Properly known as Le Relais De Venise L’Entrecote, the legendary restaurant will open in the former Emporio Armani unit at 84-86 King St in April. The Manchester brasserie will be the fifth L’Entrecote, following on from Paris, New York, and two London venues.
If you’ve ever sat at a menu and been unable to make a decision, L’Entrecote is for you. As long as you like steak and chips. The first L’Entrecote was opened with a view to finding a market for the owner’s family wines – running a restaurant wasn’t really his thing. But the simple formula stuck, and has proved to be the making of the business.
You do get to choose whether you want your steak blue/rare/medium or well done. Beyond that, the only decision to make is whether you want it with or without sauce. This being L’Entrecote, the choice is usually with. The restaurant’s secret sauce has been a key ingredient in keeping diners coming back for over 50 years. Here, there’s no smothering in blue cheese, spicing up with tomato and chilli or drowning in over-hot peppercorn. The sauce is a perfect blend of herbs, spices and condiments, balanced to bring out the best of the sirloin beneath – which will be some of the tastiest around.
Whilst the wine will no doubt be French (and yes, there is a wine menu), L’Entrecote’s steaks will definitely be British, sourced from suppliers specialising in grass fed, traditionally matured beef, and aged for four weeks before making their appearance on your plate. Which it does in two halves, the second half being kept back in the kitchen to keep warm until you’re ready, then brought through with fresh supplies of precision hand-cut chips.
There’s only one starter: green salad with walnuts, dressed in mustard vinaigrette. Come desert time, however, you do need to make a decision: Home-made profiteroles, meringues and ice cream , or perfectly ripe French cheeses.
Work has started on the interior, which we understand will reflect the original 1950s Le Relais in Paris’s 17th arrondissement, with banquette seats, market scenes on the walls, mirrors and low lighting. It should provide a relaxed, informal setting perfect for a quick meal whether at lunchtime or in the evening. And if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that there’ll be no lengthy haggling over what each person’s share of the bill came to. Salad and steak? That’ll be £21 please, sir.
The restaurant has a no bookings policy, which hasn’t done them any harm at all in the past. In fact, queuing has become part of the experience, as people happily wait to enjoy what have been described simply as ‘the best chips in the world’.
Follow Bookatable to get the latest restaurant news and exclusive deals