Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace lunch

Jeff Black opened up a new, more casual restaurant on the exciting 14th St dining row. What a difference two decades make in DC living, an area that was a transitional neighborhood has blossomed into a really exciting dining destination. With a gaggle of gals, we checked out the newest addition for a leisurely lunch over the weekend.
 You can't go to a place with "oyster" in the name without trying the oysters. PDOP has an extensive list of oysters from the east and west coast, with a variety of sauces including a yuzu citrus version. The waiter was well versed in the flavor profile of the oysters, but it would have been helpful to have a written list like Hank's.
 1/2 order Mussels with garlic, tomato, parsley and white wine
 Fries versus chips
The waiter strongly recommended the chips, although one of the group had tried the fries before and highly recommended them. To solve the delicious dilemma, the fries and chips went head to head in an informal taste test. Interestingly, the super crunchy chips appealed to some of the group, while others preferred the short and thin potato fries. 
Cup of Soup of the Day
Mushroom soup with a melange of mushrooms.
 Oyster Po'Boy
Fantastic fried oysters with a crunchy French baguette. The bread was a bit small, for the $10 price tag. I get it, we're paying for the atmosphere and it's not about quantity but quality of the ingredients. I kind of dislike the extra cost for side items but do like the option of a side salad, fries or chips.
$13 "Banh Mi"
$3 banh mi in Eden Center reconfigured a little on the fancy side with shrimp and pork belly for $13 on 14th St. I understand the reason for adding a Vietnamese-influence item, since the restaurant has a New Orlean's theme and the Vietnamese have added their own influence on the food scene in NoLa. The pork belly was a bit on the thick side, making it difficult to eat in the sandwich but a nice bread choice. 
The meal was decidedly leisurely. The gumbo looked nice, although I'm pleased with the mussels and po'boy. If you decide to start off with a dozen oysters, it takes some time for the oysters to be shucked and the price ranges from $2-2.50 each. Select oysters are on special during happy hour, although it sounds like the bar area gets a bit crowded. In all, a good addition to the neighborhood. I'm not patient enough to venture there for dinner because of the no reservations policy, but will stop by again for lunch to try out a few other dishes.

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