About Cru Cafe

18 Pinckney Street
Charleston, SC 29401
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It's the Holy City's Hidden Gem! Cru Café is Charleston's home to some of the best gourmet comfort food in the Lowcountry. Cru Café is the culinary creation of renowned Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Chef John Zucker. Opened in 2002 in response to overwhelming demand, Cru Café is a culinary destination off the beaten path in in a classic 18th century Charleston single-style home. Cru Café and its award-winning Cru Catering division are consistently ranked as top eateries by locals and tourists alike. From our famous Four Cheese Macaroni to our tasty Thai Seafood Risotto, we feature something for everyone. And if you're in the mood for lighter fare, try our Chinese Chicken Salad or Duck Confit Salad. Guests of the restaurant can enjoy daily specials, indoor and outdoor porch seating, a wine list tailored to the varied menu and rich, mouthwatering desserts. We invite to stop in and enjoy a delicious meal with us today.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Comfort Food, Fusion / Eclectic, Southern

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
East Bay St

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 534-2434

Website:
http://www.crucafe.com/

Entertainment:
Private Upstairs Dinning Room available for up to 18 people.

Catering:
Voted Charleston's best caterer consecutively since 2001 by the Charleston City Paper, our Cru Catering branch offers full service customized catering, in-house personal chefs, corporate catering, receptions, weddings and private parties. Please contact us at 843-534-2433.
www.crucatering.com

Parking Details:
Cru Cafe does NOT offer parking. The gravel lot across the street is owned and operated by Palmetto Carriage Company. There is a public parking deck located off Pinckney Street behind the Bank of America building. The address is 200 Meeting Street.

Executive Chef:
John Zucker

Additional:
Banquet, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Takeout, Wine

Restaurant Photos

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Fried Calamari - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
C.A.B. New York Strip - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Slow Braised Bone In Lamb Shank With Mediterranean Couscous, Feta Pistachios And Mint - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Allagash White - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Victory Prima Pils - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Saratoga Sparkling Water - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Smoked Salmon, Capers And Arugula - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Duck - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Salmon Tartare - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Beef Bolognese - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
strawberry shortcake - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Chinese Chicken Salad - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Cheeseburger - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Mesclun Salad With Fried Goat Cheese Balls - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
General Tso's Chicken Caesar Wrap - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Fried Green Tomatoes With Pork Belly Croutons - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Barbeque Beef Brisket & Four Cheese Macaroni - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Grilled Portabello Sandwich - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Berkshire Pulled Pork Burrata With Mozzarella - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
tomato and mozzerella - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
General Tso's Chicken - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Duck Confit Arugula Salad - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
General Tso's Chicken Caeser Wrap With Truffle Fries - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Coconut Fried Oysters - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Tilefish Special  - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Bbq Brisket Sandwich With Mac And Cheese - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Poblano And Mozzarella Fried Chicken - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Pan-Seared Tilapia With Tasso Ham Okra Stew - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Fried Green Tomatoes - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Basil Marinated Shrimp - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Orange Rosemary Bread - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Gnocchi - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Orange Sherbert Cake - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Four Cheese Macaroni - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Butter Lettuce Salad - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Portobello Wrap With Fruit - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Double Cheeseburger - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Napa Cabbage Asian Salad - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Pecan Fried Brie - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Pablano And Mozzorella Fried Chicken  - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Special - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Carrot, Coconut And Ginger Soup - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC
Tilapia - Cru Cafe, Charleston, SC

Cru Cafe Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.8

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.8

service

4.8

ambience

4.4

value

4.5

noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (68)
Local Ingredients (61)
Fit for Foodies (61)
See All
Creative Cuisine (60)
Cozy (51)
Great for Lunch (45)
Open Kitchen (43)
Special Occasion (43)
Casual (42)
Comfort Food (38)
Good for a Date (37)
Authentic (36)
Good for Anniversaries (34)
Historic (32)
Good for Birthdays (30)
Worth the Drive (29)
Romantic (26)
Great for Outdoor Dining (25)
Fun (21)
Healthy (18)
Sunday Lunch (15)
Pre/post Theatre (13)
Quiet Conversation (12)
People Watching (12)
Hot Spot (11)
Outstanding Value (11)
Notable Wine List (10)
Seasonal (9)
Business Meals (9)
Tasting Menu (8)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Great for Brunch (5)
Quick Bite (5)
Afternoon Coffee (4)
Great Beer (4)
Good for Groups (4)
Organic (4)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Private Room (3)
Family Style (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Fireplace (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Molecular Gastronomy (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Happy Hour (2)
Modern Decor (2)
Tapas (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Wood Oven (1)
Dining Occasion:
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2839 reviews
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Food was amazing! Loud for a business me ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 3 days ago

Food was amazing! Loud for a business meal. Will not go as long before returning this time!

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Cru cafe never disappoints and this trip ...

 
 (Nashville)·Dined 3 days ago

Cru cafe never disappoints and this trip was no exception. I went with a group of 8 girlfriends. The food and service were exceptional!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The coffee was to die for their own blen ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 3 days ago

The coffee was to die for their own blend from King bean and the food OMG..we split the shrimp blt and the goat cheese salad and finished it off with bread pudding. Yummo!

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food5
ambience5
service5

We ate at the counter and enjoyed watch ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 3 days ago

We ate at the counter and enjoyed watching the shifts at work. The food was excellent and it was a fun evening

Tags: Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Wood Oven
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A fantastic meal from start to finish. T ...

 
 (Detroit)·Dined 4 days ago

A fantastic meal from start to finish. The fried green tomatoes, short ribs, local beer, and bread pudding were all wonderful. One of the best meals we've ever had. The porch provided the perfect quiet setting for a romantic dinner.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wow, Wow, Wow! Cru Cafe is an eatery not ...

 
 (Richmond)·Dined 4 days ago

Wow, Wow, Wow! Cru Cafe is an eatery not be missed. The food is outstanding. We shared the fried brie salad with honey and walnuts. My wife had the braised ribs entree which simply melted in your mouth with nary a morsel of fat to be seen; I highly recommend it. I enjoyed the thai seafood entree, very flavorful with a slight kick to it. From there we capped off our meal with their "creamsicle orange" cake accompanied by cappuccino.

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

My favorite spot in Charleston! Love lun ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 4 days ago

My favorite spot in Charleston! Love lunch here! Service is always wonderful and the food never disappoints.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Sweet spot, lovely, customer-focused and ...

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 4 days ago

Sweet spot, lovely, customer-focused and accommodating staff and kitchen. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because the calamari, which was delicious, was also greasy. Too much oil basically ruined the dish for us. Otherwise, it was a lovely experience.

Tags: Open Kitchen, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Great place to eat , have never had a ba ...

 
 (Jacksonville)·Dined 5 days ago

Great place to eat , have never had a bad meal . I will be back

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food4
ambience5
service5

One of my favorites and Nate is great! W ...

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on January 10, 2017

One of my favorites and Nate is great! Wonderful service and ambience. Love the menu.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was a very enjoyable experience. Th ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 1, 2017

This was a very enjoyable experience. The food is excellent, service also. It's not a very elegant/fancy place, but we were pleasantly surprised. We will certainly go back next time we come to Charleston.

Tags: Authentic, Sunday Lunch, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Great food on New Years Eve. The appetiz ...

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Great food on New Years Eve. The appetizer of brie was delicious. The filet topped with crab was superb as well as the NY strip that my husband had.

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food5
ambience5
service4

Too busy. I had a 1:45 reservation for l ...

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Too busy. I had a 1:45 reservation for lunch and had to wait 25 minutes. The staff tried to compensate, which we appreciated, but it was too long to wait. I would probably go elsewhere next time because there are so many other options.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

Went here while on vacation and thorough ...

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Went here while on vacation and thoroughly enjoyed everything we ordered! The staff there were so amazing we loved it! We ordered the special steak and it was fantastic!

Tags: Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Late-night Find, Gluten Free Options, Sunday Lunch, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

The service was offensively bad without ...

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on December 31, 2016

The service was offensively bad without the pomp and circumstance to justify such an inferior dining experience. It was off to a bad start when we waited in the entry foyer for 15 minutes before anyone (the host or hostess) acknowledged us. Once we sat down, it was another 15 minutes just to order water / drinks - sadly, General Robert E. Lee was more present than our waitress who only decided to take our order after we flagged her down...which resulted in us waiting more than an hour for just our appetizer. When our entrees did finally arrive, the duck breast was dry and undercooked, more closely resembling a chewy filet gone awry than the succulent delight for which I patiently waited. We immediately paid the check and tipped less than 10% but was tempted to request our money back. The restaurant does a disservice to the city in which it resides, which is so rich with culture and delicious food.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value3

Post Christmas celebration to use up a g ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Post Christmas celebration to use up a gift certificate before it expired! Only had the pleasure of lunch at Cru in the past, and it was wonderful. Dinner was great as well. We all chose the salad with fried oysters which was excellent. Shared appetizers of fried calamari w/Asian slaw, fried brie w/figs, and fried green tomatoes w/pork belly croutons were great as well. Service by Johnny was very warm and friendly. Just make sure you have made reservations well in advance! Our time slot was 5:15, and the restaurant was not crowded when we arrived which was nice, but it was definitely filling up by the time we left.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Great for Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Food is delish

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Food is delish

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food5
ambience4
service5

Great food, great service. I highly reco ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Great food, great service. I highly recommend the mussels.

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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

The restaurant was busy, but we were gre ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 30, 2016

The restaurant was busy, but we were greeted promptly. He was very friendly and brought us wine while were were waited for our table and very quickly after we ordered it. The selection was good, the choices were unique and the food outstanding.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Comfort Food, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We LIVE this place and always have it on ...

vip
 (Dallas)·Dined on December 30, 2016

We LIVE this place and always have it on our Charleston dining "must do's". We were lucky to get the Chef's table and had a fabulous experience. We had scallops with pork belly that was amazing. The mussels were also spectacular. The best was this was an experience night. Chefs table was fantastic to watch!

Thanks Chef Erin, Wilds and Carrie. It was a night we won't forget!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was our first time here and because ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 30, 2016

This was our first time here and because of the high yelp ratings we wanted to try it. Being late December, we were surprised that seating was open on the patio, patio heaters would have been very welcome. Nelia was our server and she was very friendly and extremely helpful with the menu.

We got the ribeye and scallop specials, they were fantastic!!!

Our son got the pasta and cheese.

We had to try the desserts chocolate torte and the bread pudding, they too were outstanding..

I would highly recommend Cru's to any visiting and wanting the best of local and low country. Just make sure your in climate control...

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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Delicious food. Ambiance was just right ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Delicious food. Ambiance was just right for a family of 4 going out for a nice meal.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

We shared three delicious items: wedge s ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 29, 2016

We shared three delicious items: wedge salad, chicken tortilla soup, and a sandwich on sourdough bread with the thinnest, crispiest fries! All were perfectly prepared and delicious. Alway love to eat here whenever we are in Charleston.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food, as always, was excellent. Service, ...

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Food, as always, was excellent. Service, not as always, was initially attentive but quickly turned to occasional and late. We were a two-top so maybe she was distracted by other fours?

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food4
ambience3
service3

Cru Cafe is a must if you're in Charlest ...

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Cru Cafe is a must if you're in Charleston! Came to Charleston for a holiday vacation and was not disappointed by Cru Cafe's food. Definitely make reservations if you don't want a long wait. This place was hopping at 2:00 in the afternoon. Their food is delicious and our waitress was great with suggestions.

Tags: Casual, Hot Spot, Cozy, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food. Duck dish was great

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 27, 2016

Great food. Duck dish was great

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food5
ambience5
service5

The food is creative and very good. We ...

 
 (New England)·Dined on December 25, 2016

The food is creative and very good. We had 3 meals and all were excellent. Small place with porch seating also. Service was good even though it was completely full. Didn't wait for anything.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Open Kitchen
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Had a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner with ...

 
 (Miami)·Dined on December 25, 2016

Had a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner with family. Would definitely go back when in town.

Tags: Historic, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Romantic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My family of 8 including a 10 month old ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 23, 2016

My family of 8 including a 10 month old baby came for a dinner around Christmas time. The staff was extremely accommodating and the food was amazing! We had such a great time! Cru seems great for family events with large groups like this, or a date night occasion as well as there are many small tables. We loved the atmosphere that being in a house provides! Thank you Cru for such a great experience; we will be back!

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Cru Cafe is our favorite restaurant in C ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Cru Cafe is our favorite restaurant in Charleston. Food is always beautifully prepared and the service is attentive, friendly and on cue. Kerry is a delight, in particular. We're never disappointed at Cru Cafe --- except when we're unable to get in...(!)

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food5
ambience5
service5

Really great service and food was delici ...

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Really great service and food was delicious. Charming house turned restaurant.

The only downside was an overly loud person at the next table and the tables are close.

Tags: Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Fantastic restaurant. It's small, so mak ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Fantastic restaurant. It's small, so make your reservation now, but well with it!

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, Local Ingredients, Cozy, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Best meal I had in charleston ???Excelle ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 22, 2016

Best meal I had in charleston ???Excellent in every way,

Tags: , Fireplace, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Johnny our server was impeccable and int ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 22, 2016

Johnny our server was impeccable and intuitive to our confusion of what to order. His recommendations were right on. The fried green tomatoes were awesome. We were celebrating my husband's bday and Johnny put a candle on the bread pudding. That was real special for our dinner.

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food4
ambience3
service5

House smoked salmon is my favorite. Had ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 21, 2016

House smoked salmon is my favorite. Had the short rib which was simply prepared but full of flavor. The staff is very attentive and the manager on duty 12/20 was a pleasure to encounter. We eat here every time we are in Charleston.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Absolutely delicious food and great serv ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 20, 2016

Absolutely delicious food and great service! All four meals were fabulous!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We went here for my husband's birthday. ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 20, 2016

We went here for my husband's birthday. The food was wonderful and the service was excellent. This is a very small restaurant only seating about 36 people and we were a little tight in the corner for a group of 5. It is recommended to make a reservation. It is a little pricey, but most restaurants are expensive in Charleston. I would definitely return to Cru Cafe and recommend it to a friend.

Tags: Cozy, Creative Cuisine, Open Kitchen, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Delish. Johnny was great server. Shrimp ...

 
 (Austin)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Delish. Johnny was great server. Shrimp and pasta for me and short ribs for hubby.

Tags: Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Cute spot, great food and service!

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Cute spot, great food and service!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

We had a wonderful time at Cru. The host ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 17, 2016

We had a wonderful time at Cru. The host was able to seat us quickly at a nice table in the back. We had the fried tomatoes to start and a pistrami sandwich and burger for our mains. All of the food was delicious and excellent. Thank you!

Tags: Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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