by Damon Noisette // photos by Agnes Lopez
A new member of the San Marco Dining District opened its doors a little over two months ago. Executive chef Scott Alters, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who cut his teeth at a Michelin star-awarded restaurant in Napa Valley, has teamed up with his fiancé, Gabrielle Saul, and the M Hospitality group to unveil their vision of a French-American bistro, Rue Saint-Marc.
Alters and Saul’s design cleverly coaxes 130 seats out of the space that has a history as a kitchen for the Medure brothers’ M Shack, a market, a produce stand, and a gas station long before that. There is covered outdoor seating and the inside has a mix of booths, a 16-foot long community table, a bar that looks right into the open kitchen, and a small lounge area.
Cocktails and appetizers are as much a reason to brave the dinnertime crowd at Rue Saint-Marc, especially if you’re able to secure a couple of the easy chairs. The full bar lends itself to some inventive concoctions like the refreshing Monkey Business ($9), with Campo de Encanto Pisco, yellow chartreuse, fresh guava, lemon and pineapple juice.
Rue’s dinner menu offers an affordable price point, with portions on the smaller side. It was exciting to see roasted bone marrow ($11) available; the rich flavor and buttery texture is worth experiencing if you’ve never tried it before. Conventionally, there is a Farmstead cheese board ($13), while the eggplant beignets ($6) are a nice twist on what’s normally an unhealthy dessert. The pork belly rillons ($9) are tender and come with a nice sweet, garlic cream and Muscadine grape sauce.
The local fish meunière ($17), in this case a snapper, is incredibly moist and pairs nicely with the thick-sliced chateau potatoes. Less adventurous diners will find the Rue cheeseburger ($13) as a tasty retreat, though the Gruyère and marrow-onion jam might challenge someone looking for something strictly American in style and flavor.
If lunch or dinner are all you can finish in a sitting, it’s still recommended to visit the display case of desserts by the bar. They are prepared by Rebecca Reed, the pastry chef from Matthew’s Restaurant, located just across the street. Reed’s macarons ($2 each/$22 dozen), particularly the salted caramel variety, are manifique. Those with a little more room should consider the dense chocolate dome ($8), a splendidly rich finisher.
Sunday Respite Rue Saint-Marc is open every day except Sunday, with a special Saturday brunch menu available from 8 AM to 3 PM.
Park It Parking in San Marco can be a challenge. If no spots are available in the lot up front, consider the other side of Matthew’s and crossing Hendricks Avenue.
Check Ahead The restaurant only takes reservations for groups of 7 or more. Download the NoWait app (iOS and Android) to see the current wait time.
Rue Saint-Marc • 2103 San Marco Blvd. • 904.619.0861 • ruesaintmarc.com