Monday, February 11, 2013

Pearl Bistro

Pearl Bistro is a place that has been on the list forever, after a food-loving friend had recommended it to me for dinner.  I am not sure why it always slips my mind, but I finally managed to get over there for lunch with a friend the other day.

The menu is pretty straightforward—several salads, several appetizers and sandwiches, etc.  They also apparently have daily specials, which is what we ended up with after hearing about them.  We also agreed to completely split everything in half because we both wanted both things.  We had the special Greek salad with spanakopita.  I really enjoyed this dish.  I mean, it was simple, and exactly as described, but was well done.  It was greens with feta, red onion, black olives, a few pieces of tomato (they were actually red) and two triangles of spanakopita (cheese and spinach wrapped in filo dough).  At first it seemed under dressed because the dressing was sort of drizzled on top rather than tossed (nothing makes me happier than a tossed salad) but once you sort of figured it out and mixed it in a bit, it  had a great flavor—nice and tangy.  The spanakopita was also really good.  Just the right amount of crispiness and the right amount of spinach and cheese filling. Again, fairly straightforward, and very enjoyable.  And it felt like you were eating a fairly healthy lunch as well.

We also had the daily quiche special which on this day was spinach and goat cheese ($8.50).  You have your choice of a salad on the side or soup, and we chose the soup (since our other entrée was based around a salad).  I even asked for an extra bowl and spoon so we could split it down the middle. We had the special soup of the day, cream of broccoli, which we both agreed we enjoyed because it wasn’t overly cream heavy, and I liked that it had nice chunks of broccoli in it (I like soup with at least a little texture to it).  It was maybe a little bland, and could have used a bit more seasoning, but soup is always good on a cold day (which it was).  I would say maybe the quiche also suffered a bit from underseasoning, although I did enjoy the bites with the goat cheese in it (and there was a decent amount of goat cheese in it).  They had the nice tangy kick of the cheese.  It wasn’t bad, but I think I would try something else next time (and I probably shouldn’t order quiche as much because I am learning I am sort of picky about my quiche).

We also shared a dessert which was bread pudding with a Bourbon sauce and which was pretty tasty as well, although I was pretty full at this point, so I just tried a few bites. My lunch date seemed to enjoy it quite a bit.

I actually managed to get back one more time before I posted this review and had the veggie melt with spinach, tomatoes, red onion, provolone and cheddar grilled on their housemade focaccia. I really enjoyed this on a cold day as well--it was nice and warm and melty--and I enjoyed the flavor of the focaccia. You could taste the olive oil and slight saltiness.  The bread alone made it for me (they make most of their bread in house). They also do a combo of housemade chips from potato, sweet potato and beets. I really enjoyed this super thin, nearly transparent, crispy chips.  They were light and tasty. Again, the meal was straightforward, but well done.

All in all, I liked this place.  There was nothing about the food that made it jump out at you, but it was solid, and fresh, and well done.  The place had a decent business mid-week including several guys having lunch on their own.  Once a month they offer Sunday brunch, which I am always looking for (and you can bring kids as well). It’s a cute little place with friendly service and simple, well-executed food.

I don’t hear people talk about it too much though, curious about what you guys think.

Pearl Bistro
1475 West 86th Street
Indy  46260

Pearl Bistro on Urbanspoon


  1. I assumed from the name that it was a Chinese place. Glad I read thr whole review!

  2. I'm glad you had a good lunch experience.  I went there with a large-ish group of friends for someone's birthday dinner a little over 2 years ago.  There was *maybe* one other group in there on  a Friday night, and we were being waited on by the same person that was doing all of the cooking (I'm guessing it was the owner, but I'm not certain).  She was very friendly but we could tell she was overburdened to be doing both jobs.  The food was okay, but nothing overly special--possibly because she couldn't give her full attention to it.  It was just an odd experience.  I understand that she was likely saving a lot of money that way, but...maybe make the menu smaller in a situation like that?  Or maybe close for dinner and just do lunch since it seems to do well.  It was just a bit off-putting.  I don't think any of us have returned since, and I'm actually surprised it's still open since business seemed so slow that night.  Maybe we should try lunch one of these days.