39 John St, Charleston, SC | Directions 2940332.788027 -79.936876
Sunday Brasserie Brunch 10am-3pm
Sunday Dinner 5:30pm-11pm Bar Open Until 12am
Neighborhoods: Harleston Village
Great Food – The food is awesome. They have a great tuna tartare. However the service can be a bit slow. If you don't go when they are super busy its wonderful.
Vive Le France, Not So Much – Okay, so we made a big mistake, actually a couple of them. When we first arrived I saw long loaves of French bread being sliced for tables. “Great”, I thought, “This is a French restaurant, so that’s got to be good.” When placing our order my husband ordered the Crispy Veal Sweetbreads. Hmm, I thought, this is going to be a big carb-filled lunch, but I liked the creativity.
The French bread was a big disappointment. How can a French restaurant not serve great French bread? Rue De Jean did just that. The bread was dry and seemed to be stale. “That’s Okay, I thought, more ‘sweetbreads’ are on the way.”
On the menu, the Crispy Veal Sweetbreads were described as having Mozzarella cheese cavatappi, Serrano ham and a Gruyere mornay. So how my husband ever thought that this was going to be a “sweetbread” is beyond me. But when they were served I was up for the challenge.
A small rectangular plate held two battered and deep fried “veal things” (we didn’t know what they were at the time), and a small pile of what appeared to be cavatappi Mac ‘n cheese. Boy, we were in for a surprise.
The “sweetbreads” had a funky taste to them and a very odd flavor. Obviously they were something that you had to have a taste for. We then started to eat the Mac ‘n cheese to cleanse our palates, and it was just terrible. First, it was barely warm and looked like something that was dished out of a chafing dish at a cafeteria, second it contained not one piece of Serrano ham as advertised, and third, the cheese was nonexistent.
As we waited for our lunch, which seemed to take awhile, a nearby waiter was asked how the Braised Beef Sandwich was. His answer was, “Out of this world.” We thought that was a good sign as my husband had ordered this for lunch. I ordered the Nicoise Salade Traditionale. Our server told us that they cook the tuna “French style” and so if I wanted it a bit more done, medium would not be the right choice, and suggested I order it medium well which I did.
The Braised Beef sandwich had a great flavor to it. However, it was served on a roll with a thinly sliced top and a disproportionately large bottom making it impossible to eat without making a mess. The Pommes Frittes were just OK. Again I’m thinking French restaurant, good French fries. Not so much. Even though we overheard that the sandwich was “out of this world” unfortunately it remained in this stratosphere.
My Nicoise Salad looked beautiful. Fresh greens, red tomato quarters, quartered hard boiled eggs, Nicoise olives and haricot verts filled the plate. But one cut into the tuna revealed that it was close to medium rare versus what I had ordered. Since the restaurant was now somewhat busy we waited a bit for our server to return and she quickly took the tuna back to the kitchen to have it cooked a little longer. Once again I find myself waiting for lunch while my husband eats.
My tuna returned in about four minutes. At least it gave me hope that it wasn’t microwaved, which it wasn’t. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the tuna was flavorless. What a shame. The salad itself was delicious, but the tuna floundered.
So get this….. As were leaving, we saw another couple receive the Veal Sweetbreads. On their plate sat this beautiful, toasted, cheese laden mound of cavatappi that oozed cheese when one of the patrons took a bite of it. This was hardly the congealed, lukewarm mess that we received.
I know many people like 39 Rue de Jean, and I’m certain that many will disagree with my opinion, but I just don’t understand their infatuation with this place. Having never been to France, 39 Rue de Jean gave me no desire to do so.
Good, all the time! – You might not have the kindest of servers, but the food & drinks are always stellar!
great food – Everything is always great!! Can always get a plate of vegetarian food
Great Food, Service & Atmosphere – This is a great restaurant for that special occassion to relax and ejoy your meal. I have eaten there several times over the last 3 years, the food has always been excellent and the staff wonderful. All of the ingredients in their food is obtained locally, be sure to try the special of the day at least once. The duck is superb! Make sure you allow enough time to relax and enjoy your meal. Thre is no obecity in France because they enjoy their food, and do not overeat or hurry and shove it down! If you want fast food, go to McDonald's!
Great Location. Awesome Ambiance. Good Food. – Very cozy inside. Exposed brick and warm lighting. I would definitely make a reservation (if on weekend). The food was very good. I would highly recommend the mussels and the french onion soup.
Great Sushi, Great Mahi Mahi – I visited 39 Rue on a Thursday after a long day of work and was really glad I did! I saw in other reviews great things about their sushi and decided to give it a shot (along with a recommendation by the person sitting next to me at the bar) for a starter. As I eat a lot of sushi, there was a noticeable freshness in the fish. Although the rolls weren?t the largest, they were still worth the $5 or so for a starter. I then chose the Mahi-Mahi for my entree which was also a great choice. It was really fresh and really thick (which I'm not used to for Mahi). Overall, it was a pretty upscale atmosphere with a pretty helpful staff. Next time I?m in town I need to come back to try out some other things I missed on the menu in my first visit.
Absolutely Terrible – We made reservations 2 weeks in advance and received a confirmation call that morning for our 8:00 reservation. When we arrived, they had sat another table in our spot and insisted it was us. When I finally proved we were the party listed she didn't apologize or admit her mistake. Instead, she scrambled to find a table and stuck us in the bar area. We sat on three very small round two top tables (there were 7 of us!). The waiter was beyond mad! He came over and said in a 'i'm really busy and I hate that they stuck you in my section' tone "Whats up. What do you want to drink." Needless to say the bar is packed on a Saturday and the service was extremely slow.
One of the girls got up and polietly explained the situation to the manager and said "its not our waiter's fault, but clearly he's slammed. is there anything we can do? Can you move us to another spot when it frees up?" The manager didn't know how to well.. manage. He said "we put people there all the time. If you leave, i'll put someone else there". Oh... ok. Well thats a good way to make up for your mistake and slow service. Make us feel like you don't care because there is someone ready to take our spot. Well.. they can have it.
The waiter came over and said "any questions?" we said "Yes, where are we going to put our food?" he replied with a major attitude "I don't know. Its not my fault". Well, its not OUR fault!!!
We told him we were going to leave and he said he'd bring our check. WHAT?? We aren't paying for your negative attitude and terrible service!
A manager should manage a situation that comes up and be accomodating. Admit errors and do something about it. Being curtious and send us a couple of apps or drinks and show appreication of our business. That would be the correct way to handle a situation. Not acting like a 15 year old managing a fast food place.
I expected MUCH more from a place like this and will be sure to tell everyone how terrible they are.
Our restaurant only recently joined citysearch.com and were very disappointed to read the review that was left last spring. We pride ourselves on always going the extra mile to ensure that every guest leaves the restaurant, anticipating their next return. This was obviously not the case that evening.Our restaurant can be a very busy place, especially in the cafe area. Had it been a busy night, I understand how a group of your size became frustrated with only several tables and a large amount of food ordered. I can assure you that we were only trying to seat you as fast as we could, given our mistake regarding the reservation.Some changes have been made in management since that time and would like to say that had I known about this situation sooner, proper action would have been taken. I would like to take this time to sincerely apologize on behalf of all of the staff at 39 Rue De Jean and hope that at some point you will give us a second chance.
Completely Satisfied! – After reading some of the other reviews I was a bit skeptical of this restaurant, however our experience turned out to be AMAZING! My boyfriend and I had dinner on a Friday night (reservations recommended). Our table was in a nice location and our waitress was very nice and extremely attentive. Our meals were fabulous! I have lived in France for a long time and the muscles I had were right on, as was the steak Roquefort my boyfriend ordered. We also had no problem finding the restaurant. It's actually located right off of King St. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a place with great food and atmosphere!
Editorial Review by Christy Buena – French cafe transports guests to Paris offering traditional and affordable Brasserie cuisine, an outdoor terrace and zinc bar.
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