NOTE: AS OF MARCH 2010, BLACK PEARL IS CLOSED
Black Pearl Oyster Bar is one of three dining establishments in the Canton Arts and Entertainment building (formerly Hucka's) on Boston Street. The bar brings something unique to the neighborhood - a tapas menu with a selection of raw oysters in a relaxed, upscale-yet-unpretentious environment. You won't find any loud music, bland food, or watered-down cocktails here; instead, the Black Pearl delivers quality and an atmosphere that makes you want to stay for at least one more round of oysters and drinks.
- Beautifully renovated space
- Wide-ranging and well executed menu
- Friendly service, including bartenders that know their way around the bar
- Street parking only
- Address: 2324 Boston St.
- Phone: 410-982-0088
- Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 or 11 p.m., Wednesdays through Mondays (closed Tuesdays)
- Prices: Soups: cup, $4, bowl, $6; Tapas: $6-$12; Salads: $6-$8
Guide Review: Black Pearl Oyster Bar
It takes effort to set yourself apart, especially in a neighborhood as saturated with bars and restaurants as Canton. Yet through its tapas menu, smart and stylish design, and overall concept, Black Pearl Oyster Bar does just that.
Part of a trio of establishments housed in one large Boston St. building, the centerpiece of Black Pearl is its horseshoe-shaped bar, which enables parties sitting at it to easily converse with one another. Music is playing on the satellite radio (jazz the night I was there) at a volume that doesn't deafen, and four TVs hanging in the corners of the room are perfectly unobtrusive.
Onto the food. A selection of fresh oysters is the staple, and the sweet Assateague Channel variety I tried were the best of a very tasty and diverse bunch. Savory cocktail crab claws with Gutmans (the name of the restaurant - same owner - next door) crab remoulade sauce just might be the best sitting-at-the-bar snack concept I can imagine.
The tapas menu features a mango shrimp salad, a tower of romaine, mangos, and peppers topped with jumbo shrimp and doused with Caribbean spices. Of the sandwiches available, the Guinness Tenederloin is the best. The tender, juicy meat melts between two slices of flat garlic and parsley piegga bread.
The plates are small, so for dinner you'll have to order a few to satisfy your appetite. But they're not exorbitantly-priced, and they're worth it: The impressive variety of tastes is one of several reasons the the Black Pearl has staked out its own perch in the Canton scene.