Food

Goodbye, Pearl Tavern. Hello, Pearl Brasserie.

Cognac Cocktails and Pernod Escargot on Upper Wacker

By Sarah Freeman ·
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Photo: Francis Son

Remember Pearl Tavern? That sleepy little oyster bar on Upper Wacker. It goes by the name Pearl Brasserie now. It's still an oyster bar, but it's also an authentic French Brasserie with cognac cocktails and is decidedly less sleepy.

You may recognize the long marble bar, which is a bit longer now and extends into the window and sidewalk patio. There's also a new open kitchen and chef's counter, which is where you want to sit to catch a glimpse of chef Jason Paskewitz in action. That looks a little like this.

Jason's going to teach you how to eat like the Parisians do. With a proper French breakfast of croissants covered in butter and jam in the morning and Pernod-laced escargot followed by dover sole Meuniere at night. And this is to say nothing of the oyster bar covering East and West Coast gems with Verjus mignonette.

Then there's the patio. One of Chicago's few alfresco escapes along the river contrasts views of the El over Lake Street with lights strung from ivy-covered trees. This patio fully acknowledges that September is lurking, but is going to tempt you anyway with French whiskey and black tea punch.

Maybe we buried the lede with that French whiskey.

Sarah Freeman is often accused of hiding secrets in her hair. She can make any cocktail, as long as that cocktail is a rye Old Fashioned, and has never met a saison she didn’t like.

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