Well, here’s one you don’t see mentioned as often as it should be. Let’s take a moment to talk about Pearl On The River. Pearl is a nice escape on the river which is open year round. It takes a certain business model to see any kind of long term success on the river and Pearl seems to have the chops to go the distance.
There aren’t many bells and whistles at Pearl, but they do have something very important- consistency. Chef Mathew Jones is an integral part of keeping this machine well oiled. Chef Matt’s progressive way of thinking and overall control of the kitchen seem to spill out into the front of the house.
The restaurant offers a nice selection of small bites as well as a creative and tasty full menu. As luck would have it, I was introduced to this restaurant and Chef Mathew by accident. Back in December, my wife had her company Christmas party booked at Crawdad’s which had been planned for months. To my dismay I came to find out that Crawdad’s decided to close for the winter at the last second which quite obviously left us scrambling on a moment’s notice to find a new place that would accommodate a party of ten on less than 48 hours notice during the Christmas season.
Coincidentally Chef Adam Pechal put me into contact with Chef Mathew Jones. The coincidence comes into the story here because Chef Adam was, prior to this incident, part owner at Crawdad’s where the original reservation was held. Adam had already separated his business relationship with the remaining ownership at both Crawdad’s and Pour House where he was overseeing the culinary program as well. Pechal had already cut the cord several months before the Christmas season for his own reasons and kept it quiet, or as quiet as a guy like Pechal can keep things in this town anyway.
Could one of those reasons be because the owners at Crawdad’s made it common practice to do things like take large party reservations then decide to shut down without notifying their guests? Who knows? What I do know is Chef Adam is on to better things in his career.
Getting back to Pearl On The River, Chef Mathew not only picked up the ball where it was dropped by Crawdad’s, but came out to greet the table and speak with our guests making everyone feel welcome and more importantly, like we had just discovered a gem in the shape of pearl.
It’s worth noting that Pearl has a lot to offer AFTER you’re done eating. There is a nice little selection of dessert options as well as some diversity on their coffee drinks. What’s better than enjoying dessert out by the river after a nice dinner? Perhaps pairing it with a nice Sauternes, Late Harvest Chardonnay or Moscato. If none of these are what you crave then maybe a nice Cognac or Armagnac might be more your style.
The bottom line here is sometimes you can find something cool when you aren’t even really looking, and sometimes the things you think are cool actually suck. In the spirit of being completely fair to all involved, we did end up receiving a phone call from a hostess at Crawdad’s at 7:30 pm the night prior to our reservation. Had we not already made alternate plans this phone call would have come in just in time to accomplish absolutely nothing but I still thanked her for her effort. This girl took it upon herself to do so, not the G.M., and certainly not the owner. In all honesty if a minimum wage employee has more common courtesy, work ethic and overall business sense than those in charge then perhaps said business should call it a day. As always, this is just my opinion.