Rue Cler is named after the famous market street, where the parents of owner/wine director Nathan Vandergrift lived, in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris. Executive Chef Todd Whitney’s food is inspired by French tradition and seasonal, local products. 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 offer classic bistro and brasserie dishes á la carte. Our popular lunch and brunch services feature French-styled sandwiches, crêpes, salads, and more.
The wines we select are all made by vignerons that we know personally, who themselves love food, and who craft their wines to showcase the specific terroir, while harmonizing with the meal. Most of our vignerons practice biodynamic or organic farming.
Chef Whitney attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. He spent the early years of his career at restaurants in San Diego, Portland, and Atlanta, as well as in the Boone area. Upon returning to the Triangle, he worked for Jean Paul Fontaine at Bistro 607 in Raleigh, and then became executive chef at J. Betski’s in 2006. He moved to Vin Rouge as executive chef in 2011, and opened Oval Park Grille in 2014. He accepted his current position at Rue Cler in April of 2017, ready to dive back into his love of French food and wine, confident in the high potential of what could be accomplished here. Thus far, Chef Whitney has wowed staff and guests alike with his wealth of knowledge, skillful execution, and warmth of personality.
Those interested in local history – specifically, the history of our building – should check out this page at Open Durham.