I don't think anyone on this board has given a review of Rue Saint Jacques yet, and I've been twice, so I thought give it a shot. It's a small, comfortable French place that opened a couple of months ago at Taylor and Jackson in Nob Hill. The chef, Eric Lanvert, also owns Cote Sud and the manager moved over from Jeanty at Jack's, so there's a decent pedigree.
I first went there with my girlfriend back in April, just weeks after it opened. I started with the seared foie gras w/ a vanilla-anise sauce and raspberries ($12), different but very good. My girlfriend started the soup du jour, a non dairy based asparagus soup ($5) which was surprisingly good, I didn't know asparagus soup could be so good without a generous amount of cream. For the mains, I ordered the lobster tail wrapped w/ sole on a red-spiced rice bed w/ lobster sauce ($20), and my girlfriend had the filet w/ sauteed greens, mashed potatoed, and a foie gras and black truffle suace ($19.50). My dish was great, the lobster was well prepared, the sole was a good foil to the lobster, and I couldn't get enough of the sauce, but my girlfriend was the winner. The filet was a good sized cut of great beef, prefectly cooked and seasoned. The sauce was excellent too, but I would not have been able to tell you foie gras and truffles were in it unless it was on the printed on the menu. I really couldn't believe the quality and amount of food given the relatively moderate prices. We finished with a cheese course ($12), a course which I have little experience with so I won't speak about the detials, but we both really enjoyed it. With the meal, I had a glass of chardonnay ($7), and my girlfriend a glass of pinot ($6.50), both decent. The service was very good until when we wanted the check and our waiter was preoccupied with an apparently very important party, which the manager and another waiter were also attending to. We finally got his attention and after paying we walked away, after tax and tip, spending just over $100 for fairly memorable meal. Duly impressed, I promised to go back.
My girlfriend bought Les Miz tickets a few weeks back, so I thought Rue Saint Jacques would be a good prelude. In less than two months the menu had already gone up a couple bucks per dish, but it is still reasonable. This time I started with a frisée and asparagus Salad with crab and raspberries ($9.50), which I enjoyed at the time. I since have eaten at Bouchon and had their crab salad, and after that amazing dish I just can't look back on Rue Saint Jacques' crab as kindly. My girlfriend had the mushroom risotto to start, very rich and very good. As much as I wanted to order the filet, I resisted and had the confit of rabbit with garlic mashed potatoes ($16). The dish was good, but I wasn't blown away. It mostly reminded me Thanksgiving dinner, a really good thanksgiving dinner however. My girlfriend had the duck special ($22), I can't remember any details, but it also was good not great. For dessert we shared a meringue in starwberry soup ($6.75). The meringue was good, but the soup was more like syrup, a bit too sweet for me, but my girlfriend liked it. (It would been great on pancakes.) Again, no bottle of wine, just glasses, and the total this time was around $90.
Although the second trip was less memorable than the first, I still think it can be one of the better restaurants in the area, an area which has a lot of great restaurants (and I am fortuante enough to live in.) It's no La Folie, but I enjoyed Rue Saint jacques as much if not more than my dinners at Frascati or Tablespoon (different types of cuisine, I know, but I'm relatively new to the area and that's all I can compare it to.) While not a destination restaurant, if your near by or live in the city, I think it's worth trying (get the filet.)
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