We’re girls who love a wine bar and have been waiting anxiously for Pearl in Branford to open its doors. We headed over the other night for an early dinner (5 pm!) and were so pleased to see familiar faces. Co-owner Emilie Penner, ex of Bar Bouchee, gave us the rundown on available wines, including Love You Bunches, one of my favorite (and not so easy to find) orange wines. Creative cocktails and craft beer are on tap, too.
We drooled over the menu of salads and small plates and finally settled on a stunning and bright tomato and citrus salad (just the thing I crave on a boiling hot day), a large pile of shaved Brussels sprouts with basil, hazelnuts, and manchego tossed in a light vinaigrette, a few grass-fed steak skewers on a bed of miso eggplant and caramelized onion, and the special of the day: translucent slices of hamachi. Everything we sampled was excellent, including two interesting skin-contact wines.
This sweet spot filled up by 5:30 or so, with gaggles of gals happily supping and slurping rosé (a couple of guys, too), and it morphed into a happy party, mainly because the staff is so charming, service is nimble, and a cool vibe (we loved the plastered and metallic painted walls).
Coming soon, an outdoor deck with an adjacent bar. Reservations suggested; the place fills up fast!
Tuesday – Thursday & Sunday 4 pm – 10 pm
Friday & Saturday 4PM – 11PM
Tuesday – Thursday & Sunday 5 pm – 9 pm
Friday & Saturday 5PM – 10PM
1140 Main Street, Branford