We dined at Pearl restaurant in downtown Napa a few weeks past and found it to be a refreshing change of pace from the usual wine country restaurants of the Napa Valley. Pearl is very casual and quaint. On any given night the place is packed with locals and a few smattering of wine country visitors who have heard about Pearl through the grapevine. Pearl has been at 1339 Pearl Street for 12 years, well before the town of Napa reformatted itself into a wine country hot spot. For the most part it has been a well-kept secret among Napa residents. Any restaurant that hangs around for this long a time has to be doing something right.
The food was very delicious. If you are a fan of oysters, Pearl has a nice starter menu of prepared oysters. We loved the flank steak soft tacos and Jose’s famous Chicken Verde. The wine list is adequate, not extensive by any means but priced fairly. Too often a wine country restaurant will have hefty markups on wine or an outlandish corkage fee. Corkage fee at Pearl is $12 and half of this is donated to the Napa Humane Society.
When our check came for our foursome dinner, we were shocked. Clearly, there must be a mistake we thought. Our meal came to $99. Granted, we did bring in our own wine but where else in wine country can you get such a good meal at this bargain price? The night before, we had spent about the same amount per person at a Yountville restaurant.
The Good: Excellent food at very reasonable prices.
The Bad: Not for the wine traveler who is interested in a fancy and elaborate dining experience.