In the News: Steak Frites Restaurant Opens Tonight

••• Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte—the steak frites restaurant with outposts in Paris, London, and Midtown opens at Thompson and Watts today. The restaurant’s website explains how it works: “When you dine with us, there is no menu—simply tell your waitress how you would like your steak cooked. Choose ‘blue,’ ‘rare,’ ‘medium,’ or ‘well done.’ After a starter of green salad dressed with a tangy mustard vinaigrette and crushed walnuts, you’ll be presented with the best steak frites in town served with our famous sauce. We’ll even bring you seconds (believe us, you’ll want it). Feel free to accompany your meal with one of our specially selected wines. To round off the meal, choose from a selection of cheeses, or a range of divine homemade desserts including profiteroles, meringues and naughty-but-ice cream confections.” The price is $30 and non-carnivores can get a cheese plate. —Eater

••• “Surf Shack [is] a summer-themed popup above Harold’s Meat + Three that opens Friday, May 5 [on the roof of] the Arlo Soho hotel. There will be seasonal bites like carnitas tacos and whole grilled fish with tortillas and salsa all summer long.” —New York Daily News

••• “A man in a BMW became enraged and fired a gun after a driver backed his van into the vehicle.” Pearl Street, 4:23 p.m., presumably on Friday. —DNAinfo

••• From the New Yorker review of New York 2140, a novel by Kim Stanley Robinson about life in New York City once it’s underwater:

Another narrator—a nameless urban historian—tells the story of New York from a bohemian point of view. America’s boring losers all moved to Denver, he says, and so the cool kids took over the coasts. “Squatters. The dispossessed. The water rats. Denizens of the deep, citizens of the shallows.” The abandoned city becomes an experimental zone—a place where social innovation (“submarine technoculture,” “art-not-work,” “amphibiguity”) flourishes alongside “free open universities, free trade schools, and free art schools. Not uncommonly all of these experiences were being pursued in the very same building. Lower Manhattan became a veritable hotbed of theory and practice, like it always used to say it was, but this time for real…. Possibly New York had never yet been this interesting.”


Middle-class homeowners have banded together to form a “Householders Union.” Apartment buildings are environmentally self-sufficient, with solar panels, gardens, and even livestock floors. The Lower Manhattan Mutual-Aid Society, known as “lame-ass,” coördinates the sharing of resources during storms and other emergencies. The rich are ensconced in their skyscrapers, but everyone else lives in some form of commune. Many people have been displaced by climate change and “radicalized by their experiences”; they blame global warming on financiers, and on a market system that consistently underestimates the environmental costs of economic growth. The book is, among other things, a sustained critique of capitalism. After the oceans rise, the system’s central flaw is obvious and undeniable: the market “is always wrong,” one man says. “The prices are always too low, and so the world is fucked.”


1 Comment

  1. Sadly this outpost of Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte is not up to snuff. Who knows, maybe it’s growing pains, maybe it’s early inconsistency but as a long time patron of the midtown location I won’t be back to the Soho Restaurant.

    The “special sauce” seemed pretty lame compared to previous visits to the midtown location, and instead of the usual offer of a second half of diner with freshly cooked steak and fries we were met with a gruff challenge of “you want some more fries?” Additionally, the fact that the interior was lit like the best of any city hospital waiting room didn’t exactly help with my enjoyment of the meal.

    This place feels like someone bought the restaurant name but missed just about everything that makes the brand special and successful worldwide.