So we basically drove two thousand kilometers to have our anniversary dinner at The Pearl Cafe, and I would say it was worth it. We got a lovely table on the upper level, and we learned on the way out that it was the owners’ favourite table.
Let’s see. Wine. Caroline chose a glass of French Chardonnay to start, while I picked the Steele Pinot Noir from Carneros in California. I won. My Pinot was light and soft, easy to drink before food came. Caroline would have chosen my wine if she could have started over.
For dinner, once we had decided what we were going to eat, we selected a bottle of Bethel Heights Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This is a somewhat light Pinot, but I was hoping it could stand up to my lamb without overpowering Caroline’s duckling, and I think it succeeded.
I had debated having a beef dinner; I’ve never met a filet in peppercorn sauce that I didn’t like, but I was feeling more adventurous, so I asked our server whether to go with the Elk Osso Bucco or the Lamb Loin with homemade ravioli. She was no help, saying both were great, so in the end I basically tossed for it and chose the lamb because it had no bone to fight with. We had a choice of soup or salad to start, so Caroline went with the Parsnip and Apple Bisque, while I opted for the House Salad of field greens with the house Garlic Vinaigrette. The presentation of the lamb startled me, it came in a wide bowl, and there was a lot of jus, but it was delicious. Caroline got way more duckling than she needed, so I got a taste of that, too, and it was lovely.
After a pause, we ordered desserts. Caroline has a soft spot for Crème Brulee, and this one was right on the money. I used to make cheesecakes for a restaurant, so I had to try their Orange Cheesecake with orange curd. It was divine. All in all, top marks for this restaurant.