palates of New Yorkers. The restaurant, which attracts massive lines overseas by the way, offers only one meal: steak frites, accompanied by salad and dessert. Most reviewers were ambivalent about the quality of the food, but on the bright side, second helpings are included:

The Not-So-Bad News: One Yelper planned a return visit despite her unenjoyable meal: "Fries were inconsistent, some were better than others. Dinner companion noted a sub-par food quality. When asked what cut of beef it was, the waitress said, "best cut" ( ...of what grade of meat?)...I wouldn't mind going back again, for an easy night, no decision making required, simply steak and potatos." [Yelp]

The Good News: Salli Vates rhapsodizes about the food and even lets us in on a juicy secret: "The secret way to get butter [for the baguette] is to order... the wonderfully balanced cheese plate from Artisanal; the night I went, it consisted of camembert, gorgonzola, comte and goat cheese. There are also oodles of sweets - profiteroles, cherry tarts, peach Melba, sorbets, and desserts made with meringue or praline. I went with the moist chocolate-almond cake, which was garnished with a rosette of vanilla whipped cream." [Salli Vates]

The Decent News: Nick Solares of Serious Eats was unimpressed: "The steak arrives at the table, doused in the sauce, with French fries spilling out over the edge of the plate. Once you finish off your plate the server will appear with a tray bearing another equal portion of steak and the offer of more fries...despite the claim by the waitress that the beef is very marbled, it won't compare to USDA Prime. In fact, unless sliced very thin, it tends to be a bit tough as was the case with mine. The beef is not especially flavorful; it is most assuredly not dry-aged, but the sauce compensates for this to a degree adding buttery, herbaceous notes. The fries are decent, although not amazing as one might hope. The salad that starts things off is merely adequate..." [SeriousEats]

The Defensive News: In response to Solares' review, a SE commenter offers his opinion: "The reviewer is way off! It is a very special experience, I don't think he gets it! The sauce is to die for, and no one can quite figure it out! That alone makes it unique...The only thing I agree with, is that the location is not great for that place.
But I'm glad I found o9ut it made its way across the Atlantic." [SE Comments]

The Mostly Great News: One Yelper is an early fan: "It is what it is, so if you're not open to french fare, prob not the place for you. It is a very specific yummy experience. I will comment that while really good, not quite as delish as I remember but I will give them a few weeks to figure it out... plus still is great to have one here when craving. And once you go, you will crave. Manges-bien!
—Elisabeth Rosen

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