One night in NYC I asked jack what he felt like eating for dinner. For some ridiculous reason I promised that I would make whatever he said next happen. Without skipping a beat he turned to me and said, “Remember the steak frites we had in France that one time? I really, really want EXACTLY that!”
I wasn’t expecting a steak frites request. I hadn’t found a suitable french restaurant in NYC yet and cursed myself for offering such empty promises. Coming across Le Relais De Venise was pure luck and I am deeply grateful that such a restaurant exists.
Located in Midtown East, the restaurant is close to the 6 train. As you walk in the lovely hostess will make sure you know what you’re in for.
“Have you guys been here before?” she asked.
“No. It’s our first time!”
“Do you know the concept behind the restaurant?”
“Delicious steak frites! We’re excited!”
“Yes. But that’s it. We only serve steak frites with a starter salad. Is that okay?”
“Okay. Yes, that’s what we came for.”
She excused her persistence when educating us on the concept behind Le Relais De Venise, and confessed that some customers sit down and become angry when they realize there are no menus. The only choice you have to make is the level your meat will be cooked at. We loved it though. You can just sit back, have a red wine, and relax as your meal is being prepared.
The starter salad, simple yet perfectly dressed, came out soon after “ordering”. Next came the main event. The steak frites comes on a large fancy platter with your entire parties serving. Once you nod in acceptance, it’s taken away. Two thirds of the meal is placed on individual plates and the fries are added. OMG, those fries! YOU. DON’T. EVEN. KNOW. Everything is then drenched in sauce and delivered to you table. Your plate is refilled through out the meal as the wait staff sees fit.
I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed this meal. It was incredibly delicious and not only because it was exactly what we were craving. Seriously, how nice is it to find a restaurant that focuses on and perfects such an addictive dish.
And that sauce! I asked the waitress what was in the sauce as a ploy to recreate it at home but she confessed that not even she knew. No one in the restaurant knows. That incredible sauce travels directly from Paris straight into New Yorker’s mouths without ever saying a word. The secret behind the sauce is on a tight leash.
Moral of the story, husband gets what husband wants.
Le Relais de Venise
590 Lexington Ave (Corner of 52nd street)
New York, NY 10022
They do not take reservations.