I wasn’t celebrating anything in particular. There was no occasion. Something I’d typically think there should be when trying a new restaurant with a creative tasting menu. But Little Pearl is casual, and the menu reasonable, so I didn’t feel the only excuse to go should be, say, my birthday or J’s. We went because J got a reservation for a Saturday night (albeit at 5:30 pm) and we took advantage of a leisurely summer evening to try something new somewhere old. That is, my old neighborhood on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
We lucked out. That evening was sharp colors and clean lines. The air mostly still and surprisingly light. So I opted to sit outside at a table on the patio in the garden. Music was playing in the background alongside the occasional (actually comforting) hum of Pennsylvania Avenue traffic just a few feet away (past the low iron fence and shrubs). We settled into a bottle of cherry-colored Mount Etna red to sip with about 8 small plates delivered at a nicely lingering pace.
With no written menu, you just trust in the kitchen. Since Little Pearl is from the owners of Rose’s Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls, I had no reason to believe the food wouldn’t be inventive and wouldn’t taste good. And it was and did, from tiny takes on mussels, “deviled egg” meringues and a neat row of precise tater tots, on delicate plates and trays of slate and stone and china and brass. The illusion of choice was that J and I had a variety of tastes to try but were relieved from making the selection. So we sat back in the warm air of the semi-secluded patio with our glasses of wine, watching the neighborhood, looking forward to our next plate (which at posting, would now be a plate at a Michelin starred restaurant.)