Reporting back on our trip to Washington, DC (February 19-25, 2013) . . .
Third night: PEARL DIVE OYSTER PALACE
So, after Minibar and Rasika, we thought we needed a break . . .
Walking along 14th, Lynn & I passed a number of interesting shops and restaurants, but we were on a mission . . . Pearl Dive Oyster Palace.
Upon our arrival, we took a number and then moseyed into the bar for a glass of Champagne as we waited for our number to flash on the wall (think, "Now Serving Number . . . ") and/or for my cellphone to vibrate ("ooh, baby!") announcing that our table was ready.
It's a funky-looking place -- no white linen table cloths here -- with wooden tables, closely packed (private conversations are all-but-impossible), but the chairs are comfortable and the overall noise level is actually moderate. We started off with two each of the 10 different oysters offered that evening, accompanied by three different "sauces" (and Tabasco). Fresh, clean, flavorful -- yum! Should have ordered 40 instead of 20, but these were perfectly shucked and delivered with surprising promptness, rivaling the best shuckers in NOLA.
Then we moved on to Mariscos de Campechana, a ceviche-like combination of Virginia oysters, blue crab and shrimp, with tomato-serrano salsa, and avocado served with corn tortilla chips -- absolutely delicious! if we could have licked the dish without getting stared out, we would have -- and the Blue Crab cakes (corn & poblano cream, smoked bacon, baby onions, fingerling potatoes), which were good but not great . . .
Our waiter, the bartender, and the Maitre d' were all friendly and helpful -- they knew we were from out-of-town, but made us feel as comfortable as regulars.
Pearl Dive is definitely a "keeper" in our book!