Rue Saint Jacques - Page 2

Paris to the clouds
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Within the skillet we find (in addition to a wealth of white beans lightly crusted with bread crumbs), confits of lamb and duck leg (the duck still on the bone), along with an entire boudin blanc and chunks of fatback. You pay an extra $7 for the cassoulet (or $26.75 à la carte), but the dish could easily feed two hungry people.

The one offering I hadn't seen before was mijoté de porc, described by the menu card as "slow-cooked pork belly with a ragout of vegetables." Since pork belly is the source of bacon, I was expecting something rather fatty, in fact problematically fatty, but what turned up instead resembled a pot roast: chunks of tender meat in a thick, dark, slightly sweet sauce laced with wild mushrooms.

Rue Saint Jacques' desserts are very much in the bistro mainstream and include a solid chocolate mousse and a creditable vanilla bean crème brûlée. The unconventional choice is probably the strawberry soup, which drew my eye in part because of its unexpectedness and in part because I hoped, after some heavy going through the savory courses, that it would be relatively light, despite the promise of Chantilly cream.

Dessert soups I've had in the past have been served in broad bowls, like regular soup, but this one arrived in a parfait glass: a base layer of soup, not too sweet and quite chunky, almost like runny preserves, with a thick cap of Chantilly cream, which is basically sweetened whipped cream. The boundary between the layers quickly became blurred, and the cream more or less self-folded into the soup, with a luxurious result.

The service staff is swift, professional, and proper, in the best French tradition. They do not fawn or make chitchat, but if something goes wrong — your order slip temporarily ends up on the kitchen floor, say, causing a delay — you're likely to be comped a glass of wine or a shareable dish, and maybe even some excellent port to finish. Or was that Banyuls?

RUE SAINT JACQUES

Dinner: Tues.–Sun., 5:30–10 p.m.

1098 Jackson, SF

(415) 776-2002

www.ruesaintjacques.com

Wine and beer

MC/V

Moderately noisy

Wheelchair accessible

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