Let’s get this out of the way up-front: At the fixed price of $250 per person, a meal at Pineapples and Pearls, chef Aaron Silverman’s beautiful new restaurant in Capitol Hill, is a special-occasion outing. “It’s not just dinner,” says the Maryland-bred Silverman, whose culinary resume includes stints at Sean Brock’s McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina, and David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City. “It’s dinner and a show.”
That price tag—half of which is charged upon making your reservation; the other half is billed roughly 48-hours before dining—delivers an impressive ten- to fourteen-course tasting menu. And unlike many other prix fixe meals, it comes complete with drink pairings—both alcoholic and non—so there’s no cost creep. “When you arrive, everything is already paid for—that’s it,” Silverman says. “All you have to do is have a good time.”
The menu will change weekly, depending on what’s inspiring Silverman. For the first full week of service, he looked to the Far East, featuring such dishes as spring vegetable egg drop soup, white asparagus okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese vegetable pancake), and a pea and rhubarb kakigori (Japanese shaved ice). “With a tasting menu, there’s a lot more intricate food,” he says. “And more thought around the presentation.”
Located next door to Rose’s Luxury, Pineapples and Pearls is a departure in ambiance and style, but the chef hopes it will retain the same warmth. Hence the name; in the South, pineapples are a symbol of hospitality and pearls of elegance. Silverman worked with architect Bill Young at Hapstak Demetriou to create the space; the interiors were the brainchild of Silverman and the restaurant group’s creative director, Brooke Horne. “We wanted it to feel luxurious, but in a very modern way,” he says. “We’ve got a really beautiful installation on the wall by a local artist named Jowita Wyszomirska. It’s incredible.”
If you’re not ready to drop $250 just yet, you can get a quick—and far less expensive—taste on Tuesday through Saturday mornings, when the restaurant operates as a take-away coffee bar and café.