Harden's survey result
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“A very simple concept that works every time” – this Gallic steakhouse chain offers little choice – you get “a rather tasty green salad”, steak with secret sauce, “addictive fries”, and second helpings if needed; the setting is “bustling”, but “brusque-verging-on-rude” service can leave branches feeling “soulless”.
“A fantastic concept!”; “you can have anything you like, so long as it’s steak” – which comes “slathered in secret sauce”, with salad and “awesome” fries – at these “crammed” and “efficient” Gallic bistros; “go early or late to avoid the queues”.
“You know what you’ll get”, at these “cheek-by-jowl” Gallic bistros, whose “simple but very well executed” formula offers zero choice, just “classic steak/frites”, with secret sauce and salad (plus seconds); “fun” too… aside from the “horrific” queues and “impersonal” service.
Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte Restaurant Diner Reviews
"No choice but no choice required. Very good double portion of semi good steak and famous steak sauce."
"Why the queues. The staff rushed us, I have had far better steak and frites - the salad was over dressed and limp, and the secret sauce was not a surprise. A bums on seats establishment."
"Buzzy, busy French bistro serving steak and chips and nothing else. Particularly enjoyed the efficient, yet utterly perfunctory and miserable Parisian service - hilarious. Jolly tasty dinner though; washed down with a delightful brace of Haut Medoc. Annoying no reservations policy, but there we are!"
Le Relais de Venise L'EntrecÃ´te W1
Plain and simple steak 'n' chips - arguably France's top contribution to world gastronomy - is done very well indeed at this Marylebone newcomer. Don't go expecting anything else, though- so far as main courses go, that's all there is. There aren't any starters, either, unless you include a small lettuce and walnut salad (compris). You can't even order your steak any way you like. It comes one of four ways: bleu, rare, medium or well done. (If you like yours medium-rare, you'll probably find medium fits the bill.)
With meat from Donald Russell (butcher By Appointment) and a covering of the house's secret 'special' sauce there is, however, absolutely no cause for complaint. You might initially think the portion rather small, but - don't worry - 'seconds' are being held back. The frites are excellent too, and come in unlimited quantities.
Desserts seem, relatively-speaking, a riot of choice. They were quite good on our visit - presumably, they'll be even better when, as intended, they can be sourced from Ladurée, whose first London branch opens (at Harrods) later this year.
Overall, the aim has been to create a complete facsimile of the original (near the porte Maillot), and Parisian practices are continued here. On the upside, wine comes by the demi-litre - the perfect lunchtime measure (for two that is). On the downside, service is variable, and you can't book - the word is already out, so get there early!
lunch noon - 2.30, Sat & Sun 3.30 pm, dinner 6 pm, Sun 6.30 pm - 10.45 pm
Last orders: 10.45 pm, Sun 10.30 pm