Two delicious downtown restaurants: one week: one owner.
Rue Cler is about a block from First Durham, a french restaurant and bakery (I’ve heard their blueberry muffins are just excitement for your mouth).
A friend and I went. Dinner menus are daily reads, so I couldn’t plan ahead of time (ACK!). They are pre-fixe menus, but you can substitute for anything, or you can do it a la carte.
I got the salad frisee (frisee greens, croutons, vinaigrette, bacon (which I left off for meatless year) and an egg – broken down into the greens – maybe all the time from now on. Then I had a side of the pomme frites (really yummy seasoned french fries). I didn’t care for the sauce (butter/tarragon) but I refrained from asking for ketchup.
We had a great waitress who was patient in answering all of our questions because neither of us specialize in French cooking.
The other restaurant I tried this week was Pop’s Trattoria on Main Street. They recently moved buildings – into an urban/warehouse type feel with local artist’s work adorning the wall. We walked right in on V-day weekend because of reservations. They sat us right next to beautiful precious friends which made the night even more special.
Mussels with tomatoes, white wine, and red chili – AMAZING. You really want a straw to sip up all the broth – but instead you dip the bread. They come around to the tables periodically with a big basket and a set of tongs to give you as much bread as you desire. (1 1/2 for me). The olive oil they served was delicious and fruity, but it didn’t compare to the mussels’ broth, so I chose that for my dipping choice.
Those we devoured – we also got the apple brie ricotto pizza topped with a truffle oil cream. Very rich, we took leftovers.
The food was better than the service. That’s not to say the service was bad, just not STELLAR – but the food definitely made up for it. I could go back every night just to have the mussels. Will definitely be going back to Pop’s!