The Pearl of Napa
There’s probably a way to write about a restaurant named Pearl without a bad pun, but I’m not up to it.
Lunch today with Harry, who chose Pearl, aptly located on Pearl Street in downtown Napa. The name doesn’t really come from the street, but is related to the oysters they serve raw or roasted with salsa and feta.
I’m not an oyster guy, so I started with the cream of broccoli soup.
This is the illusion of healthy food. It’s really a just bowl of cream they drag a sprig of broccoli through, but it tastes great. Even the croutons were perfect.
Gail had the house specialty flank steak tacos.
Although she really, really liked them, Gail said she wouldn’t order them again because they were way too messy, dripping juice all over everything.
I had the bratwurst sandwich, with grilled onions and celery root slaw.
The sandwich was fine, the celery root slaw was superior. Shredded celery root, orange zest and a tiny chop of apples created an intriguing salad unlike anything I’ve ever had before.
Pearl is owned and operated by a couple, Peter and Nikkie Zeller. Peter runs the front of the house, Nikkie the back. He was our waiter this afternoon, she was in the kitchen.
This is Napa, so of course there is a fancy wine list, and of course I don’t know anything about it. The iced tea was just right, though.
So many modern restaurants are parts of chains, or “restaurant operating companies”. The same company, for instance, owns Maria Maria and McCovey’s in Walnut Creek. It’s a pleasure to go somewhere where the owners are on site and personally making sure that everything is as good as they can make it.