There looks to be 4 locations of this long standing traditional French bistro, so when I saw that one location of Le Relais de l’Entrecôte was only minutes from our place, we made this our first destination for dinner soon after we settled in our AirBnB place. It might be hard to tell from the picture, but we got there about 10 minutes before opening to join an already started line that quickly grew all the way down the street before the doors even opened. The restaurant is quite large though so everyone who was waiting immediately got seated anyways.
The menu is quite simple as they only serve salad and steak with frites. There are some cheeses you can order as appetizers, but the first thing they ask you once you sit down is how you want your steak cooked, à point (medium rare) or saignant (rare). They never even offer up bien cuit (well-done), but if the American lady at the table next to us hadn’t ordered it that way, I never would have known.
After asking how we wanted our steak cooked, the waitress immediately came back with salads. It was a plate of fresh romaine lettuce tossed in mustard-based salad dressing and topped with some walnuts. The tanginess of the Dijon mustard gave it a distinctly French twist to what looked like a regular salad.
The sirloin steak came sliced and covered in a greenish sauce that kind of reminded me of a diluted pesto sauce. One bite of the steak screamed pure buttery goodness. I knew right away, Hubster was going to love it. I can’t figure out what exactly was in the sauce, but there was definitely no holding back on the butter. Rare or “saignant” for the French is definitely bloodier than I’m used to, but the sauce was definitely what set this steak apart from others, because the meat by itself tasted pretty average. The frites were thin, hot and crispy…. just how I like them. There truly is something special about French french fries. They never fail to satisfy.
If you’re looking for French bistro fare, you can’t find a more classic meal than the one here. The food is solid and satisfying. Hubster and I joked that in spite of being in a French restaurant, we felt like the portions were actually American-sized. We got a second serving of steak with a whole heaping pile of French fries and I was already full by that point. I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you happen to be in the general vicinity of any of the locations.
Relais de l’Entrecôte Saint-Germain
20 Rue Saint-Benoît
PAFO Ratings for Relais de l’Entrecôte Saint-Germain:
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 3½ stars
Overall rating 3½ stars