Monday, April 22, 2019

Opal on Pearl

The new wine bar, Opal on Pearl, is quickly becoming my favorite neighborhood spot in Old Brooklyn. It opened in the former Drink. Bar + Grill location on Pearl Road, near Memphis. There is plenty of free parking in the lot behind the building, as it is shared with CVS next door. You'll want to enter the building from that back lot.
The space has been lightened up, with brighter paint on the walls and new artwork.
The wine-focused bar does not have a glass or bottle on the list that will disappoint. Owner, Tony Mellon, has spent decades in some of Cleveland's best restaurants (Lola, Flying Fig, Johnny's on Fulton), and he's curated a list of wines that I trust and blindly pick from.
You can still get a cocktail (I do miss the fantastic craft cocktails of Drink's time) and a handful of craft beers, but in addition to the wine-focus, the spot is featuring small plates. Share, build a meal, and try a few different things. 

A couple of visits we've had issues with the freshness or toasting of the bread served with dishes, but other than that there have been quite a few dishes we've really enjoyed. You'll find a daily flatbread, calamari, meatballs, warm olives, Korean spiced chicken wings, mussels, stuffed dates, a couple of salads, cheese (from Old Brooklyn Cheese Co.) and charcuterie boards, and a couple of sides and other small plates. There's also dessert! Some of which comes from Old Brooklyn neighbor, Lilly Chocolates and Confections.

Where I think the food really shines is in the daily specials. There are always a handful and you can usually preview some tempting-looking photos on their Instagram account.

The other night, we enjoyed the Spicy Garlic Shrimp ($11).
Bruschetta ($8) with herbed ricotta and warm eggplant caponata.
Spicy White Bean Tapenade ($10) with manzanilla olives and fennel served with grilled Tuscan bread.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts ($3.50) with pancetta aioli.
Pan Roasted Cod ($15) with a caper and artichoke lemon butter, crispy fingerling potatoes, and spinach.
You can find the Brussel Sprouts and the White Bean Tapenade on the regular menu right now. Try a combination of small plates that sounds good to you, but I do recommend gravitating towards the daily specials as they always seem to impress us just a bit more. 

Happy Hour from 5-7PM Tuesday-Thursday or 4-7PM on Fridays offers a handful of small plates for $3.50-$6 and drink specials for $5 or $6.

It's become our pop-in spot for a bite to eat on a weeknight that we don't feel like cooking or after I had a late work meeting, or a pre/post-dinner glass of wine on the weekends. It filled a gap in our neighborhood, and we couldn't be happier.

Opal on Pearl
4250 Pearl Road
Cleveland, OH 44109
(216) 417-2030