Four of us ate dinner at the "lobster shack" Black Pearl last night (Saturday). My brother and Fiancée had an excellent experience at the bar before we arrived - Friendly staff, fresh and tasty oysters from both the East and West coast. Despite no reservation, we got a table immediately. While the bar and restaurant got more crowded by time we left at 8:45pm, the ambiance was neither too noisy nor over-populated.
The only real disappointment was the smoked fish spread and grilled bread served to every table - I found the spread dry and lacking flavor. The bread was over toasted and some pieces tasted slightly stale.
We shared an order of mussels with garlic, white wine and butter as an appetizer – The mussels were fresh, plump, flavorful and cooked just right. The broth was enjoyable, but could have been reduced more to concentrate its flavor. One mussel portion can easily serve 2-3 people as a light starter.
Three of us had the touted lobster roll ($25). The lobster was fresh and had the salty, rich flavor I like. The only flavoring was a light addition of mayonnaise, and there was a good mix of tail and claw meat. The toasted bun was good and by that I mean did not take-away from the star of the show. Overall it was a very enjoyable roll, not the best I have ever had, but perhaps my standards are too high having gone to college in Maine.
The roll was served with “perfect fries”, coleslaw and pickles. The fries were good, but not perfect. Hand made and cooked to order, they were tasty but unevenly cooked. The larger fries were undercooked and a bit mushy. The cole law was excellent. Fresh with a light mayonnaise based dressing. My brother actually ordered a side of the coleslaw after tasting it.
My brother ordered grilled halibut, which was served with sautéed green beans and pine nuts. The fish was very fresh and cooked well. The green beans were tasty and not over-cooked.
Service was very pleasant, attentive and efficient. The wine list has many wines by the glass and a number of bottles for around $40.
The décor is a bit kitschy lobster shack meets high ceiling Chelsea location.
Overall we all enjoyed the meal and will come back for fresh shellfish and seafood served by friendly and efficient staff at reasonable prices.