Pearl & Ash is a small plates restaurant (by Chef Richard Kuo) and wine bar that opened in NYC in February 2013. The combination of flavors, textures, and the plating of the delicate food at Pearl & Ash make me want to go back for more. Pearl & Ash takes its wine very seriously – the wine list chosen by Wine director Patrick Cappiello is 27 pages long! The wine list has a heavy representation of old world wines (mostly French), although California and New York are also represented well among the new world wines. I expected to see more wine by the glass on the wine menu.
At Pearl & Ash, all dishes include vegetables, but vegetarians and vegans are likely to find very limited options that are completely vegetarian or vegan on the small plates menu. I had to look online for many of the ingredients listed in the dishes (fernet branca, maitake [hen of the woods is another name], wakame, etc.) The dishes listed in the vegetables section include chorizo and boar bacon – perhaps these can be skipped, but the dish may end up lacking in something (flavor or texture) that is meant to be key to the dish.
The food at Pearl & Ash feels delicate and it’s not too heavy on carbs or fat. The portions served at Pearl & Ash are really small, we were fine with the portion sizes because we were not super hungry. We ordered 4 plates and a dessert between the two of us and felt that we barely got a few bites from each dish we ordered. The menu / server could suggest something to the extent of “we recommend ordering 2-3 dishes per person”.
I would love to go back to Pearl & Ash for the delicate and light yet extremely satisfying small plates! I felt that the food here at Pearl & Ash is comparable to the food served at Gwynett St and at Musket Room although neither of them are a small plates restaurant and the vibe in all these restaurants is very different.
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