Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack
Chuck and I finally paid a visit to our new neighborhood restaurant, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace. We are big fans of freshly shucked oysters and eat them at home on a regular basis, so it was a must for us to check out the scene. We arrived at Pearl Dive around 7 o'clock on a Friday night and were greeted with an hour wait. Unlike your normal buzzer situation, Pearl Dive has a wall counter similar to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The same counter is also in the bar upstairs (equipped with it's own menu), Black Jack, so we made our ascent to enjoy a few pre-dinner drinks.
We arrived at a very different scene from the restaurant we made reservations for, and walked into a dark bar full of 20-something hipsters. Black Jack has an extensive beer list including a large selection of canned beers and quite a few craft beers on draft. I opted for the frozen Blood Hound, a strawberry flavored cocktail that was not too sweet, and Chuck went for a Fat Tire. There are a few tables to sit at, as well as cocktail tables perfect for standing at with a group of friends. As expected, an hour later our number flashed on the counter and we made our way downstairs to try some oysters.
We started with a dozen of the mixed premium oysters (50 cents extra), from Washington, Rhode Island, and Maine, and four sauces. These oysters were incredibly plump and briny, and each sauce added it's own unique flavor, my favorite being Yuzu-Mirin, and Chuck, well, he likes them with the classic freshly squeezed lemon juice. We highly recommend mixing and matching your oysters, as you can learn a bit about what size and taste to expect from different coastal areas. I was especially happy when our waiter was able to score us a couple of Massachusetts oysters (Yankees suck!).
We split a perfectly fried oyster poboy served with seasoned fries and ended the evening with one last round of raw oysters. If you've done your math, you know that Chuck and I each gobbled down 1.5 dozen raw oysters each. While yes, it was a bit...gluttonous, the oysters were so good and we were having a great time. Perfect date night spot in our opinion (although the table next to us appeared to be split on the oyster loving/hating).
Pearl Dive has a happy hour with 1/2 priced draft beer and discounted oysters. If you are a fan of oysters, shuck it out - you won't be disappointed.