As you already know, I live close to Manhattan, NY. And at the end of last month, we had Sandy’s unwanted visit… Still in my town, nothing very serious happened, Sandy just left a trail of fright and apprehension. But in Donwtown, Manhattan, the damage was greater and the city, which with each passing day gets less messy and quickly returns to normal, did not fail to receive visitors a single minute …
And this whole introduction was just to tell you that I also received visitors and, to celebrate the friendship, nothing better than to sit at the table and have a long chat, with lots of laughter and good food.
The choice of the time was Le Relais by Venise L’Entrecote and I can say that the experience was unique and delicious. 50 years ago, the first L’Entrecote was opened in Paris (Dani, located in the 17th Arrondissement de Paris, near Porte Maillot) and today it is found in London and New York. L’Entrecote offers a unique menu option: green salad with walnuts and mustard starter and “Steak Frites” for main course. It is a No-choice menu. The story goes, that the owner bought this establishment from an Italian and really wanted to be recognized as a wine warehouse, because it was what he knew how to do best. Along with the extensive wine list, he thought of serving the dish that any Parisian likes: steak fry. And even though he had no sense for the restaurant business, he started to be recognized for his excellent steak frites.
When we sat down at the table, the only question that the waitress – duly stylized in the 1950s – asked: “how would you like the point of your steak?”, She then drew a small graphic on the white paper lining of the table, identifying the preference of each one.
The restaurant’s decor is intimate and reminiscent of the past, with half-light chandeliers and dark wood furniture. Were it not for English being spoken in every corner of the restaurant, I could even say that we were not in the United States …
For those who still don’t know, eating steak and fries is an option that is part of the history of Parisians, just as fried fish and fries is part of that of Londoners. The wine list is lean and composed only of French wines.
My steak was fantastic and the potatoes cut by hand and fried in peanut oil, went perfectly with it.
But all this to tell you that when we finished the meal, we ordered the dessert menu and which was not my surprise when I noticed that it had, besides of course, a varied cheese board, almost 20 different dessert options (and of course all French).
The hubby never gives up the creme brulee, which was perfect, with a thin layer of crunchy caramel, to break with the spoon. As for me, I decided to order Le Vacherin du Relais. Ah, Vacherin… perfect combination of sigh, ice cream and whipped cream, and can also accompany fresh fruit. How can it go wrong ?? Never!!
Mine had no fruit and the ice cream was vanilla and hazelnut, but it came with a delicious semi-sweet chocolate syrup on top, which ended up breaking the sweetness of the sigh, bringing balance to my palate. In addition to the presentation being impeccable, as it was the tallest Vacherin I have ever come across in this world, when I saw it, I thought I couldn’t finish it and my friend, who ordered exactly the same dessert, suggested: “Whoa Fe , we could have divided it, right? ”… there, there… because it’s not that I ate practically the whole candy ?? And my friend too … well, nothing that a good gym the next day doesn’t solve …
Now I’m curious to try the other options. I loved to know that a restaurant that has a NO-choice menu can offer a dessert list as sweet and stuffed as this one !!
590 Lexington Avenue (at the corner of 52nd street)
They don’t take reservations, so there is often a wait for the table, but for what I saw, for a short time.
They serve 2/3 of the dish first and then return to serve the other 1/3. If you order the steak well done, I suggest that you request that your dish be served only once, as they were confused with my friend’s order when they returned to serve the remaining 1/3.