A Substantial Meal at Black Pearl

When we ate at Black Pearl Sunday night in Denver’s South Pearl/Platt Park neighborhood, we sat by the garage-style window, right by the sidewalk. Had anyone been sitting at the tables below us, we could have eavesdropped. Or leapt onto the sidewalk without much effort. The rain probably discouraged anyone from sitting there, but it didn’t come in the window.

Black Pearl is an elegant space, and all the staff were attentive, though I wish our waiter had been a little less formal. Denver restaurants, South Pearl Denver restaurants, New American cuisine Denver

We could have made a meal of our appetizers. The 6 Eagle Rock oysters from Washington State were silky and dressed in a tarragon mignonette, though I tasted more paprika than tarragon. West Coast oysters; Denver restaurantsThey were delightfully tart and a little spicy. Todd ordered the grilled romaine salad, which was peppery and smoky and grilled just the right amount, which is to say that the greens still had some texture. The dressing was rich, perhaps even gooey, but it seemed appropriate. We couldn’t stop eating the truffle fries, which were encrusted with parmesan and were good even when cool, although the herb aioli was bland.truffle fries, Denver restaurants, New American cuisine

Todd loves scallops, so he couldn’t pass up that entree, which came with a sweet corn crème fraîche sauce, shaved snap peas, and black truffles. I tasted only the scallops, which were perfectly sautéed. scallops, Denver South Pearl restaurantsMy entree, the piquillo peppers stuffed with wild mushrooms and Gruyere, was more substantial, less pretty than Todd’s but more interesting. Overall it was smoky because of the poblano chili oil, and the stuffing was moist rather than cheesy, but the jalapeño added bite and both it and the cauliflower contributed some crispness—though not quite enough.

If I hadn’t been so full from all the rich, smoky food, I would have ordered the drunken pear and chocolate mousse. Or the lemon meringue tartlet with thyme chocolate ganache. Next time.

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