Had a celebratory birthday dinner for my girlfriend at Ivory Pearl last night and was pretty wowed by the experience. This is basically the first meal I’ve eaten out, in a restaurant, since our pandemic hit. I felt fairly safe with the precautions the restaurant seemingly took to distance diners, inside and outside.
With all this said, in a celebratory mode, we let our hair down and ordered up. We started with a dozen oysters( four varieties)-our favorite being the East Beach Blonde from Charlestown, RI. Cocktails are a specialty here, so I had one of their champagne styled concoctions( Champagne Papi made with Ketel One, Koji Rice, Honeydew) that was quite delicious and went well with the oysters. Next we had the caviar service-Snake River Royal White Sturgeon with traditional garnishes( blini waffle, onion, caper, egg white, egg yolk, creme fresh, parsley). I’d never really had caviar before, so this was a bit of a splurge with 5oz of caviar not going very far, but overall quite delicious.
For our main course we enjoyed a few shared plates- Most noteworthy was the sea urchin with tempura, lime and wasabi. A small bite but deliciously mighty; the urchin on top of a tempura(something?)-pretty extraordinary! Also we really enjoyed Rice with Ikura, fatty tuna, pickles(chilis), and more sea urchin(I believe). Really a intriguing combo of flavors, in the realm of Bibimbap. The manila clams with seaweed, lemon and sake were good, but the clams were quite tiny, but I love that dish and I’d say there was butter and garlic also involved with two pieces of toasted bread to help sop up the sauce. More bread would have been nice, as we left quite a bit of sauce in the bowl consequently . Lastly we had grilled asparagus with fermented chili and grilled bread crumbs- very fresh tasting with a little aioli. Enjoyed these plates with another unique cocktail in the martini family(Silk Prescription- with Bombay Sapphire gin and a seemingly strange blend with Dublin blanc truffle cheese and Beurre Blanc), which I wouldn’t know without being told. Quite intriguing , again subtle complexity, with a whiff of the cheese in the aroma. I liked that the waiter, who was utterly fantastic throughout and made great recommendations in the drinks and food, asked if I wanted fruit forward cocktails or spirit forward. I opted for the latter.
For desert we had a delicious seasonal stone fruit( plum) with shiso and lemon Panna Cotta that was tremendous.I love shiso and this combo was quite lovely. The waiter, for the birthday, gifted us two small glasses of an Italian sparkling wine that was delicious and went quite well with the desert. A classy nice touch and ending to a memorable celebration and meal. Not an everyday place, but I was really impressed by the food, drinks, service and atmosphere that we look forward to returning as soon as possible.