Zagat editor Kelly Dobkin stops by Pearl & Ash, a new restaurant on the Lower East Side that combines flavors and styles from around the world.
Pearl & Ash
220 Bowery, Manhattan
Corton and Frej alum Richard Kuo is the chef behind Pearl & Ash, a recent lower Bowery addition. Kuo melds a variety of influences and techniques to create the globally-inspired menu.
"We wanted somewhere where we can sample a lot of different dishes and at the same time be extremely financially approachable," Kuo says. "If someone wants to come in and eat their way through the entire menu, then we treat it as a tasting menu. And you can also eat your way through as a three- or four-course dinner."
Asked about his favorite dishes, Kuo answers, "Scallop is definitely one of them. We lightly dust them in Berbere spice and we blowtorch it, so it’s just cooked through on the surface. And we marry that with a fennel salad, lily bulb and a little bit of lemon juice and that's it."
The space features a partially open kitchen in the back and its two walls contrast elements of light and dark.
"The wall blends the industrial feel and nature of the space into something that's flowing and organic, which is something quite incredible," Kuo says.
Pearl & Ash also offers a stellar wine program curated by wine director Patrick Cappiello.
"I've tried to use wines that have acidity and have good structure and wines that maybe aren't overripe. Especially with the food and what Richard does, we want to provide something that's harmonious with his food and elevates it. That's the goal," Cappiello says.
I find the wine to be subtle yet strong, and Cappiello says, "I like that, that’s a new tasting note for me, subtle yet strong."