We are indeed fortunate to have a restaurant like Pearl in our community that serves fabulous fresh seasonal food. The warm and welcoming owners, Nickie and Pete Zeller, make everyone feel at home and greet regulars by name. It is one of our favorite haunts inNapa, especially during the summer months when soft shell crab and local tomatoes are in season.
The menu contains many excellent dishes. Many of our favorite comfort foods are served year round such as fish tacos served with Asian coleslaw with wasabi vinaigrette and house made soft tortillas; steak tacos served with chilies, cilantro, onion, salsa verde, lime cream and house made soft tortillas; meatloaf made with Five Dot Ranch ground sirloin and Hobbs’ fennel sausage served with Brooklyn Style Red Gravy, mashed potatoes and vegetable; and last but not least a double cut apple-Dijon brined French Duroc pork chop.
If there is such a thing as “cult food” it is their soft shell crab sandwich. Nickie will only use fresh crab so it is only available from about mid-May through mid-September. The panko/sourdough crusted crab is pan fried, topped with avocado, applewood smoked bacon, chipotle aioli and served on ABC Bakery potato bun. A truly amazing sandwich! The second seasonal delight is their divine grilled marinated tomato, basil and mozzarella sandwich which is truly a gift of the Gods.
There is a well rounded and well priced wine list to choose from. If you bring your own wine there is a modest corkage charge of $12.00 half of which is donated to the Napa Humane Society.
Nickie and Pete met at the Diner in Yountville which was known for its legendary weekend brunches that are sadly missed. And no, they have no interest in opening for brunch. Chef Jose Bravo has worked with them since Pearl opened over 15 years ago and together they make an outstanding team.
The restaurant is located at1339 Pearl Street in the heart of Napa and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 AM to 2 PM. and 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM – Fridays and Saturdays until 9:30 PM. Reservations are advisable and can be made by calling 707. 224.9161.