Opening a restaurant during a pandemic sounds unthinkable. In fact, I’ve been so focused on Boston’s restaurant scene survival, that I nearly overlooked a special newcomer. Ivory Pearl has royally opened its doors, and it’s almost a flex! A bold entrance in the most precarious of times will certainly turn heads and raise brows.
Ivory Pearl debuted in early August by one of Boston’s most creative cocktail imagineers. Just look Ran Duan up on Instagram and you’ll find out why. This is Duan’s third and award-winning-destined restaurant after Blossom Bar and The Baldwin Bar. The new gem gets even more exciting with Chef Ian Maschal, whose experience spans across exceptional Boston favorites like Menton, Bar Mezzana, and Eventide Fenway,
Ivory Pearl is true to its title. The oyster has weathered through 2020’s storm and grit, and turned it into something beautiful. There has been no compromise in design and detail, the menu speaks quality over quantity, the shucks are proved flawless, and the service is warm and intentional.
There’s a lot to say about this experience, so let me contextualize it into the evening’s stream of consciousness:
“It’s like a secret soirée in Bangkok’s red light district.”
“Wait, am I in Brookline or Brooklyn?”
“Whose cool Auntie invited us over for martinis?”
“They’re breaking out the best silver.”
“Is Jack the shucker or the DJ?”
“I want to be normal, but I also want to drink the clam broth.”
“Throw rum in the cake, they said, she’ll never notice.”
“I want to hug all of you.”
That’s the vibe.
My recommendations? Try the Silk Prescription if you love savory cocktails, then a Love & Date to sweeten the mood. Go in on the caviar, if only just a taste (and you get pancakes!). Expect beauty and quality in your oyster shucks by the “DJ” Jack, at a surprisingly market competitive price. Opt for the Bluefin Tuna Crudo, which is like hearing your favorite song before your favorite, favorite song. Billboard chart hit? The clams. They somehow steal the show. Top it off with the Swedish Sugar Cake. It’s like screaming “one. more. song.” before the curtain closes. Don’t cry when it’s over but DO generously tip your service.
Many thanks to the team at Ivory Pearl and Chef Ian Maschal for the smash hit visit. Thank you for being our “Diamond in the Rough” – a jewel in which we can all be thankful during the hardest of times.