Food & Drink

Oysters, cocktails, and bocce

People talk all the time about two great things going together. People that've never heard of three great things! Bringing a trio of rad, if seemingly disparate concepts in one building: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack.

Hitting 14th Street with basically the only three things it didn't have, this trifecta pairs a first-floor seafood spot (Pearl Dive, with nautically weathered woods, a zinc bar, and a giant anchor chain sculpture) with a Boardwalk Empire-ish upstairs cocktail parlour (velvet curtains, a painting of a tattooed lass), and then slaps on a stadium seating-equipped bocce court just for kicks, which by the way, are somehow now "illegal" in bocce? Whatever. Spins'll be induced by spins on classic old-world cocktails, like the vodka/ lime/ house cassis/ ginger beer Blue Vein, and The Cigar, concocted with mezcal/ lemon/ smoked peach ice, and garnished with charcuterie -- fitting for DC, where cigars have famously made people feel like a piece of meat. Downstairs sea fare includes grilled barramundi, a fried catfish po' boy hit with crumbled egg and a slab of Benton's bacon (a "CEBLT"!), and a delightful-sounding seafood stew filled with shrimp, redfish, squid, and Saffron milk they named "What Cats Dream Of", despite not being able to quite synthesize the taste of YouTube stardom.

And of course, the raw bar's plating oyster takes like The Herb Saint with oyster stew, rosemary guanciale & cream, and The Tchoupitoulas with oyster confit, blue crab, tasso, roasted corn, and hollandaise... and bam! That's what you call five things.