Cru Cafe gets thumbs up

Image by Cru CafeImage by 20080809mac.jpg This seemingly simple dish, macaroni and cheese, in the hands of Cru Cafe chefs has led to historical deeds.

Cru Cafe recently got a really stellar review in The Post and Courier, courtesy of Deidre Schipani. The restaurant is housed in a Charleston single on Pinckney Street, just around the corner from the horse stables. (Luckily, it smells much nicer at the restaurant ...) This is one of those restaurants that I've been wanting to try for a while, so it's nice to hear good things about it.

As you'd expect, the story goes into the history of the restaurant and chef-owner John Zucker. One of the most interesting things mentioned is the balance Cru Cafe strikes between satisfying tourists and Charlestonians. That, in the end, seems to be what makes a great restaurant in this town. (One of my favorites, Jestine's Kitchen, seems to do that pretty well, also, for example. I don't care how touristy it is ... Their sweet tea and fried okra are proof of some sort of Heaven.)

So what are some of the Cru Cafe highlights? Well, Schipani talks about the creativity involved in their take on fried chicken, a pair of top-notch soups in gazpacho and veggie beef, and their fairly unique ability to mix styles:

This is not a kitchen on auto pilot. Their culinary passport (training) allows them to dance with sriracha, carnaroli, chipotle and jerk and not step on many toes.

Charleston City Paper also has Cru Cafe in its listings, with a shorter but no-less-enthusiastic write-up by head honcho and super foodie Stephanie Barna. You should see what she has to say about the mac and cheese ...

If you're thinking about heading over, you can find Cru Cafe's hours and menus (lunch or dinner) on their Web site. And here's where to find the place:

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