23 November 2008

LE RELAIS DE VENISE - L'ENTRECOTE - Paris



Founded in Paris in 1959 by the winegrower Paul Gineste de Saurs, the "Relais de Venise - L'Entrecôte", so called because it was built on a former Italian restaurant called the same name, is located in one of the streets perpendicular to the "Sartrian" Blvd. Saint Germain-des-Prés.

This iconic restaurant is one of those classic spots with a typically Parisian red canopy and the name of the restaurant written in gold, paper tablecloths and an exclusively female service dressed in a black dress and a white apron.

The place is famous for the single, simple, yet very successful menu they propose, which has remained the same since the restaurant first opened.

It all consists in a single menu made up of a salad with walnuts and mustard vinaigrette (starter) and an excellent beef entrecôte with thin French fries à volonté (too floured in my opinion, though) accompanied with a herbs sauce whose recipe is a well kept family secret (some people believe this tasty sauce is made of smashed chicken livers...)

Please beware that a true debate seems to exist on whether the meat served is actually an entrecôte - rib-eye - or a contre-filet - sirloin !

Apart from the drinks and the desserts, gourmets will only be able to ask for the cooking of the meat, information that the waitress will pen on the tablecloth.

The place is generally crowded by both locals and tourists at any season of the year and is a great stop during the long walks when visiting the French capital.

Please keep in mind that the restaurant does not allow bookings and that a 20-minutes queue at the entrance of the venue is quite the rule.

Important differences between possible misleading names:

After the death of Mr. Gineste of Saurs in 1966, his daughter Mrs. Hélène Godillot took over the restaurant in Paris ( "Relais de Venise - L'Entrecôte"). Some years later, she decided to open branches in Barcelona (1999) and London (2005).

Mr. Henri Gineste of Saurs (son of Paul), was responsible for the restaurants of similar concept (“L'Entrecôte”) in Toulouse (1962), Bordeaux (1966), Nantes (1980), Montpellier (1990) and Lyon (1999).

Finally, Marie-Paule Burrus, another daughter of the founder, was at the origin of three new restaurants in Paris (this time under the name of "Relais de l'Entrecôte"), one in Geneva, three in Beirut and one in Kuwait City (the last four operated under license).

Once the entrecôte is over, I advise you to have a coffee in the nearby classic but always trendy (and crowded!) "Cafe de Flore" (http://www.cafe-de-flore.com/), another of the city’s icons.

Rating: 6.8/10

2 comments:

pedro said...

Hola amic!
En una primera i breu passejada per aquest espai, deixa'm que et faci arribar novament la meva felicitació, i en aquest cas, doblement, doncs trobo que la presentació del mateix resulta prou atractiva i dinàmica per afavorir la participació al·liena. Continuaré indagant en dies posteriors, i a veure si, tot aprofitant l'avinentesa, n'aprenc alguna cosa de cuinar, que no és precisament el meu fort.

Una afectuosa abraçada des de Tremp (Pallars Jussà),

Pedro

Krls said...

I have gone several times to the "Entrecote" and I love it. The meat with fries reminds me of "Le Fossile" in Strasbourg, even though the Fossile is much better (more choice, excellent wines and armagnac... reservation is a MUST). The "Entrecote" is a great place for something quick and tasty.