I had a work trip come up, so I used the opportunity to dine a second time at Pineapple and Pearls. I knew enough in advance to be able to secure a spot. In the seven months since my first visit, the restaurant garnered 2 Michelin starts in the debut of the guide for the Washington DC area. The format and prices had not changed. As a single diner, the only place I could book a seat was at the bar. But that’s fine, as it meant beverage pairings were optional. Half the meal is charged when you make the reservation and the balance the day of prior to arrival.
Upon entering the restaurant, they offered me one of two pre-dinner cocktails. It was either a whisky cocktail or this, which was a blend of hot white chocolate, mescal, and chartreuse.
After being seated, I was offered the beverage menu, which listed more cocktails, wines-by-the-glass and beverage pairings options (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). This time, I went with the non-alcoholic pairing. I was also offered the choice of still or sparkling water.
The first bite offered was the same as at the first visit – fennel bon bon with a touch of absinthe. Beet sugar formed the shell and inside was fennel yogurt, dehydrated golden raisin zest. Underneath as a chaser was a combination of fennel, sunchoke, apple and celery juice with a splash of absinthe.
The next small bite was a beef tartare wrapped by cured sirloin into a roll. This was topped with paddlefish roe and shitake ash.
My first beverage pairing was a winter pear and vanilla sparking cider.
The next small bite was a hoecake/johnnycake served takoyaki style (grilled pancake in the shape of a ball found commonly as street food) with Périgord black truffle and honey.
The next dish was a compressed napkin that they added hot water to for a finger towel to clean up after the finger food. It was scented with Kafir lime and ginger.
The next dish was a single long housemade chilled udon noodle with Jonah crab, tempura, blood orange, ginger and toasted pumpkin seeds. This was fruity and salty with a nice added crunch from the tempura for texture contrast.
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