The Bowery is the new center of food central in New York City. With a slew of restaurants that opened in the last few years and more to come I stopped by Pearl & Ash from the creative minds of Richard Kuo(food) and Patrick Capiello(wine). This small but consistently packed restaurant lies across from the New Museum and features an outstanding wine list and serves mainly small plates. There is a good size bar that you can sit at if you did not make reservations (you should) and an open kitchen at the rear of the restaurant.
The service from the hosts to the bartenders is very friendly and accommodating. I got to try multiple wines before making a choice and was encouraged to do so. A Zeitgeist Troussou Gris was a great opener for a wine vibrant in stone fruit and just coating the tongue perfectly. For heavier dishes I had a Andrea Calek "Chatons de Garde" full of dark fruit. The wine list that Mr. Capiello has put together is vast and very friendly to all types of budgets, this is definitely a wine lover "must-go-to" in NYC.
If the fantastic wine selection is not enough, the food by Chef Kuo is not only mind blowingly tasty, it is also gorgeous to look at. Chef Kuo was formerly at WD-50 and Corton to name a couple restaurants, but he has really created some special offerings here at Pearl & Ash. The menu is divided up by main ingredient in the dish. As mentioned before all the plates are on the smaller size but they can make larger portions of most dishes for a larger price. The following dishes were thoroughly enjoyed there:
hanger tartare, egg, cocoa, melba - a literal deconstruction of steak tartare, you basically grab a chunck of bread with some meat and wipe it through the egg, delish!
octopus, sunflower seed, shisho - I love octopus and this dish did not let me down. Perfectly charred and al dente.
cauliflower, hazelnut, shishio - This side dish came in a small bowl and I swear I could eat a whole bowl by myself. This is the best vegetable dish I have had since Dirt Candy. Get this when you go.
squid, lemon, chili, oregano - A beautifully balanced dish with brightness and a little heat to it.
sweetbread, sherry, heart of palm, morcilla - perfect little, crispy chunks of sweetbreads accompanied by mushrooms, yes!
lamb belly, garbanzo, black garlic, carrot - succulent with just a bit of the lamb flavor, another dish that made me happy.