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

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

Loved For

Best Overall
South Carolina
Best Food
South Carolina
Best Value
South Carolina
7 More
Fit for Foodies
South Carolina
Best Overall
Charleston
Best Food
Charleston
Best Service
Charleston
Best Value
Charleston
Fit for Foodies
Charleston
Neighborhood Gem
Charleston
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Neighborhood Gem (89)
Fit for Foodies (83)
Creative Cuisine (64)
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Local Ingredients (63)
Great for Lunch (61)
Special Occasion (51)
Casual (49)
Cozy (47)
Comfort Food (47)
Open Kitchen (45)
Good for a Date (45)
Authentic (41)
Worth the Drive (38)
Historic (35)
Great for Outdoor Dining (31)
Good for Birthdays (30)
Good for Anniversaries (28)
Romantic (26)
Fun (26)
Hot Spot (20)
Quiet Conversation (19)
Healthy (14)
Notable Wine List (14)
Outstanding Value (14)
Sunday Lunch (11)
People Watching (11)
Great for Brunch (10)
Seasonal (9)
Pre/post Theatre (9)
Kid-friendly (9)
Good Vegetarian Options (8)
Business Meals (7)
Great Beer (6)
Quick Bite (6)
Tasting Menu (5)
Good for Groups (5)
Late-night Find (5)
Afternoon Coffee (4)
Organic (3)
Family Style (3)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Private Room (2)
Tapas (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Modern Decor (1)
Fireplace (1)
Vegan (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Scenic View (1)
Happy Hour (1)
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2675 reviews
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Cru is our favorite lunch restaurant in ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 2 days ago

Cru is our favorite lunch restaurant in Charleston. We have never been disappointed. We have taken many friends and family there and everyone loves it. Food is excellent! Wait staff is very courteous and friendly.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Forget all the other stuff, the food her ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 4 days ago

Forget all the other stuff, the food here is 5 star for 3 star prices. We were so impressed we turned our 1 night reservation into eating here three nights. Do yourself a favor and

get to Cru's as soon as you can!

Tags: Notable Wine List, People Watching
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Fantastic!!

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Fantastic!!

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Super yummy! Small location, so you're r ...

 
 (Austin)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Super yummy! Small location, so you're right next to your neighbors but the food was totally worth it

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Enjoyable dinner. Host was polite and pr ...

 
 (Wilmington)·Dined on November 25, 2016

Enjoyable dinner. Host was polite and professional. Waitress knowledgeable and gave good service. I had the trigger fish and was very good. This was a house converted to a restaurant so had a unique atmosphere.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great genuine experience

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Great genuine experience

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food5
ambience4
service5

Had lunch at the Cafe before Thanksgivin ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Had lunch at the Cafe before Thanksgiving. I had the short rib/pastrami with mac and cheese. Both were outstanding. The food selection is always wide enough to satisfy most everyone and it is always terrific. Would definitely recommend going there for either lunch or dinner. Make reservations in advance as it books up early and is a smaller style restaurant.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Noisy, small restaurant. My mussels had ...

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 22, 2016

Noisy, small restaurant. My mussels had a strange texture, and the sauce was bitter. I really can't say much good about it.

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food2
ambience2
service4
value3

Sitting on the front porch on a beautifu ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 22, 2016

Sitting on the front porch on a beautiful day is heaven!

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food4
ambience4
service4

Excellent lunch! Highly recommend it.

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on November 22, 2016

Excellent lunch! Highly recommend it.

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food5
ambience4
service4

Always great, never disappoints!

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Always great, never disappoints!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Best fries on town, but also a really gr ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Best fries on town, but also a really great atmosphere in this old Charleston home turned restaurant. If you can, get a seat at the kitchen bar so you can watch watch the chefs!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Incredible!

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Incredible!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We kicked off our weekend in Charleston ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 18, 2016

We kicked off our weekend in Charleston at Cru and nothing else came close. We had a wonderful experience at Cru. The food was fabulous! Jacob, the owner, actually waited on our table and gave a nice personal touch to our meal. Highly recommend Cru.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Best fried green tomatoes you'll find a ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Best fried green tomatoes you'll find anywhere!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great homey environment after stepping o ...

 
 (Miami)·Dined on November 17, 2016

Great homey environment after stepping off the plane late evening. We enjoyed the Seafood Risotto with an Asian flair and the Short Rib.

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food5
ambience4
service4

It is located in an old house and the at ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 17, 2016

It is located in an old house and the atmosphere was very nice, quiet and cozy. The service was phenomenal and the food was delicious. We would definitely go there again when we are in Charleston.

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

Unique menu. Perfection from each course ...

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 15, 2016

Unique menu. Perfection from each course. Mushroom soup amazing, fried oyster salad wonderful, pork chop so tender. All prepared to perfection. Would go back every time I go to Charleston

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food5
ambience5
service5

Fantastic meal with an awesome atmospher ...

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Fantastic meal with an awesome atmosphere. Wine and beer only, would like to have had the option for a cocktail.

Tags: Comfort Food, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This was our second trip to Charleston a ...

 
 (London)·Dined on November 12, 2016

This was our second trip to Charleston and there are so many great restaurants there that this was our first time at CRU. This is really good food done really well! We had a delicious dinner there, so we went back two days later for lunch. This place is top ten in a city full of great foodie places.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Historic, Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch, Open Kitchen, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great experience! Mussels were outstandi ...

 
 (Columbus)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Great experience! Mussels were outstanding and everything else was quite delicious. Our waiter Johnny was charming and helpful with the menu. Loved that we could bring our own wine (there was a reasonable corking fee).

Tags: Open Kitchen, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Outstanding. Incredibly busy Friday nig ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 12, 2016

Outstanding. Incredibly busy Friday night yet we felt welcomed and unhurried through our delicious meal from appetizers through dessert.

Hands down our new favorite Charleston restaurant!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Ordered calamari appetizer. General Tao ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 11, 2016

Ordered calamari appetizer. General Tao entree and duck special entree. Server ' forgot' our calamari and the entrees were not that great. Did finally get the calamari but it was too salty and had no sauces. To their credit they did complete the calamari.

Tags: Casual
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food3
ambience3
service1
value3

Always my favorite and had been for 15 y ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 11, 2016

Always my favorite and had been for 15 years. Always great food.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is a little gem of a restaurant on ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 11, 2016

This is a little gem of a restaurant on a side street and in a quaint house. The menu is an eclectic take on southern food and it was delicious! I would highly recommend this restaurant

Tags: Romantic, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I was terribly disappointed. Had reserv ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 11, 2016

I was terribly disappointed. Had reservations for 8:15 PM (made 2 months prior) and waited a fair time for a table. Local very small and noisy. No ambiance and heard every word of party at table next to us. Food was not outstanding yet expensive.

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food3
ambience3
service4
value2

Small and intimate space in an old house ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 11, 2016

Small and intimate space in an old house setting. Food was amazing! Service was so friendly and warm. We highly recommend it!

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food5
ambience4
service5

This was one of the best restaurants we ...

 
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 11, 2016

This was one of the best restaurants we have visited. The food was amazing and the staff is wonderful. Wilds was knowledgeable and humorous. We had a great time sitting at the chef's table. Chef took time to discuss the dishes with us and it was so interesting watching her kitchen. We are planning another trip to Charleston just to visit Cru again.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Outstanding Value, Modern Decor, Good for Anniversaries, Hot Spot, Healthy, Family Style, Business Meals, Late-night Find, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Open Kitchen, Comfort Food, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Cozy, Romantic, Great for Brunch, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food at reasonable price

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 10, 2016

Excellent food at reasonable price

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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

A vacation trip to Charleston and told b ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 10, 2016

A vacation trip to Charleston and told by friends (CT) this was a must. So grateful for the recommendation. An absolutely exquisite meal. Comparable to 4/5 star NY restaurants and not gouged on the price. We made reservations weeks in advance and had a 5:45 seating. Would have preferred a little later in the evening, but wouldn't have missed it. Simply delicious and the staff was friendly and charming.

Tags: Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Historic, Open Kitchen, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always a wonderful meal. Very creative s ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 9, 2016

Always a wonderful meal. Very creative specials as well as standard menu items. Great service that is attentive but not intrusive. Has an open kitchen in an older Charleston house. Highly recommend.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Open Kitchen, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Historic, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great food and time as always. The chef ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 9, 2016

Great food and time as always. The chef's specials are always good to try. However, the menu itself is a perfect variety for everyone's taste. It's hard to go wrong eating at Cru Cafe.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fun, Romantic, Good for a Date, Tapas, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Creative Cuisine, Healthy
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

Sat at chef's table. Excellent experien ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 8, 2016

Sat at chef's table. Excellent experience. Will be back.

Tags: Cozy, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Historic, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Open Kitchen, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Worth every minute of waiting! Food is ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Worth every minute of waiting!

Food is fabulous! Staff is terrific!

You must plan ahead and get a reservation.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent! We will be back every time w ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Excellent! We will be back every time we visit Charleston!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Casual
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

Cru Cafe is to be commended for it's con ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 4, 2016

Cru Cafe is to be commended for it's consistency !! All new things are tried, but when I want my old favorites, i have never been let down !!

Tags: Comfort Food, Outstanding Value, Open Kitchen, Worth the Drive, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great food and great atmosphere. Kitchen ...

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 4, 2016

Great food and great atmosphere. Kitchen is a little slow but the food is worth the wait.

Tags: Hot Spot, Open Kitchen
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food5
ambience4
service3
value4

All around excellent lunch. The staff w ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on November 4, 2016

All around excellent lunch. The staff was so friendly and made you feel like an old friend, even though it was our first visit. Had soup special, sweet potato bisque, fried green tomatoes, pastrami sandwich and special burger of the day topped with pork belly, then bread pudding for dessert. Everything was so delicious, usually there is one thing that is just ok, not here. Everything is outstanding and we will dream about going back. You will not regret a visit, go!

Tags: Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Love Cru Cafe for lunch especially. The ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 4, 2016

Love Cru Cafe for lunch especially. The food is always delicious and fresh and the service is amazing. Love sitting outside and watching the horses and carriages as the pass by. Easy proximity to the market when people are visiting from out of town.

Tags: Fun, Paleo Friendly, Creative Cuisine, People Watching, Historic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The fried oyster salad and the trigger ...

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on November 3, 2016

The fried oyster salad and the trigger fish special were both amazing I would definitely order them again. The Thai seafood risoto was just OK, I would skip that next time. We enjoyed our dinner and will go back again

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food4
ambience4
service5

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