The goods: Nikki Beach owners Jack and Lucia Penrod have resurrected Pearl Restaurant and Champagne Bar, a glam SoBe outpost from 1999 to 2005. Located above Nikki Beach, Pearl is now a cushy salon for sampling dozens of champagnes and luxe eats like caviar and foie gras.
Ambience: Virtually all of Pearl’s original décor has been recreated – orange fur-covered seashell-shaped chairs, a circular champagne bar, white leather banquettes and gauzy curtains. The atmosphere is pure supper club–the music is set to a conversation-friendly level, the lighting is pleasantly dim and cocktail servers are clad in mod white go-go boots and orange mini-dresses. Around 11pm, the space transforms into a nightclubby lounge with a disco-embellished dance floor.
The grub: Eclectic globetrotting cuisine. Executive Chef Sylvain Noel presides over an unnecessarily-complicated menu of Middle Eastern, Latin, European and Asian dishes. Prices are as swanky as the surroundings: starters average $19, mains range from the mid-$20s to the mid-$40s and desserts are a whopping $18 each – but champagne can be had for $12 a glass.
Dinner starts with fluffy focaccia bread and herbed olive oil. From there, it’s onto prawn spring rolls, deconstructed foie gras tamales, lobster ceviche and beet and goat cheese bruchetta. Mains include miso black cod, a Moroccan-inspired organic mixed baby vegetable tagine, sweet and sour pork and a Colorado rack of lamb. Sides of truffle mac n’ cheese and “pommes Dauphines” complement the decadent vibe. Desserts include an unconventional tiramisu, goat cheesecake and banana chocolate infusion laced with peanut butter.
Verdict: A flashy South of Fifth salon for champagne and luxe eats.
Photo by Moris Moreno