Pineapple & Pearls - Washington, D.C.

1900 hours, Washington D.C., the nation's capital, where moves are made, deals are signed and the power crowd mingles. Many a day & night are spent behind desks and conference room tables to get things done, but this blogger prefers to sit behind the bar of an unfussy yet world class restaurant. Restaurant bars used to be seen as a form of a penance, a holding area until the real experience was ready, but at Pineapple & Pearls, the bar is one of the experiences. Don't be fooled, the service at P&P's bar is just as spot on and pleasantly attentive as - I imagine it is - in the main dinning room. The wonderful bar tending team, who's names I should remember, were on top of it all; food, beverage and hosting, all night long. 

The restaurant's ambiance is synonymous with its name; Pineapple - the emblem of warm hospitality, complimented by pearls - a symbol of elegance. At P&P you truly feel a comfortable air of luxury all at once, no pretentiousness, which matches the little 8th street promenade in the South East part of town perfectly.  

The Pineapple & Pearls story begins in April 2016, catapulting to immediate success, being recognized with two Michelin stars in Washington D.C.'s first Michelin guide. The bar menu was introduced two years later as a result of guest feedback, requesting a shorter menu as an alternative to the nine course menu offered in the main dinning room and Chef's counter. 

Speaking of the man who helped launch it all, Chef Scott Muns, so happened to be available for the job when former colleague and Owner-Chef, Aaron Silverman, asked him to run the kitchen- talk about good timing. Chef Muns maintained the restaurant's two Michelin star rating throughout his time in the position and in February 2019 switched to the role of Research, Development & Education director for the restaurant group. Chef Silverman took over the position and along with the entire P&P team, maintained the rating in the 2020 version of the guide and is who I have the pleasure of thanking for the delicious meal below. 

 Left: Maine Uni *Arepa - Barrel Aged Soy Sauce Emulsion with Pickled Fresno Chili
Right: Tamago Arepa - Barrel Aged Soy Sauce Emulsion with Pickled Fresno Chili 
*Arepa is a patty-like food made with ground maize dough. For this bite, it's used as the base layer.

 Welcome Cocktail - Scotch, Earl Grey Tea & Orgeat

Smoked Tallow Tart - Red Onion Gelée & Rosemary 

Polu Pinneapple - Plantation Pinneapple Rum, Tepache,
Simple Syrup, Lime, Blue Curaçao

I did not choose this option for my aperitif, but thought I'd share the fun concept as I've only been offered a "make your own cocktail" a few times before, and this is the first time it was presented as such. That evening guest's choice of ingredients for "make your own cocktail" were honey, plain yogurt, coffee beans, rice and basil. Choose two and a "Library Lounge Cocktail" is concocted based on your preferences. This was inspired by Chef Silverman's experience during a trip to Japan.

 150 Layer Lasagna - Lobster, Blue Crab & Clam Fra Diavolo

Créole Style Blackened Monkfish - Charleston Ice Cream, Mussels & Étouffée

 Summer Charcoal Grill:
1- Grilled Shenandoah Valley Lamb, Pomegranate Glaze, Merguez Sausage
2- Cobia Fillet
3- Flowers & Herbs with Braised Vegetables, Smoked Crème Fraȋche with Anchovies,
English Pea & Fava
4- Cobia Tartare with Coconut Creme and Grapefruit
5- Harissa Emulsion
6- Mint & Parsley Chimichuri

 Birch Sticky Toffee Cake with Summer Berries
Served on a bowl with lid

 Underneath the lid - Black Chestnut Ice cream

To make a great long story short; when I saw this bottle of Gold & Gold Nikka whisky high up behind glass in the cabinets of the bar it reminded me of a family story which I shared with the bar tendress. As a farewell and quite generous gesture, I was offered a pour on the house to end the evening.

Throughout the dinner service I couldn't help myself, and ever so often would look over my shoulder to see what was happening in the dining room and at the Chef's counter. Smart waiters zipping around and like a natural extension of the restaurant, they would often come to present dishes at the bar - "oohs" and "aahs" followed, seemingly difficult to tell that there was any separation between the two rooms.

With no dramatic city view or ostentatious presentations, Pineapple & Pearl more than delivered an exceptional experience. Not needing the former two as they made up for it with the feeling that I was dining at a friend's house, and what better luxury is there than being comfortable? For more information please visit 

On the other side of town you'll find another one of Washington, D.C.'s Michelin dining options, casual and rustic, the Blue Duck Tavern


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