Pearl Brasserie marks a return to classic French cuisine for Executive Chef/Partner Jason Paskewitz and is slated to open on August 23. Located in the center of Chicago’s Loop district and alongside the glistening Chicago River, the all-new Pearl Brasserie focuses on French fare and traditional brasserie favorites with modern spins, all served in an opulent atmosphere evoking the glamour and grandeur of 1920’s Paris. For his newest project, Paskewitz teams up with General Manager and Beverage Director Steve Carrow (formerly of The Lunatic, the Lover, & the Poet and Naha), who leads the restaurant’s front-of-house team and curates the European-inspired cocktail and French-driven wine programs.
At Pearl Brasserie, Chef Paskewitz adds a certain je ne sais quoi to familiar French favorites, creating dishes that are simultaneously recognizable and surprising. Pearl Brasserie serves breakfast on weekdays, including Grab & Go options such as an Avocado Tartine with French bread, sliced avocado, sunny-side up farm egg and tomato, or traditional croissants or pan au chocolate. A chef-manned oyster station shucks six daily varieties of East and West Coast oysters during lunch and dinner. Other menu highlights include three presentations of Hudson Valley Foie Gras: Seared with pain perdu, compressed berries and vanilla gastrique; Chilled as a touchon with fig and sea salt; and lastly, Fried as croquettes with apricot gelee. Entrees such as Dover Sole Meuniere with potato tourne, brown butter and fresh horseradish; Grilled Lamb T-bone Chops with lemon and mint gremolata; and Roasted Chicken with crispy herbed skin, pomme puree and chicken glace, round out the brasserie menu.
Pearl Brasserie’s beverage program boasts original cocktails from GM & Beverage Director Steve Carrow such as the Koi Pond with tequila, Veev, white grape and ginger served as a highball with a manicured orange peel garnish resembling the colorful Japanese goldfish; or the Boisson Adulte with cognac and absinthe, topped with Champagne. An extensive selection of classic cocktails rounds out the list, with options such as the Gimlet, Americano, Tom Collins, French 75, and Piscine, which is also known as the unofficial cocktail of the French Riviera. The wine list leans toward French varietals, with more than 19 selections available by the glass, most priced at $14 or less.
The elegant and opulent space evokes Parisian Art-Deco decadence with dark woods, brass fixtures, and plush velvet banquettes. A 40-foot marble-top bar anchors the dining room and floor-to-ceiling windows open to the street. Chef Paskewitz can be seen most nights expediting from the restaurant’s expansive open kitchen and chatting up guests at the 6-seat chef’s counter, which offers a few lucky diners a front-row seat to all the action of the bustling kitchen. Venture outside to the restaurant’s 120-seat riverside patio with a new outdoor bar for sunset views over cocktails or dinner under the stars. Reservations for the patio are accepted.