This is the twentieth post in the Around the World Birthday Extravaganza Series. Please scroll to the bottom to see all the other posts in this series.
You know that a restaurant has perfected a dish if it only serves one thing, and it’s been serving the same exact thing for the past 50+ years.
Le Relais de L’Entrecote is a family-owned restaurant in Paris that is iconic for its steak frites. People go crazy over their secret, signature butter-herb sauce that comes with the steaks. In fact, they don’t serve any other main dishes. It’s steak, steak, steak. The only question is how you want your steak cooked.
Originally opened in 1959, Le Relais de L’Entrecote has grown into several locations throughout France and globally, all run by various family members. All of the restaurants have the same concept: the meals start with a walnut frisee salad before moving onto steak and fries, served in two portions. Dessert is the only course with optionality.
There is always a line out the door. Expect to wait before being seated unless if you show up right at opening.
We started with the lettuce, frisée, and walnut salad tossed in a mustard vinaigrette. The vegetables were crisp and fresh, and the dressing was boldly flavored and delicious.
Once we finished our salads, the servers brought over the first portion of steak (about 5-8 oz) along with a pile of fries. The steak smells incredible, partly because of that delicious secret herb-butter sauce.
Years ago, a Paris newspaper disclosed that the secret sauce’s ingredients included chicken liver, cream, thyme, white dijon mustard, cream, salt, and pepper. The family claimed the recipe was inaccurate, so thus we do not know for certain what that secret formula really is . . .
In any event, it is really, really good.
The steak was cooked perfectly.
After you finish your first portion, the servers come by offering you a second round. I didn’t have room, but Bryan was happy to take his second portion.
The only choices that exist in the restaurant are drinks and dessert.
We chose to to with some simple profiteroles, which were quite good. It’s no surprise that the quality of chocolate in France is quite high.
We finished with some simple espressos to top off the night.
It was a really, really fun evening. I originally had not planned to come to this restaurant since I had been to the one in New York City (yes, there’s one there!), but Bryan was intrigued by the concept and wanted to try it. We purposely showed up before opening in order to get a good spot in the line out the door. On any other normal day, the lines would have been crazy long.
However, we were visiting Paris just a week after the November 2015 terrorist attacks, and many tourists had withdrawn from Paris. We found ourselves third place in a line that did not grow much longer within the half hour we spent waiting. When the restaurant opened and let everyone in, I noticed there were still a lot of empty seats remaining.
Our suspicions were confirmed when we asked a server whether the short line was normal. She said that business had become super slow after the Paris attacks, and many local businesses, especially those that catered to tourists, were really struggling.
We were glad to be there to show our support, especially during this difficult time.
The food at Relais d’Entrecote is delicious and definitely worth trying at least once, if nothing else for the unique, authentic, and historic experience. The steak is delicious, and the secret sauce is unforgettable. If you don’t want to head all the way to Paris for the meal, you can visit the one in New York City. The folks there have tried very hard to recreate the Parisian experience, and I personally think they’ve done a good job of it.
20 Rue Saint-Benoît
75006 Paris, France
All Posts In This Series
Around the World Birthday Extravaganza
Alba White Truffle Fair
Osteria Dei Sognatori – A Traditional Piedmontese Dinner
Italy Wine Tour – Barbaresco
Lunch at Donna Selvatica in Neive, Italy
Dinner at a Truffle Hunter’s Inn – Tra Art e Querce
Trattoria Della Posta in Montfort D’Alba
Nighttime Truffle Hunting with a Dog in Alba
Osteria della Arco – last dinner in Alba
Stunning Images of La Morra and Barolo, Italy
First Day In Bordeaux, France – Une Cuisine en Ville
Chateau Haut-Brion Tour in Bordeaux France
Restaurant Le St. James
Touring Bordeaux Wineries – Day 1 – Left Bank
La Tupina, Bordeaux (traditional French dinner)
Cos d’Estournel Tour
Touring Bordeaux – Pauillac, Chateau Lynch-Bages
A Different Paris