Pearl Urban Bistro is a Four Diamond Award winning restaurant specializing in Pacific Northwest cuisine. Located on Marine Drive at White Rock’s Pier and a tradition at the beach for over a decade, it is a chicly designed restaurant with a comfortable atmosphere. Pearl Urban Bistro’s owner recently contacted Eating in Vancouver and offered to host us at his restaurant. We accepted his generous invitation and visited the upscale bistro for dinner last week.
Pearl’s ‘thoughtfully local’ menus are mindful to the environment as they are printed on recycled stocks using soy inks. This local focus means the restaurant is serious about serving sustainable food and supporting local businesses and the community. The restaurant sources all of its ingredients from local suppliers and farmers and serves organic produce whenever possible. Even their in-house wine brand is produced in BC’s Okanagan Valley.
To begin the evening, I started with a Pimm’s Cup – A refreshing cocktail consisting of Pimm’s No. 1 gin, sparkling lemonade, muddled mint, cucumber and citrus. The sliced garnish ensured every sip I took had crisp and fresh cucumber aroma.
We were served a lovely amuse bouche of Roasted Carrot & Brie Soup presented in white espresso cups and saucers, and accompanied by petit coffee spoons. The extra smooth puree exuded natural sweetness from the carrots and showcased the delicate flavour of Agassiz Farmhouse brie. The soup, which is offered on both the lunch and dinner menus, was served piping hot and garnished with a drizzle of creme fraiche.
Flamed Prawns – Pearl’s sustainable seafood initiatives include Ocean Wise participation, so this dish contained trap caught prawns cooked with red peppers and fennel in an aromatic roasted garlic butter sauce, then flambéed tableside with sambuca. These prawns were crunchy and the flambé technique developed a light flavor of liquor to the dish without alcohol, since it’s dramatically burned off in the process.
Beet Salad – Finely sliced, sweet yellow beets resting on a bed of exceptionally fresh organic greens. The lettuce was so crisp that it tasted like it had just been picked from the garden. Tossed in a beet vinaigrette, this generous portion of salad was topped with crumbled feta cheese which added a pleasant salty and creamy contrast. I really enjoyed this appetizer.
Seared Salmon – British Columbia Stealhead Salmon fillet atop of sautéed bell peppers, green kale, creamy spinach risotto, celeriac (a variety of celery, also known as turnip-rooted celery or knob celery) puree, and garnished with crispy leeks for crunch. The flesh of the large portion of fish was moist and succulent while the skin was nicely seared.
Grilled 8oz Ribeye – Pemberton Meadows beef resting on a demi glaze and paired with a medley of vegetables on the side, pomme roulade (rolled, sliced potatoes), and roasted carrot purree. Ordered medium-rare and served exactly as such, this tender and juicy BC steak was cooked perfectly.
Warm Apple Galette – This deliciously warm French pie was topped with maple candied bacon (this sweet-meat garnish sold Gary on the dessert!) and accompanied by a large scoop of rich vanilla bean ice cream. A sublime combination of textures and temperatures.
Chocolate Pâté – A heavenly decadent dessert consisting of creme fraiche ‘pearl’, macerated cherries, and hazelnut praline. The pâté had a smooth and creamy ganache texture, concentrated with sweet cocoa flavour. The nuts added a nice crunchiness, while the tartness of the cherries balanced well with the rich chocolate. Chocolate fans, you will adore this fantastic indulgence!
Overall, our experience at Pearl Urban Bistro was an excellent evening highlighted by superb fine-dining flavour pairings and impeccably professional service. Open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, we’re looking forward to returning this summer to dine on Pearl’s outdoor patio and enjoy a gorgeous view of the ocean!