Royal Oak – With oysters and cocktails in a chic art deco inspired atmosphere, Pearl’s Deep Dive will have you feeling like you took a step back in time. That’s kind of the point, according to owner Adam Merkel, who said they modeled the intimate 70 seat restaurant after a 1920s dinner party, where going out to eat was a big deal.
This is the 5th addition to Adam Merkle’s restaurant group, which includes favorites like Diamond’s Steak and Seafood, and Pinky’s Rooftop. Each restaurant has its own vibe which is meant to “immerse” you in the experience. To give Pearl’s its special something, they built a beautiful bar off-site and brought it in piece by piece with a chandelier made from the glasses they serve you with. There is also a giant painting of a pearl with a diver swimming towards it as a centerpiece to the room.
“We like to do things that are different, that you don’t see everywhere,” says Merkel.
To really make you feel like you are at a dinner party, they start your night off with a complimentary drink upon request. The welcome cocktail is similar to an Aviation, a pre-prohibition era drink with gin, crème de violette, maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice. Their bar program features several fun handcrafted cocktails with showstopping elements. Their Dancing Raspberries drink is aptly named, as the dry ice bubbles and makes the raspberries dance. Fans of rye will enjoy Smokey The Bear, which is made inside a bear honey jar that is infused with real smoke. There is also a drink that is literally set on fire called Some Like It Hot.
The menu, as their name implies, is heavily focused on seafood. They chose to go this route because seafood is not something easily done at home, so it makes the meal all the more special. They have a selection of oysters including Cajun Grilled Oysters with a herbed tabasco butter sauce. Their crispy potatoes and caviar is the current favorite of the chef, which features a potato pave, whipped crème fraîche, and caviar. One of their crowd favorites is the lobster dumplings which are similar to gyoza, stuffed with Maine Lobster and served in a slightly spicy green chili cream sauce. For those who aren’t fans of seafood, they have a mouth-watering charcoal-grilled Wagyu steak, and a classic burger. The idea, says Merkel, is to order a bunch of dishes for the table and have everyone try everything.
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Pearl’s Deep Dive is located on the corner of 11 Mile and Main Street in downtown Royal Oak. It shares an entryway with Bohemia, another Adam Merkel concept set to open later this spring.