Paris, London, New York: it’s not a perfume ad, but a run through the international locations of a no-menu, no-reservations steakhouse that has customers queuing for a seat amid garish paintings of Venetian scenes. Pass the window of Le Relais de Venise before opening time & you’ll see staff eating their customary communal meal; it’s one of many unchanging traditions here. Dinner is, & will always be, a nutty, dressed green salad & a decent-enough steak served with the tarragon-inflected house sauce & frites. The meat is brought in two servings, effectively forming a second helping, & the combination of a fully loaded dessert trolley & quick-fire service can necessitate a little belt loosening – readers note that there’s not much time for leisurely digestion. A tidy little wine list does its job.
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