Louisiana bayou-style cooking in downtown Glen Ellyn
A n 830-mile trek separates west suburban Glen Ellyn from New Orleans, but thanks to the recent opening of Rue — French for street- — the food mecca feels a little closer to home.
Owned by Patrick Gibellina, Rue impresses with its take on familiar dishes from the bayou. A knowledgeable server identified Louisiana Gator and Crab Cake as the most popular appetizers. Much-in-demand entrées include Catfish à la Rue, the Cajun Pork Chop and Shrimp Crêole. Two can easily share the crab cake, a flavorful starter even though on our order the kitchen skimped a bit on the meat. Other appetizer options include buttermilk battered Fried Okra, Fried Chicken and Waffle, on-the-half-shell oysters and gumbo, traditional or vegan. Crawfish étouffée scored with a dining partner. The crawfish tails were served with rice and a delicious white wine-Crêole base.
The real star of the show proved to be the Blackened Catfish. A generous portion of the exquisitely seasoned fish came with fresh greens, poached red and orange tomatoes, herb butter and hush puppies — small, savory, deep-fried
fritters made from cornmeal batter). Kudos to Executive Chef Felix Rodriguez.
Gibellina says he intends to continue serving jambalaya and shrimp Crêole dishes that are integral to the cuisine. At the same time, the kitchen staff anticipates menu changes that will reflect spring vegetables and fruits, as they become available.
Still more options include four choices of po’ boy sandwiches on French bread as well as turtle soup.
Rue’s beverage service, managed by Lenny Girik, includes a tidy selection of inexpensive red and white wines available by the glass or bottle. A compact but diverse beer menu includes major national brands and a few artisanal craft brews. Guinness is available on draft.
The bar offers a handful of signature cocktails including Kindred Spirit, made from tequila and grapefruit juice. Rue’s mixologist also does a credit-worthy job with Sazerac, a French Quarter classic made with rye, Peychaud’s bitters and Herbsaint, an anise-flavored liqueur.
Dessert options include bread pudding and beignets, among others. The Bananas Foster, with its ripened bananas, brandy caramel and scoop of vanilla ice cream, is hard to resist.
Live music from blues to jazz is offered on Mondays and plans are in the works to add music on Friday nights as well.
Before opening Rue, Gibellina had successfully owned and operated Enza Sicilian Osteria, serving southern Italian dishes, from November 2015 until mid-September 2017.
Shortly thereafter, Gibellina re-opened the Enza space as Rue. During the two-week transition, new tables and chairs were added as well as a fresh coat of paint.
Seating capacity maxes out at 85. A seasonal patio with eight tables will be open from May 1 to Nov. 31.
504 Crescent Blvd., Glen Ellyn,
Blackened Catfish, Crawfish Étouffée, Bananas Foster
Appetizers: $7 - $12
Entrées: $19 - $28
Burgers: $6 - $7
Mon - Thur: 5 – 9 p.m.
Fri - Sat: 5 – 10 p.m.
Bar open to midnight on Sat
Full bar service,