What better way to come back from a year-and-a-half-long blogging hiatus than with a fresh new site design and a review of the sparkling new restaurant by Aaron Silverman, Pineapple & Pearls?
Two weeks ago, for my thirty-first birthday, Kyle (my husband) surprised me with a dinner reservation at Pineapple and Pearls. As a brief background, Pineapple and Pearls is the brand new restaurant by Aaron Silverman, chef and owner of Rose's Luxury in Capitol Hill. It is a tasting menu that consists of a 15-course meal priced at $250 per person. The price is steep, but unlike most other tasting menu or prix fixe restaurants in DC and elsewhere, it includes alcohol, tax, and tip, which makes it relatively affordable by comparison (see e.g., Minibar). Booking for each week opens up the month before and you pay for the meal online (half gets charged to you a few days before the reservation, half afterwards), so when you finish dinner you can just leave the restaurant. It's brilliant.
We only do meals like this on special occasions, but over the past few years we have been lucky enough to try out a few of these types of restaurants and they generally fall into one of two categories - meals that leave you filled (e.g. Komi in DC or Blue Hill in NYC), and meals that are more about the food's execution than about leaving you over full. P&P falls into the latter category - the visual presentation and the food's execution are impeccable.
P&P only opened in April and has received rave reviews thus far, including from Tom Sietsema, who recently declared Pineapple and Pearls to be an "astounding" dining experience. Sietsema listed P&P as the number one new restaurant in DC, so to say I had high expectations for this dinner is an understatement. In fact, I was so excited about the dinner that I started to get worried that I could only be left disappointed. Thankfully, my worries were entirely unfounded - P&P lived up to the hype and then some.
The entire dining experience was perfection. From the moment we walked in the door, the servers were attentive and the mood festive. You enter through the front of the Pineapple and Pearls coffee shop - which is a functioning coffee shop and sandwich shop by day - and are greeted by the hostess and immediately offered a cocktail while you wait to be seated. The night we went, one of the cocktail options was P&P's take on an Aperol Spritz, which immediately won me over (Aperol Spritzes are my favorite).
The dining room is a small but intimate space with seating for roughly twenty people. The room's design has been thought out to the last detail - it is warm and welcoming with a distinct 70s vibe, including gold accents, wood tones, and chic retro green tiles near the kitchen. At the end of the room is a wide marble chef's counter that overlooks a bright, white kitchen that is bustling with activity. It felt like there were as many chefs in the kitchen as there were people in the dining room, and each one seemed to be engaged in preparing the food the precision of an alchemist.