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“Fantastic gem of a neighbourhood restaurant”
Review of Cru Cafe

Cru Cafe
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Ranked #9 of 947 Restaurants in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Takeout
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Downtown
Description: Located at 18 Pinckney Street, in a classic 18th century Charleston single-style home, Cru Café offers the best in upscale comfort food. Guests of the restaurant enjoy indoor and outdoor porch seating, gourmet comfort food, a wine list tailored to the varied menu and rich, satisfying desserts. It’s one of Charleston’s best kept secrets. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
Reviewed April 14, 2008

Recommended both by our hotel (FQI) and TA, we managed to get last minute seating, which turned out to be the best seats in the house! This restaurant is in an old home, with both porch and interior seating. Unassuming on arrival, it clearly appeared a locals favourite spot. There are four bar stools that sit at an open window directly onto the kitchen. We had two of these seats for dinner and were able to converse with the 3 chefs as they prepared our food (and everyone elses). Watching the work upfront and having the plates handed directly to us by the chef was a great experience.

The food was 'above average', but had a few opportunities for improvement. The gnocci pasta was swimming a little in olive oil, the PEI mussel broth was a little plain and the dessert (a chocolate lava style cake) was a little undercooked. That said, this was a new menu that had just started this week and may have had some growing pains. The rest of the food was excellent, including a nice romaine/apple/nut salad, and some excellent fish. The wine selection was acceptable for a restaurant of this size. The meal was approx. $50 a head for starter, main course, a glass of wine and 1/2 dessert. I certainly recommend this spot - and encourage you to consider the kitchen counter bar!

Thank LondonUnveiled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed April 11, 2008

Favorite restaurant in Charleston! I had read reviews in books, catalogued it in my head, but as we passed it while leaving the Market district, decided to try it! We were well-rewarded! We were seated immediately outside (it was a gorgeous night out), and after looking at the menu (very reasonably priced), we decided to go with a small plates so as to taste more! We started out with salads--one was the fried feta with balsalmic, the other--the duck confit. Excellent, and the perfect way to get our mouths watering. We then had the gnocchi in brown beurre sauce with shrimp and capers and the calamari with Asian slaw. We then got the four cheese macaroni (must have it--best macaroni in town!) too. We finished it off with a heavenly cake that tasted like a Creamsicle with the lightest frosting ever. The waitress was knowledgeable, and her recommendations were spot on. It was the highlight of our trip! You must check it out!

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2008

Do not be put off by this out of the way old house. The food is great. I had the special of tuna encrusted with coconut on a bed of spring greens with a sauce. My wife had the shrimp sandwich, both were excellent. The berry bread pudding was very good. The orange cake was out of this world good. This is a do not miss food spot.

1  Thank ArtVa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2008

My husband and I are returning to this restaurant for the second time in a month for our 10-year anniversary. It is a sweet, quaint and YUMMY place to eat! It is a house turned into a lovely place to enjoy an evening. Get reservations early, as they fill up.

I ordered the shrimp pasta with kelbasa and it was TO DIE FOR!! My husband ordered the chicken stuffed with cheese and it was also very yummy, along with the mac and cheese. Everyone recommended the mac and cheese, and it was very good, but not unique or new - something I make at home when I make from scratch - nice crispy top! We'll try a different side next time for fun. The couple next to us ordered something that looked very plain on the menu (pork chops), but after seeing it come out of the kitchen, we will be getting something like that next time to try! Dinner was also served with some wonderful fresh bread and butter. EVERY ITEM that came out looked delicious and we didn't see any plates returned to the kitchen. The salads that others ordered were beautiful and looked worth the extra expense. Desert was heavenly - a raspberry cake of some sort that just melted in your mouth!

We got out of there paying around $60 after tip, tax and dessert. We didn't get any alcohol, salad or appetizer. We don't spend that kind of money often to eat out, but it was worth it to us, we left planning for the next time we could go.

Check out their website for full lunch and dinner menus. Be aware that they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

1  Thank adina77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2008

I booked a reservation at Cru Cafe for last Friday night for a group of 10 based on the excellent reviews here at TripAdvisor. I was a little concerned that our group size might be a problem for this restaurant because of its limited seating, but everything went off like a charm. We were promplty seated and our server was attentive throughout the dinner. The food was fantastic - I got lots of kudos for picking the restaurant! Everyone's food arrived at the same time and at the proper temperature. And they even handled the issue of separate checks smoothly.

Next time I vist Charleston, I will definitely plan to eat here again. I highly recommend it!

1  Thank cjohn416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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