Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Black Pearl

No Worries, The Rum Is Not Gone…

(Part 1)

Occasionally, the food gods are with us.  Sometimes we find the perfect location, the perfect setting, the perfect people, and the perfect staff.  Our visit to the Black Pearl was one of those times.  On the evening of our visit, we had one of those awesome Colorado snowstorms.  The kind that isn’t considered a blizzard but is bad enough to keep most people at home.  Of course, we here at MenuManiacs HQ do not let a little thing like weather interfere with our scheduled dinners.  We do this for you, people.  Well, you and our appetites but still mainly for you.

The Black Pearl is located at 1529 South Pearl Street in Denver.  The restaurant itself is in a renovated house and is made up of basically two sections.  The first being a dining area and the second being a bar setting consisting of a few high tables and chairs for people taking advantage of the happy offers they offer from Wednesday to Thursday.  Brunch is offered from Friday to Sunday, and they are currently offering a summer wine series the second Wednesday of every month thru October.  Please be sure to visit their website for complete details.

We visited the restaurant at a great time because they are planning to close down for a few weeks to redecorate and launch a brand new menu.  That means we will be able to do our very first two part blog.  Also, it gives us a chance to go back to try their brunch.

No meal would be complete without cocktails.  Per our server’s suggestion, we tried The Blood Orange Daquri, an Arnold Palmer with lavender lemonade, and a French Rattlesnake consisting of Bourbon, Caliados, and French Chartrusse.  Also, we tried a shot of whiskey from Laws Whiskey House, a local Colorado company.  Please visit their website for more info.  Tours are available.

From the first bites menu, we ordered their chicken wings.  They are traditional buffalo wings served with a blue cheese sauce.  The chef is actually from Buffalo so these are the real deal.  We especially liked the fact that they weren’t overly sauced or too spicy.  Arthur, our server, suggested we try their calamari as well.  These are served with a sweet soy glaze, scallions, and pistachios.   We had a pretty bad experience the last time we tried calamari so we were a little hesitant; however, The Black Pearl’s calamari is a must try.

Green Chile
In addition to the appetizers, we also ordered the House Mix Salad consisting of locally sourced organic mixed greens with herb oil vinaigrette and house ricotta.  It was simple and delicious.  Also, we shared a bowl of their daily soup creation.  It was a Green Chile Soup that was more flavorful than spicy.  It was a great choice for a snowy night.

Spinach Pasta
For the main courses, we started with the Spinach Pasta.  This is their house made spinach infused linguini with heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, and fresh basil.  We also selected the Half Roasted Chicken with baby rainbow carrots, potatoes, and herb veloute.  Because we are beef eaters,  we tried their NY Strip.  The steak was grilled with smashed Yukon gold potatoes, a wild mush blend, and a delicious demi glaze.  The potatoes were our favorite part of this dish.  Simply made with only salt, pepper, butter, and cream.  They were creamy and delectable.  

Grilled Pork Chop
The absolute best dish of the evening was their Grilled Pork Chop.  Another locally sourced dish, this bone-in pork chop was simply seasoned and cooked perfectly.  As if the pork chop wasn’t the star already, The Pearl took it to a whole other level.  They served it over a bed of what we think is the most original and unique risotto we have ever tried.  We are talking about a pork belly cheddar risotto.  This risotto is absolutely amazing having a macaroni and cheese with bacon type consistency.  All of us at the table were fighting over it.  Seriously, it almost turned into a cage match situation.  Honestly, they could just serve this risotto and we would be ok with that. 

NY Strip Steak
Our excellent server, Arthur, was a great guy.  He knew the menu backwards and forwards and didn’t hesitate to suggest what we should order.  He didn’t steer us wrong once.  Thanks to Arthur for being such a sport and helping make our experience so much fun.  It is always a pleasure to have a fun, well- educated staff to help guide us through the menu.
Roast Chicken
We were elated when the executive chef came out to speak to us.  Chef Kevin King is probably our favorite chef to date.  He was so kind and generous.  Also, his excitement about the restaurant and the food he creates is infectious.  So often, chefs tend to get caught up in the status or their job and forget that what they do is supposed to be fun.  We really appreciate Chef King.  Be sure to say hi to him when you visit The Black Pearl and tell him MenuManiacs sent you.  According to Chef Kevin, his philosophy regarding food is very similar to ours.  He feels that the simpler the ingredients the better.  He wants the flavor of the meat or the flavor of his pasta to come through and have the sauces and the seasonings simply add to and not detract from the flavor.  We can’t tell you how much we love that.  He also explained their meat selections are only locally sourced, 100% natural, farm raised, grass fed animals.  That really makes a difference.  Also, because the restaurant is a remodeled house, they have the luxury of having a backyard where they grow most of the vegetables and herbs used in their dishes.  For their brunches, they make their own jams and sell them to the public.  In fact, he was kind enough to give us a sample of his strawberry jam and it was simply delicious.  He was so excited about his new menu and new look after the remodel.  We are looking forward to seeing Chef Kevin again for round two.

Molecular Chocolate Cake
Even after our wonderful visit with Chef Kevin, the evening wasn’t over.  For a special treat, the Sous Chef Cody brought us a dessert not yet offered on the menu.  He called it a Molecular Chocolate Cake.  It is a soy lecithin mix frozen with nitrogen and chocolate.  Served with berries, it looks like almost a gelato on the plate.  As soon as you place it in your mouth, it just melts away into a delicious "cocoa cloud" for lack of a better term.  We really hope this makes it onto their new menu because it was one of the most original desserts we have tried thus far.

Without a second thought, we gave Chef Kevin, Chef Cody, Arthur, and the rest of the staff our coveted Golden Spoon.  All hail ye, food gods for guiding us to The Black Pearl!  Thank you again for such a perfect meal on an equally perfect Colorado evening.  We are counting the days until we come back to see the remodel.

Black Pearl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
The Officially Unofficial Voting Legend
Take it with a grain of salt, we're not professionals.
Awesome place, we’ll shovel more food in our face!
It was okay. Not our favorite, but we’ll take another stab at it.
Didn’t make the cut.