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“Don't blame the French. . .”

Rue Cler Restaurant
Ranked #16 of 782 Restaurants in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $35
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Using our extensive network of regional farmers and fishermen and our close friends in the wine business, we have tried to adapt the experience of a Parisian neighborhood restaurant to offer a unique dining experience. Our food is inspired by French tradition and seasonal, local produce. The wines we serve are all made by vignerons that we know personally, who themselves love food, and who craft their wine to showcase the specific terroir, while harmonizing with the meal. Most of our vignerons practice biodynamic or organic farming. Our prix fixe dinner menu showcases the freshest ingredients the southeast has to offer, prepared simply and with care, served at a bargain price. We also serve classic bistro and brasserie dishes a la carte. Our popular lunch and brunch services feature French-styled sandwiches, crepes, salads, and more.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

. . . for this caricature of French food. I lived in Paris for three years and ate a wide range of restaurants, at all price levels. Rue Cler's menu is based on the heavy-sauce tradition that went out of style decades ago in France, and it is not done well into the bargain. The bizarre fetish for beignets -- found only in fairground concession stands in France, never in restaurants -- is typical of Rue Cler's affection for grease. The kitchen has a heavy hand with salt as well, and does not handle their vaunted seasonal/regional vegetables with any skill. Decor blah, service blah, the place is over-praised and only survives for lack of competition.

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1  Thank unavailable11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 - 217 of 299 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2013

Slightly above average food; extremely noisy and very slow service. We arrived at 7:40PM, ordered in 10 minutes. Wine and salads came fairly quickly and were excellent. Main courses arrived at 8:58PM and were mediocre. We weren't in a hurry, but ths is rediculous. Coversation impossible because of noise.

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Thank NCMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2012

We specifically went here on a Sunday morning for an order of authentic beignets. Rue Cler did not disapoint. There is a lively brunch crowd here on Sunday. There were also a few outdoor tables too, but you had to have table service on Sunday - no takeout bags of beignets. The menu was very French style with the typical things - Croque monsieur, egg with greens, etc. I saw several large parties being turned away due to the lack of tables. I think a brunch reservation might be needed. The service was very good and a wheelchair customer was easily seated and appeared to be a regular. They did a nice job of handling several wheelchairs in our short visit, in fact. . On non-Sundays, there is a small bakery next door where you can grab a bag of bakery items. We will probably return for that one day. Durham's food scene is really on the upswing and Rue Cler is one of the reasons. The only down side is that it is a long ride from our suburban home, but while in Durham, don't miss it!

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Thank DanaW873
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Food was ok, but not great. Certainly not at the level of Vin Rouge, also in Durham. Service was good, although there seemed to be some confusion with the servers at both our table and the table next to us as to who ordered what dish. Prices were ok by Durham standards. The most annoying aspect was that the acoustics in the main room were bad, so that it was very noisy. Not a terrible experience, but I would not go back as there are far better places in town.

1  Thank twhite4809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

We've dined here several times at several different hours, brunch, early evening, late night, weekends, and week nights . The food is always excellent and the service is spot on. It can noisy. But, highly recommend it.

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1  Thank RossNorthCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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