Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte – Steak frites, twice!Posted: October 10, 2012
It was my lovely other half’s birthday recently and to celebrate we decided to try out a restaurant which had recently opened in Manchester. To be honest, there are so man great places to eat at on our doorstep in Chorlton, it’s difficult to find the motivation to go into the city centre much these days, but this restaurant held a certain allure.
Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte is based on its Parisian original and serves just one thing – steak frites! Great I hear you say, I love steak frites! Well, we certainly do. Even better however is you get it twice! Well, technically you get half your steak and half your portion of frites, then as you finish that, the clever waitresses brings you the other half so that it doesn’t get cold and remains at optimum temperature the whole time you’re eating – this sounded genius to us so we thought we’d better schelp ourselves along to the tram for a wee trip into town to test it out for ourselves.
I liked the fact that there was no big menu to peruse over, for a Friday night after a very long and busy week, coupled with my usual menu indecisiveness (I must admit I usually need the pressure of the waiter/waitress standing over me to make a decision – it all just sounds so good! ) this was very welcome. We started with some very nice red wine
The set menu included a walnut salad with mustard vinaigrette served with crusty baguette for starters. Simple yet delicious.
The steak came with the restaurant’s own special ‘secret recipe’ sauce. To be honest, the sauce was nice enough but I didn’t find it massively flavoursome… maybe I’m just too much of a stickler for a full-strength peppercorn sauce! Here comes the first portion… pretty generous size huh? Remember this is only the first half!
The frites were just as good frites should be – perfectly crispy, golden and crunchy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. The steak was good. But, I’m sorry to say, not amazing. And I can’t help but think that if all you’re going to serve is steak frites, your steak should kinda be amazing… (it wasn’t a patch on Gaucho’s for example, but that’s another story…) Still, it was steak frites, and how could that not make you happy?
There was a small selection of deserts to choose from, true to form I spent some time deliberating between the tartelettes au citron and the creme brulee. (This just gives extra time for the steak to go down and leave more ample space for desert!) Creme brulee is probably my all-time favourite desert in the world. Ever. But I find it’s dangerous to order outside of France – too often disappointing. Therefore I swung toward the tart with the proviso that the birthday boy would order the creme brulee and that we would have tastes. In the end I was glad I had chosen the tartelettes au citron – the lemon was really tart and zingy and the pastry was absolutely perfect – no soggy bottoms here! The creme brulee on the other hand was tasty but a little anaemic in my opinion… not a thick enough layer of caramelised sugar on top for my liking – it failed the spoon tap test – nor was the rest of it set enough.
All in all, this was a nice meal and I’d say Le Relais de Venise is a good place to go if you fancy something a little different. Seeing as we were in town, we decided it would be rude not to finish the evening with some birthday cocktails!