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Review

Emma Shepler

Pearl

Written by
Emma Shepler

There are some situations in life that you never want to leave: your first road trip, a yoga class that ends with a ten-minute savasana, or an open-bar wedding with mini lobster rolls and a ban on any Pitbull songs. We feel the same way about Pearl, a neighborhood restaurant where you’ll meet your friends for dinner and end up staying for hours.

Emma Shepler

Located on a quiet street in the Richmond, Pearl looks like a cross between a Southern mansion and the apartment you wish you had, with cushy leather booths, high ceilings, and plenty of natural light from the big windows. It’s somewhere you’ll feel at home as soon as you walk in and even if it’s your first time here, the friendly staff will still treat you like a regular - somehow knowing how you take your coffee and all about your secret fear of Pomeranians.

The food here has some Mediterranean influence, like a roasted cauliflower with black tahini hummus or duck confit with couscous - everything is really comforting and great for sharing. We’d pass on the heavier entrees and stick with the pastas and smaller plates, like the halibut crudo with nuoc cham, strawberries, and serrano peppers, and the white bolognese. Also, make sure to save room for dessert.

Luckily, Pearl isn’t slammed with lines out the door, especially on weeknights. So you’re free to linger over another cocktail and do your best to spend a little more time here than you expected.

Food Rundown

Emma Shepler
Chicory Caesar

This salad is made by the garlicky croutons, crispy pancetta, and very appropriate amount of caesar dressing. Plan to share this, it’s a lot for one person to take down.

Halibut Crudo

Light and fresh and very much worth your time. The strawberry and serrano peppers give it a summery twist we like.

Shishito Peppers

Not a must-order. They’re solid, but you can save room for other dishes - we’ve had better versions elsewhere in the city.

Cauliflower With Black Tahini Hummus

The roasted cauliflower is crispy and the black tahini hummus is rich, complex, and probably could be massaged into your skin as some sort of youth serum. It’s fantastic.

Emma Shepler
Handkerchief Pasta

The white bolognese is our favorite pasta on the menu. It’s rich without being super heavy, and something we never come here without ordering.

Lemon Verbena Panna Cotta

The dessert menu changes, but if the panna cotta is on the menu, order it. It comes with dollops of strawberry compote and is topped with a coconut crumble we’d like to buy bags of and eat for breakfast.

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