Ah, Pearl. What can I say? I try to find your flaws, but you never fail me. You remind me of that perfect album to play for friends when they come over, where all the tracks just rock, where I don't have to get up mid-way and change the song because it's ruining the vibe. Do you know what I'm talking about? It's an easy go-to because it flows just right, from the beginning to the end, where you're not kind of bummed that you spent $14 on something that's just taking up space on your Ipod.
Pearl Oyster Bar really is the same for me. It has a simple classic menu that's not too overwhelming. From top to bottom, the menu lists delicious options, where you really can't go wrong. It's straightforward. No fuss. And all the food is really fantastic + fresh. You can't beat the quality here. I'm trying to find places that measures up seafood-wise (mind you, I'm a California girl at heart) and I haven't met my match yet in the city.
At 6 p.m. when Pearl unlocks its door, don't be alarmed to find a line snaking its way down Cornelia Street. Grab a stool at the bar (I have a particular fondness for sitting at bars in general but their tables are tight but coveted) and order a glass of Riesling or Muscat while you peruse that delightful menu. The milk glass fixtures and thoughtful nautical details add a New England-style charm to this spot, lending to its simple decor and the lively buzz that lingers within these walls.
First up, always, is a dozen oysters on the half-shell. These pungent bivalves and their briny liquor are a big draw. Even if you're an oyster cynic, this place can quite possibly convert you. I recently had my way with 6 skeptical friends, (hands rubbing together in glee) some hardcore seafood haters, and voila! like cupid, the love affair began. With a squeeze of lemon and a touch of mignonette, these oysters are full of bursting flavors.
The friendly staff behind the bar offers little tastings of wine by the glass if you seem a bit unsure what pairing would go best with the fried oysters (a must try!), smoked salmon atop a johnnycake + creme fraiche, or a heaping bowl of Prince Edward Island mussels with a splash of white wine, mustard + cream. The Pearl Caesar rounds out the appetizers really well. It's light and refreshing.
Don't miss their specials board at the far end of the bar; their hot bucket of steamers with drawn butter are delightfully juicy and taste like the sea. But it's the infamous lobster roll with crunchy shoestring fries that truly steals the show, and it's always a toss up between the butterscotch sundae or warm blueberry crumble. A perfect touch if, like me, you prefer an extra dose of oxytocin with your meal.
So, if you travel to New York or if you live in the area and would like to locate the perfect seafood restaurant, make Pearl Oyster Bar your choice. You won't be disappointed, I'm sure of it!
Have you been to Pearl? Do you have a favorite restaurant in your hometown you'd like to suggest that's your great go-to? Comment! Comment!
P.S. This week I had the opportunity to enjoy a special at Pearl with this shiny girl from Another Thing I Wanted To Tell You. She's a doll.
Pearl Oyster Bar 18 Cornelia Street New York, New York 212/691-8211
Lunch Monday-Friday 12pm-2:30pm
Dinner Monday-Saturday 6pm-11pm Closed Sunday
(images by sharon from the good life)