Friday I met my friend Annah at Rue Cler in downtown Durham for lunch. Rue Cler is a casual bistro-and-bakery in an airy, stark space on the corner of East Chapel Hill and Rigsbee. We went around 1:00 on a Friday afternoon and the place was doing business. I also assume they get a decent crowd from the downtown Durham workers.
Anyhow, I’m a fan of French bistro food: filling ingredients prepared simply, a major win. Because I am always a sucker for mussels I had the moules frites. Annah got the omelette du jour which had zucchini and mushrooms. My mussels were good, a small but classical prepared portion in a broth of white wine and saffron with a ton of fries on the side. The fries were thinly cut and well salted but some of the fries were a little soggy and I prefer my fries with a crunch. The fries also came with a side of some sort of chive-mayo dip, which I guess was the restaurant’s nod to the fact that some people prefer their fries with mayo. Some people are weird. I requested a side of ketchup and the waitress was happy to comply. Whenever I have mussels I always feel like I should just try to make them myself one day, but we’ll see. The idea of having to buy something that is still living makes me a little nervous.
I stole a bite of Annah’s omelette and it was excellent–why don’t my omelettes taste like that? The bread that comes immediately after you sit was crusty, crunchy, and excellent for sopping up the white wine broth. The restaurant does dinner as well but I think it is more of a winner at lunch. Also, their brunch looks awesome–check out the Frites Rue Cler on the menu. I want that.