NYC: Pearl & Ash, Innovative New American TapasSunday, April 20, 2014
Today I wanted to drop by quickly and share this post long overdue. I came to Pearl & Ash as a party of 4 in November 2013, a month before it hit the Best of 2013 and Where to Eat in 2014 lists that were all released shortly after my meal. I was a bit surprised that it was the new "it" place to eat in Manhattan, since my experience there was good but not great.
Pearl & Ash is well known for their extensive wine lists but I'm not an expert in that category. I'm more of a cocktails girl and after trying the Area Code (Cardamaro, Grapefruit, Ginger Beer and Maple Syrup) and Teenage Jesus (Manzanilla, Pressed Pineapple, White Ale, Orgeat),I wasn't too impressed. Maybe I should have stuck with the wine.
What I did enjoy about Pearl and Ash is their intimate and cozy decor. I love their use of raw materials such as their beautiful chandelier made of lightbulbs and copper piping.
The menu was split into a few categories: raw, small plates, fish, meat, and vegetables. Overall, my impression of the food is that while it's beautifully plated and quite innovative in the use of ingredients, very few dishes were memorable enough for me to recommend to others.
Also, all the dishes were heavily salted in a way that distracted from the natural flavors of the beautiful ingredients. We ordered 16 dishes (including 1 small bread course and 2 sides), which ended up being a bit too much. I probably would have skipped out on some of the raw courses if I came again.
I'll go through what we had, and will point out the dishes I really enjoyed.
|Hamachi, jalapeño, stonecrop, verbena - $12|
|Fluke, pomegranate, sunchoke, kaffir lime - $11|
|Hanger tartare, egg, cocoa, melba - $12|
I really wanted to enjoy the tartare since it looked so beautiful, but it felt so dry and just salty.
Two dishes from the "Small Plates" section stood out to me. The octopus below was charred beautifully, not too chewy and was deliciously flavored. The poached egg was delicate and I enjoyed the foam it was paired with.
|***Octopus, sunflower seed, shiso - $13|
|***Poached egg, trumpet royale, maitake, wakame - $12|
|Tea cured salmon, goat cheese, tamarind, seaweed - $11|
|Chicken Butter, bread, maple syrup - $4|
The cod was cooked perfectly and was paired with a thai-flavored coconut broth. If you're into thai flavors, this one's definitely good to order.
|***Cod, coconut, thai basil, lemongrass - $14/26|
|Lobster, chanterelle, pear, vanilla - $17/$32|
|Skate, endive, chestnuts, mustard leaf - $14/$26|
|Lamb belly, eggplant, cashew, oregano - $14/$27|
|Skirt steak, horseradish, watercress, black trumpet - $17/$29|
|Rabbit sausage, parsnip, shallot, kale - $15/$28|
Loved these fried potatoes, but I always love fried potatoes. They were super crispy on the outside, topped with a mushroom mayo with a strong hint of chorizo - it was a tad salty, but I was still into it.
|***Potatoes, porcini mayo, chorizo - $9|
|Kabocha squash, apples, boar bacon, mascarpone - $9|
|Concord grape, white chocolate, date cake - $9|
|The filling inside the dessert made it look like a deviled egg! Pretty interesting!|