Charleston flexes its mussels in different ways

Post & Courier – December 3, 2014

by: Hanna Raskin

As much as I hate to disappoint my various dinner companions, all of whom seem to share an otter-like obsession with mussels, I almost always try to squirm out of ordering mussels when reviewing a restaurant. I have nothing against mussels, really: I love seeing their inky black shells knocking about a paella or bouillabaisse, and I’ve more than once gorged on sweet, mushroomy mussels newly plucked from Northwest beaches. But a bowlful of imported bivalves, steamed and submerged in a rudimentary wine sauce? That’s surely not the best gauge of a chef’s skill, and it inevitably leads to eating half a loaf of bread, which is unwise when stomach space is crucial.

39 Rue de JeanMussels mariniere, $9.99

Mussels are very nearly Rue de Jean’s raison d’etre: The restaurant offers six different preparations and two portion sizes. If you’re craving bacon blue cheese mussels, Rue de Jean ought to sit atop your local mussels list.

And even if you’re sticking with white wine broth, Rue de Jean’s mussels fixation has an important upside: The wine list is uniquely suited for a mussels session. While diners at other restaurants are forced to choose between Riesling and Chardonnay, Rue de Jean pours Muscadet and Sancerre by the glass…

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