Do not confuse this restaurant with the lobster-roll spot of the same name. The reference to pearls is misleading, too: While it sounds like a seafood joint, this is mainly an Italian eatery, with a wide variety of pastas and a whole page of pizzas—plus salads, sandwiches, and meat and fish dishes. The menu still seems to be a work-in-progress—there were some culinary missteps in recent weeks—but the offerings are more hit than miss. From the raw bar, the cocktail shrimp were meaty, with a dipping sauce that was just spicy enough to add kick without overpowering the crustaceans. The insalata caprese was clearly made with fresh ingredients—soft, lightly salted rounds of buffalo mozzarella and thick slices of tomato. Unfortunately, the chef seems to have a heavy hand with the olive oil: A perfectly delicious sea bass fillet was swimming in it (pun intended), as was the tuna-and-salmon tartare. The safest bet: Stick with the pizzas that come out of the large wood-burning oven at the back of the place; they’re thin, not too cheesy and perfectly charred.
|Venue name:||Black Pearl||Contact:|
883 Union St
|Cross street:||between Seventh and Eighth Aves|
|Opening hours:||Daily noon–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: B, Q to Seventh Ave; R to Union St; 2, 3 to Bergen St|
|Price:||Average main course: $18. AmEx, MC, V|