Rue Cler is named after the market street where parents of John and Nathan Vandergrift lived in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris. Opening in October 2006, Rue Cler was the first fine dining establishment to open in Downtown for decades and the first French restaurant to ever cater to Downtown Durham. We are proud to be pioneers of what Food & Wine magazine has dubbed the “foodiest small town in America”.
Paris is where John learned to cook in the post-Nouvelle cuisine style in a neighborhood restaurant in the Marais neighborhood of the 3rd Arrondissement. It is also where John and Nathan explored the restaurants, wine bars, bistros, and brasseries of Paris bite by bite and glass by glass, changing their understanding of food and wine forever.
Using our extensive network of regional farmers and fishermen and our close friends in the wine business, we have tried to adapt the experience of a Parisian neighborhood restaurant and to offer a unique dining experience. Our food is inspired by French tradition and seasonal, local produce. The wines we serve are all made by vignerons that we know personally, who themselves love food, and who craft their wine to showcase the specific terroir while harmonizing with the meal. Most of our vignerons practice biodynamic or organic farming.
Our prix fixe dinner menu showcases the freshest ingredients the southeast has to offer, prepared simply and with care, served at a bargain price.
We also serve classic bistro and brasserie dishes á la carte. Our popular lunch and brunch services feature French-styled sandwiches, crêpes, salads, and more.