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120 Marylebone Lane
“I love the concept of this place”, trumpets a fan of this seriously unfashionable Parisian steakhouse chain: look through the window before opening time and you’ll see staff eating their customary communal meal – it’s one of many unchanging traditions here. The bistro interior is dominated by garish paintings of Venetian scenes and there’s no menu: as always, dinner comprises a nutty, dressed green salad and a decent-enough steak served with the tarragon-inflected house sauce and frites. The meat is brought in two hefty servings, while the combination of a fully loaded dessert trolley plus quick-fire service may necessitate some belt loosening – expect to remain “un-coddled” throughout. A neat wine list does its job too. “This isn’t a steak-sniffer’s paradise”, notes one reviewer, “but it’s handy to have up your sleeve”. No bookings, so be prepared to queue.
120 Marylebone Lane
Bond Street Tube Station 456m
Regents Park Tube Station 634m
The Wallace Collection 170m
Wigmore Street 244m
Mon-Fri 12N-2.30pm (Fri -2.45pm) 6-11pm Sat-Sun 12.30-3.30pm 6.30-10.30pm (Sat -11pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
I love this place! the food is simple and well prepared… the secret sauce on the steak is delicious! I like the fact you don't have an endless list of dishes to choose from and the staff aren't trying to be your best friend. But I would suggest you arrive early, as queuing to get inside the restaurant can be a problem as you can't make a reservation. However, its always worth the wait! Don't go there if you want special treatment or a large menu to choose from. But if you appreciate a nice steak and salad – then i would definitely recommend it.
Food + drink: 5
1. Basic menu (no choice except for dessert)
2. Delicious simple food
3. Love the 2nd serving!
4. Great wine menu – even the house wine!
5. Lively atmosphere
1. Can't book, so you end up waiting in a queue outside for over 30mins every time 2. The wait staff often bring your mains before you've even finished your starters!
Reviews for Relais de Venise seem to fall in to two categories either good or bad. Notice the negative reviews have all been from people expecting to have some time for a relaxed meal and then being utterly disappointed at the set up and finding a special meal completely ruined, and I can totally understand why they would feel that way.
We only go for a quick meal on the way home from work, because we know we can be in and out in virtually the same time it would take for us to walk home and make dinner ourselves. You will probably be in and out in 45 minutes. This is fast food French style! They don't take reservations, it's first come first served and if there is a queue and you get to the front they won't let you in if you are not all present, there is nowhere to wait inside if it is raining or cold.
It is run with what can only be described as military precision, which can easily be misinterpreted as rude and brusque, but at least you know they are treating everyone the same. We always try to speak to the waitresses who seem to be on fast forward and are invariably taken aback that anyone should actually take time to talk to them! Everyone is served with the same starter, a green salad with mustard dressing, everyone has the same main course steak, sauce and chips, and there is none of that medium rare, slightly pink choices palaver. It's straight up Rare, Medium or Well Done. You get probably a medium plate full, (very small if you are used to American portions), and then they will bring you second serving. There is a choice of about 6 desserts.
Probably not a great venue for vegetarians, as the last time we went there was obviously one veggie on a table of eight next to us. Her main course was a huge cheese plate…
It is slightly frenetic, as the tables are turned fast, and in keeping with the French brasserie style you are quite squashed so you will be extremely close to your neighbours.
That said we like it very much, so if you want a super quick meal it fits the bill perfectly, if you want to take more time over dinner you would be better off going to Cafe Luc at the top of Marylebone High Street.
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