Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Birthday To Pearl Bistro

Another of my favorite restaurants is the Pearl Bistro, located at 1475 West 86th Street, just west of Ditch Road. Chef and owner Susan Eichholtz and her staff will be serving a special wine dinner in celebration of their one year anniversary on Wednesday, September 23rd.

Chef Susan has been a supporter of Second Helpings since even BEFORE she opened Pearl Bistro. One of her first staff hires was Chef Mia Nolcox, a rising culinary star who, at the time, was a student in the Second Helpings Culinary Job Training Program. Chef Susan and Chef Mia have participated in two of our major events this year, and have always wowed and delighted the crowds with their outstanding food offerings.

During the day, Pearl is a casual café, offering healthy food choices, particularly during lunch hour. In the evening, Pearl transforms into an eclectic bistro, providing a relaxing and unique dining experience with healthy choices and good flavor in mind.

I took Mama Chef there for dinner a couple of Saturday nights ago, and it was all I could do to get her to leave. We both had the Pork Chop with cheese grits and the sauteed spinach. The pork was cooked perfectly, and the pan sauce that accompanied it was to die for. Unfortunately, we did both have one complaint - there just wasn't enough spinach on the plate.

For dessert, Mama had the fruit cobbler, and I had the chocolate mocha cake. Both were delicious, but the highlight for us was the coffee. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that Pearl Bistro gets its coffee from another one of my favorite places, Harvest Cafe Coffee Company.

Owner Dave Darga and his company pride themselves on roasting every batch to order for each customer. You can read about their philosophy and learn about their products on their website.

One of my other favorites on the menu at Pearl Bistro is the Pasta Rustica - penne pasta in a rich, meaty tomato sauce with Italian sausage. Another not-to-be-missed item is Mia's Tilapia - breaded and accompanied by grilled veggies and pineapple.

The desserts are first rate and always prepared in house and they have small but very inclusive wine list, as well as beers. For first rate food that's healthy and won't bust your budget, I highly, highly recommend Pearl Bistro. When you go, tell 'em I sent you.

Pictured Above: Pearl Bistro's Chocolate Mocha Cake

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