Why it’s worth it: For an elegant and vibrant small plate menu with global influences and designed for communal consumption, one should head to Pearl and Ash.
Vibe/layout: Pearl and Ash occupies a long, sexy and relaxed space on the ground floor of the Bowery House and features a causal wine bar with backless stools, as well as an open kitchen, which faces a communal table, bare wooden tables and benches dressed in blue velvet. The asymmetrical wooden box-wall design separates this ‘straunt’s design from the rest in its flight. The wood compartments host trinkets, dried flowers and candles, which illuminate the all black and dimly lit room.
Ideal meal: Four dishes for two hungry people is the perfect amount; therefore, our top four recommendations are below:
Vegetable: long beans, kale, peanut, bbq sauce ($9)
People behind the ‘straunt: Fluent with spices and Asian flavor, Chef Richard Kuo, a Taiwan-born Australian, logged time at Corton and wd~50 before starting his first solo ‘straunt, Pearl and Ash.
Conversation starter: The building in which Pearl and Ash resides was first opened in the 1920s as a “flophouse” or cheap hotel, called the Prince Hotel. Although the Bowery House has since transformed the upper levels of the building into an upscale hostel, there were still guests paying $10 a night to sleep in the cubicles on the second floor in 2013.
‘Straunt tip: Check out the latest exhibition at the New Museum on Thursdays from 7-9 for pay-what-you-wish entrance and then dine at Pearl and Ash.
Address: Nolita, 220 Bowery (between Rivington & East Houston)