25 February 2010


en·tre·côte \ˈäⁿ(n)-trə-ˌkōt\ - noun - rib steak, a piece of beef without any bone, cut from between the ribs

If you happen to be in Toulouse and looking for a place to eat, might I make a suggestion?

Prior to our recent visit to Toulouse, Suzanne, who has been there several times, kept going on and on about this place. She would describe it, praise it, tell me she wanted to bring me there, then add the obligatory "only if you're up for it" line.

Me? Up for a highly recommended steak restaurant? "Well, it's a stretch," I told her, "but I am willing to go there to make you happy."

Mwuhaha. This is how you manipulate your friend into thinking you are doing her a favor when you are actually doing exactly what suits you. But I digress.

L'Entrecote is a genius idea, executed perfectly, and as far as I could tell, making money hand over fist doing it. People are literally lining up around the block for a table.

For reals. Lining up I tell ya! This photo was taken early afternoon on Sunday. We ate there at 9.30 on a Saturday night and the line was three times as long. But it moved trés vite because of their genius.

You see, they only serve one thing. That's right. One dish. There's no menu to futz about with. Your only choices are what to drink and if you want a dessert. Otherwise it's a set menu. But man! What a menu!

A basket of bread (after all, this is France, they won't serve you anything without a basket of bread.) Next comes the salad: lettuce & walnuts in a simple, light and tangy dressing. Delish.

But that's all just the warm up....

...for thinly cut, succulent beef covered in the most delicious, buttery garlic sauce I've ever tasted sitting next to a big ol' pile of salty pommes frites. I hope you won't think I am overstating when I say it was a meal of sheer and utter bliss.

And as if that wasn't good enough there's a big platter with more steak for the table. Sigh.

The city of Toulouse was just lovely (more on that in a future post) but this place, whew, I mean this place was good enough that I was already thinking how I could wangle my way back to Toulouse just to eat this heavenly meal again. Imagine my delight when I looked it up online and saw the Gineste de Saurs family has several, identical restaurants at key locations around the world. Barcelona, Bahrain, London and New York as well as a handful of other French locations. So there's a good chance me and this buttery beefy goodness might be meeting up again in the future. And that makes me happy traveler.


p.s. Not that I wouldn't choose Toulouse again. After all, it's charming and its L'Entrecote has this cozy little pub just across the street should you fancy a wee dram after your meal.


Alli Arnold said...

My mouth is literally watering, Shirl.

I just Googled the New York location, FULLY INTENDING TO GO THERE TONIGHT, this snowiest of nights, and the Internet says L'Entrecote NYC is CLOSED!!!

Oh, no!

Now the Vegetable Nachos I eat instead will pale in comparison to what could have been...

xo NYC Shirl

Alli Arnold said...

I commented too soon! Lookie here:


That's not far at all from where I live! We can bundle up and trudge there! Oh, happy day!

Alli Arnold said...

So Joe and I ate dinner at the NYC version of L'Entrecote, called "Le Relais de Venise" on Friday night. I am glad that you told us there is only one meal because there is really ONE MEAL, you don't even get a menu! They brought us a basket of bread (four tiny round slices), and Joe asked for butter - the waitress said they don't have butter (what the?). When our steak and frites came, Joe asked for ketchup - they don't have ketchup (come on now!). We were amused at how controlling the establishment was but we liked the steak, loved the sauce, and LOVED the fries, and the house red wine was really good, too! It was a perfect (affordable) meal for a cold, snowy night. I'm really glad we went and I could definitely see going back there...maybe when my European Shirl is in town? Thanks for the experience! I loved the fact that I was having a meal that you just had in Toulouse...life , the internet, and NYC is grande.

xo Aa