39 John Street
Tips for saving money: Sunday brunch entrees are around $10. Try Sunday brunch during the month of January for a $5 burger.
Rue de Jean, a Charleston staple, has been serving up some of the town’s best brasserie style French food for as long as I can remember. We hit it up for Sunday brunch and were lucky enough to catch them on one of their few half-priced burger days (apparently a well-kept secret).
One of the best and most French dishes Rue de Jean offers is their ESCARGOT ($8.99). They come six to an order in a unique dish hot from the oven. It’s not surprising that they’re delicious, though, as they’re cooked in parsley butter and garlic–kind of hard to mess that up! I personally recommend using some of that freshly baked bread to soak up every last bit of the amazing sauce so as not to let any go to waste (might want to skip the cal count for the day).
Next course, BRASSERIE BURGER (normally $10.99, but did I mention it was half-priced?). This might be the best burger on the peninsula. Rue de Jean grinds all of the beef in house so you can order your cow as bloody as you want it; I suggest medium for the perfect mix. Anything more done and you’re just doing yourself a disservice. We tried it with the Roquefort cheese for the perfect topper. Coming in a very close second to the burger are those delicious POMMES FRITES. Rumor is that they’re double fried in duck fat to give them an amazing flavor and make them perfectly crispy. Again, probably the best fries on the peninsula. Skip the ketchup on these and go straight for the Dijon mustard (which was ultra spicy on our visit, maybe they make it in house?).
It wouldn’t be a complete French meal without sampling the dessert (or three, like we did) and Rue de Jean doesn’t lose any points in this department either.
We tried the POTS DE CRÈME AU CHOCOLAT (all desserts are $7.00) first. This is a baked milk chocolate cream, essentially a pudding. The dark chocolate flavor has a hint of coconut and, for the chocolate-lovers out there, is the perfect end to a delicious meal.
Next, the VACHERIN arrived looking like a giant birthday cake. Vanilla bean ice cream and raspberry sorbet layered with meringue, topped with whipped cream and finished with toasted almonds — I wasn’t sure I’d even like it, but it turned out to be my favorite sample. The raspberry sorbet offers a tart contrast amid a sweet mix of vanilla and whipped cream. All that was missing was a candle to celebrate a birthday.
The PORT CITRUS POACHED PEAR, our third and final dessert, was equally as good, though not nearly as sweet as the other two. The two pears were soaked in a citrus port and topped with a goat cheese mousse, then placed atop white chocolate syrup with toasted pistachios scattered in. The most delicious bite was one that encompassed a small bit of each of the flavors- white chocolate, goat cheese mousse, toasted pistachios. Result? Intriguing.