While exploring all of the traditional and unique dishes French cuisine has to offer, an extremely common and popular dish you are likely to come across is Steak Frites. Despite the fact that there still exists disagreement regarding whether it originated in Belgium or France, it is still considered to be one of France’s most iconic dishes.
There’s good reason for such a high degree of popularity and love surrounding this dish. The combination is too perfect—the juicy, tender steak, usually cooked rare, pairs so eloquently with the sweet starchiness of the fried potatoes. Even though it sounds like a basic dish, you will find variations throughout every restaurant in France, from the cut of meat used, to the thickness of the fries, and of course the sauce. As a hearty meal with a rich history, it’s no wonder that Steak Frites has become a cornerstone of French cuisine.
Throughout history, this dish was predominantly made with Rump Steak, which refers to a cut of meat either from the sirloin region or the round region. Today, however, Steak Frites is typically made with the Ribeye, cooked in a pan with a reduction sauce and served with Pommes Frites, or French Fries. Other common sauces include béarnaise, a sauce made with butter, egg yolks, vinegar, and herbs; and graine de moutarde, which is made with white wine, mustard, and cream. You will also find other cuts of beef commonly used, such as the Tenderloin, Filet Mignon, Skirt Steak, and the New York Strip.
At Left Bank, our restaurants offer the classic Steak Frites with either an 8 ounce Skirt Steak or a 10 ounce Ribeye, perfectly paired with our crispy, golden Pommes Frites, and the choice of Bordelaise, Roquefort Butter, or Au Poivre sauce.
Bordelaise sauce originates from the Bordeaux region of France and is typically produced using red wine, butter, bone marrow, shallots, and demi-glace. It is considered to be one of the more traditional sauces for Steak Frites.
Roquefort Butter is a delicious butter sauce flavored with Roquefort cheese.
Au Poivre Sauce is a traditional French sauce that receives its flavor mainly from pepper, Cognac, and heavy cream.
If you find yourself in Paris and searching for Steak Frites, one of the most widely recommended brasseries is Le Relais de l’Entrecote. At this restaurant, you won’t even receive a menu, because the only thing they serve is a refreshing green walnut salad, followed by their extraordinary tenderloin, which is covered in their famous sauce, and a side of crispy, golden fries. The only question you’ll have to answer is how you like your meat cooked. Along with this, their wines are all superb pairings for Steak Frites, and they offer a large selection of decadent desserts, all of which serve as a perfect way to end a meal.
Other well-known brasseries in France that serve amazing Steak Frites include: Le Voltaire, Le Bistrot Paul Bert, La Bourse ou La Vie, and Cafe du Commerce.
When it comes to French culture and national identity, the first place to look is always the kitchen. Like wine and oysters, beef is one of the most treasured delicacies throughout all of France, positioning itself at the center of French cuisine. However, a succulent slice of meat wouldn’t be complete without its perfect pairing—fried potatoes. Therefore, the only true way to understand French culture and experience French cuisine is by enjoying the classic Steak Frites.
Whether you find yourself exploring France, or at one of our restaurants, when you order Steak Frites, you can always expect your steak to be tender and juicy, your fries to be crisp and golden, and your stomach to be full and happy.
Come try the iconic Steak Frites at any one of Left Bank’s locations today!