grilled shrimp with pancetta, radicchio, mushroom grits,
& madeira demi-glace | sixth engine
After happy hour at Black Jack, I was eager to return to try Pearl Dive Oyster Palace. When my friend R asked me if there were any new places we should try for her birthday brunch this past Saturday, I immediately suggested Pearl Dive.
If the long lines for dinner have kept you at bay, I definitely suggest giving lunch a shot. When I arrived around 12:15, they were able to immediately seat me for 2, and there were still empty tables around us (though, the tables definitely filled up by 12:45ish). I was a tiny bit disappointed that they only had lunch on Saturday, reserving their irresistible brunch menu for Sundays.
We each started with the Albalone Bellini, but don’t let the “bellini” name fool you . . . these drinks are strong! Refreshing. Delicious. But wow.
We also ordered eight oysters to start, and after I requested oysters low on brine, we were served four oysters from Virginia and four oysters from British Columbia. They were both delicious, especially with the green Dive Juice, but I think I prefer the home team from Virginia.
I had read online that Pearl Dive offers free cornbread muffins . . . IF requested. And since I had just finished a long run before lunch, my body was screaming, “FEED ME CARBS!,” so I requested the muffins. And I’m glad I did because they were warm and delicious.
Luckily, one of the 10 items I had eyed from the brunch menu–the grilled redfish with pecan butter and stone grits–was on the lunch menu, so that was an easy decision for me. Any menu item featuring grits will always make my short list, and Pearl Dive’s fish and grits did not disappoint. Somehow it was rich and flavorful without being too “ugh”-heavy. I would definitely order it again and again. . . once I’ve crossed off the other to-tries on my list!
The generous hunk of free-range chicken is fried to perfection (with just enough crunch). When paired with the waffle, collard greens, and not-too-heavy gravy, it’s a bite made in heaven.
As a whole, Marvin, which is a tribute to Marvin Gaye’s soul roots in the Shaw neighborhood and his self-imposed 2-year exile to Belgium, is also just one of my favorite places to dine. The moules frites are also excellent (love those dipping mayos), the drinks are strong, and the atmosphere is simply cool and casual. While you’re there, these are also worth trying: