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The Steaks Are High

Le Relais De Venise L'Entrecote Early Pictures

Published on April 28th 2012.

The Steaks Are High

SO Sleuth went to Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte. 

It’s going to interesting to see whether the stark minimalism of the menu and the relatively high price will prove a hit in Manchester in 2012. 

Here are pictures from the pre-opening trial run. The restaurant is now open to the public. 

As the visit was hosted by the restaurant Sleuth can’t review and score until next week when Confidential goes in and pays its way. 

L'Entrecote has no menu range, except with desserts, and a no reservations policy. There is a green salad starter tossed with mustard vinaigrette and sprinkled with walnuts, followed by steak-frites, with an accompanying sauce, cooked as 'blue' if required. There’s a minimum spend of £21 for the two courses. And then some very odd puddings.

Sleuth loves the word ‘Today’ on the non-menu about the food on offer, as though there's a daily special. There isn't it, it's always steak and chips. 'Today' and every other day.


Today and foreverToday and forever


There are eight wines,  including a rosé, and champagne is available. The glasses you drink out of are the size of thimbles. Very French, very old-fashioned - again strange 

On Sleuth’s visit he noticed something else. “Are there any boy waiters?” he asked. “No,” said a girl waitress in her old-fashioned Betty’s tea-shop uniform, “only girl waitresses.” Is that legal thinks Sleuth? 

The decor is very plain inside a prestige building from the early 1840s by architect Richard Lane. True there are some entertaining and colourful murals but the overall impression is austere. 

Simple is as simple doesSimple is as simple does

Gordo was sat in another part of the restaurant. “I used to visit the one in Paris in the 80s,” he said to Sleuth. “Thought it was dead cool, the limited menu, the very Frenchness of the thing. I can’t believe that not one single thing has changed from food, to presentation, to the glasses via the plates, the uniforms, and the plastic coated paper on the table-cloths. Even the typeface on the menus is the same.” 

Sleuth found the whole experience distinctive but very peculiar with not quite as much steak as he thought there would be. The whole operation seemed a marvellous way to reduce costs.

In truth Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecôte is fast food French-style.

The promotional material says: 'When Monsieur Gineste de Saurs founded the original Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte in Paris 52 years ago, little did he know that his Parisian eatery would be replicated in London, New York and now Manchester. Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte is a true Parisian bistro.’

It’s going to interesting to see whether the stark minimalism of the menu and the relatively high price will prove a hit in Manchester in 2012. 

Follow Sleuth on twitter @Sleuth


Salad - lots of leaf funSalad - lots of leaf fun

Curious dessertsCurious desserts, mad typeface

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24 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Paul ChambersApril 28th 2012.

Same price as the City branch!

CobbydalerApril 28th 2012.

Those prices & that presentation? No chance that I'll be partaking...

Daniel JamesApril 29th 2012.

presentation looks awful - and a not very imaginative salad - a plate of lettuce!

Steven LindsayApril 29th 2012.

and those net curtains are shocking!

tblzebraApril 29th 2012.

Interesting they are charging exactly the same as their two branches in that-there London. A mistake perhaps, bearing in mind the cost-of-living (and salary) differences; we'll see.

'...an ideal place to enjoy a quick and inexpensive meal with friends, family and colleagues.'

Going for the cheapest options a three course meal for two with a bottle of (it has to be red) wine, water and the tip costs nearly £40 a head.

Check out the veggie offer it's that great Rochdalian delicacy, cheese and chips:

'We welcome vegetarians. Start with a green salad with mustard vinaigrette topped with walnuts, followed by a selection of cheeses and accompanied by frites plus a dessert of your choice, £21.'

SleuthApril 30th 2012.

Despite the words they don't really welcome vegetarians or even people who like that very unusual food, fish. Maybe they just want to save the fish stocks in all the oceans of the world - maybe this is what L'Entrecote's about. It's essentially a political movement.

DidsburyGirlApril 30th 2012.

London, Paris, New York and now Manchester. Come on people, it is great that they have brought their brand to our city. 52 years and counting... they must be doing something right, don't knock it until you've tried it, I say.

bigearsApril 30th 2012.

i agree with Didsbury girl on this one, people are always whinging about not having new restaurants but as soon as 1 opens it brings more controversy than Mario Balotelli! try it, if you dont like it then moan! and £21 for steak and a salad starter isn't bad at all. We're doomed if you cant part with £21

bigearsApril 30th 2012.

oh and TBLZEBRA if you go to a cafe rouge or macdonalds etc here are the prices cheaper than London??? dont think so

Jo StollApril 30th 2012.

Go to Eden for the Chateaubriand instead!!

Stephen WoodallMay 1st 2012.

Visited the one in Paris with the doris. Great fun but you do have to queue- caused a riot asking for English Mustard!

Give it a go

kisscurlMay 1st 2012.

You're stuck if you dnt like salad then?

tblzebraMay 2nd 2012.

Not sure they'll appreciate your reference to McDonald's and Cafe Rouge (who do charge more in London), BIGEARS.

I'm not knocking the place as I love what's happening at this end of King Street, just questioning some of their decisions.

My comment about the pricing relates to the fact that they are charging London prices, in comparison to their non-national / non-chain restaurant competitors in the vicinity, who obviously aren't.

£40 a head in Manchester isn't an 'inexpensive meal'. It sounds like 'an experience' type of food place, so maybe it'll be a hit?

I laughed aloud at your 'we're doomed' comment BIGEARS. Get real we're in a massive recession; many people can't afford to dine out at all.

bigearsMay 2nd 2012.

of course they can - crap places like Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia i.e. poor food are always busy. it isnt £40 per head, thats if you drink £36 wine which as you said people wont pay in a recession. so if you were to have house (as most people do) it would be 58 which for salad (average £3 50) steak, chips and sauce - depends where you go but sauce is usually extra £2 so i dont think thats too bad is it??? just think alot of places are doomed before they start as as you say its £40 per head BUT that is with a decent bottle of wine and if you dont drink wine, like me, it isnt too bad.

bigearsMay 2nd 2012.

has anyone heard much about Aiden Byrne teaming up with Living Ventures to launch a Restaurant pushing for a *??? fingers crossed the rumours are true!!!!

tblzebraMay 2nd 2012.

Don't think you read my original post properly BIGEARS; it was about a 3 course meal. I'll add it up for you:

Food £42
Desert £9.50
Wine £15.95
Water £2.95
Total £77.44 including a 10% tip...

It's obviously out of your realm of (limited?) experience, but it's a fact that not everyone can afford to eat out in the UK. Some people in the UK (brace yourself) don't even have a job.

bigearsMay 2nd 2012.

oooohhhhhhh, my apologies TBLZEBRA, my apologies :) i wouldnt say it was my limited experience, sure if you knew who i actually was you wouldnt say this as, believe it or not i do know a little about the owd food market. its on king st, one of the highest rental areas in town so that isnt too bad i dont think but again, only my opinion and that meant nowt :)

Keith BarrattMay 2nd 2012.

What are the meateater’s options in vegetarian restaurants? Just a thought

1 Response: Reply To This...
GimboidMay 2nd 2012.

All vegetarians don't eat meat.
Almost no meat eaters DON'T eat vegetables, so the implied comparison is void, the question is pointless and the 'thought' more like a fart.
Unless you actually do eat meat at every meal?

AVOMay 3rd 2012.

If you're going to dine midweek, why not join the Grill on New York Street's dining club where you can get 50% off the food if you book online. This makes a 310g rib eye steak a mere £11 including your choice of sauce.

I went for this option last night and it was great value.

DavidMay 12th 2012.

Having actually eaten one lunchtime,this week,I think the negatative comments are very unfair.The food here is of a very high standard,and the portions of steak and frites are much more generous than at other establishments in Manchester.
The only odd fact is that this Very French restaurant has waiting staff who seem to be entirely female and Polish.Could they not find any staff in Manchester or even France?.

Sue CareyMay 22nd 2012.

Don't knock it till you have tried it, it is consistently good everywhere I have tried it, including Manchester. I will be back on a regular basis for a red meat treat. I agree that the service needs work, but I can forgive them that in the early days.

EllieMay 24th 2012.

Think I'll stick to Australasia!!!!!! Fantastic lunch offer there!


THE PRINTER!!May 29th 2012.

Must agree with Daniel, the Salad looks a bit Naf!!! I like to try different places all the time in M/C, but the Main looks ok, but sorry, the Salad looks rubbish.

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