For day two of restaurant week, we decided to do a ladies’ night with some classmates at The Black Pearl, a local seafood and martini bar — best fish tacos in Ann Arbor! Note: their lychee martini is also difficult to rival. The restaurant was completely full tonight: always a good sign.
Appetizer: Choice of watermelon gazpacho with strawberry, fresh garden vegetables, and herbs, or wild mushroom risotto with shitake, oyster, and portobello mushrooms. We went with one of each.
Main course: Choice of their famous fish tacos (tortilla crusted tilapia dusted with cumin and topped with spicy cabbage slaw, chipotle mayo, and pico de gallo), seared rainbow trout with sautéed green beans and topped with almond brown butter sauce, or St. Louis style pork ribs with buttermilk mashed potatoes and spicy cabbage slaw. We went with the fish tacos (obviously) and the ribs.
If you go to The Black Pearl, you are obligated to try these tacos. They are undoubtedly the best thing on the menu! The crispy, breaded tilapia is spicy, flavorful, and well-balanced by the chipotle mayo and fresh toppings. The corn tortillas (corn > flour) are lightly fried, which nicely rounds out these fun handheld eats.
Talk about comfort food! We knew these ribs would be delicious as soon as they hit the table. Slathered in a tangy house-made BBQ sauce, the meat fell right off the bone. The buttermilk mashed potatoes were good, but nothing spectacular; then again, it’s hard to go wrong with mashed potatoes. The slaw marinade tasted almost like kimchi, and its sour, spicy flavor paired nicely with the meat. Apparently seafood isn’t the only thing The Black Pearl does well!
Dessert: Chef’s choice – Black and Tan: brownie and a blondie served over chocolate sauce with a scoop of house-made coffee ice cream.
Made by the local favorite (and internationally known) Zingerman’s, the brownie and blondie were a pleasant surprise when the waitress brought dessert to our table. The brownie was soft, chewy, and oh-so-chocolatey, and the pecan blondie (Alina’s favorite) tasted like Georgia pecan pie in caramel-y cake form. The coffee ice cream was tasty, but nothing to rave about. Though it would’ve been nice to have an original, house-made dessert, it was nonetheless a delicious end to the meal!
After dinner, we all flocked to our friend’s house to watch The Bachelorette with her [male] M.D. roommate (Who says guys can’t dig the Bachelorette?), which made for some good laughs and entertainment. Juan Pablo anyone? 😉