Over the last few months we’ve been hearing a lot about The Pearl, the newest restaurant concept from Cameron Mitchell. We know it will feature an oyster bar, and that the exterior signage looks pretty amazing, but we haven’t heard too much about the actual menu itself and what kind of dishes we can expect from this new Short North dining establishment.
“The concept is a ‘gastropub’, which are very popular in London as well as several of the larger US cities,” said Peter Chapman, Executive Chef at The Pearl. “If I were to explain the concept to another chef, I’d say that there’s a lot of vinegar, pickles and acidity to everything. We’re making everything in house, from kielbasa and sausage to smoking our own salmon and brining our own pickles.”
In addition to featuring house made staples, many other ingredients are being sourced from high quality providers both locally and nationally. The kitchen technique has been described as similar to what is used at M at Miranova.
“This is the first Cameron Mitchell restaurant that I’ve been involved with since the the test kitchen period, so everything on the menu has a little bit of me in it,” said Chapman. “So naturally, I’m excited by just about everything on the menu.”
Some of Chapman’s favorites dishes include the Artic Char served with roasted cauliflower and a cauliflower puree, and the Hanger Steak, which is marinated in pineapple, served atop a bed of kimchee fried rice and finished with a fried egg.
“Cameron is also excited about our Southern Fried Chicken,” added Chapman. “It comes with a house made cinnamon roll and cider braised greens. He was always asking about that dish in our test kitchen.”
The Pearl also contains a “snacks” menu designed for pub grazing at the bar either earlier in the evening or during late night visits. Dishes include rollmops — a pickled herring filet wrapped around a house made pickle and served with sour cream — as well as deviled eggs and fried cheese curds.
“The curds are perfect for when you’re hanging out late night,” said Chapman. “They’re wrapped in potato flakes, so they’re almost like a cheese curd inside a french fry, served with gravy.”
Of course, one of the biggest draws of The Pearl comes from the oyster bar, which takes up the wall opposite of the main bar area. Several seats are available right up front where customers can dine while watching fresh shellfish geting shucked.
“We’re featuring three east coast oysters and one west coast oyster flown in fresh every day,” explained Chapman. “In addition to the cold options, we also feature hot clams on the half shell baked with butter, herbs and bacon, and baked oysters with a spicy paprika butter.”
Last but not least, a weekend brunch menu is in the works, which will launch on Saturday, March 9th.
“We will have five brunch items in addition to the full regular menu,” said Chapman. “My favorite brunch item is the short rib poutine — thick cut fries, gravy, short rib falling off the bone and our cheese curds. It’s a heavy breakfast, but will be perfect after a long night out.”
The Pearl will host its public grand opening on Tuesday, February 5th at 641 North High Street in The Short North.
More information can be found online at www.thepearlcolumbus.com.