Barracks Row is full of restaurants, but there are two that stand out from the crowd. Rose’s Luxury took the town by storm a few years ago, and followed up with an even better concept, Pineapple & Pearls. Rose’s Luxury is pretty great, if you don’t mind waiting in line for a few hours to get a seat at some point that evening…but Pineapple & Pearls actually takes reservations, in addition to having a really good coffee shop.The name of the restaurant came from pineapples being the symbol of hospitality, and pearls signifying elegance. The combo of their service and presentation definitely knock both out of the park!
Let’s start with the cafe. They have unique milk choices, like white sesame, hazelnut, and pistachio. I’d rate their chai latte as the best in town. Nice and caffeinated with lots of spice. There’s not much room to sit inside, but they offer their patio up during the day. I heard that they are moving the cafe portion to the former Bayou Bakery space, which has indoor seating and an expansive patio. Fingers crossed!
On to dinner!
There are two options: seats at the bar, or seats at a table or chef’s counter. If you opt for a table, you must partake in a drink pairing (alcohol or non-alcoholic) along with the 11-course meal. If you sit at the bar, the drink pairing is optional. Reservations fill up quick, so I’d recommend booking exactly one month out from your preferred day so you can secure a decent time. Note that they are only open for dinner Tuesday through Friday, with an occasional Saturday seating. They ask for half payment up front, and the second half is automatically charged to the card on file the day of your reservations. While the price is hefty ($180 without drink pairing at the bar, $255 without drink pairing at a table, $280 with drinks), that does include tax and tip. It’s also really nice not having to deal with money once you arrive. Everything is paid, all the food is ordered. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy!
We booked reservations with intentions of celebrating both our birthdays at the same time. Knowing there’s no way we could appreciate or justify $100 worth of drinks, we opted for bar seating. The experience was very personalized, from the moment I booked the reservation. They sent a short survey to determine food preferences, allergies, reason for celebrating, etc. Turns out, the day we had reservations was the day they received two Michelin stars. Pretty exciting day!
Once we arrived, we were given a small welcome cocktail and led to our seats. The menu is always changing, so you never know what you might get.
Half the fun is the presentation. The staff is putting on a show for you, with things like this Japanese coffee brew system to make soup. The whole experience is lengthy, so clear your schedule for the evening!
After the meal, we were offered coffee or tea, also included in the price of the dinner. At that point, we were ready to put on stretchy pants and call it a night. On the way out, we were given a handwritten thank you note in a goodie bag of cold brew coffee and desserts for the next day, to extend the fun a little longer.
Bottom line: Based on the price tag, save this for a special occasion. Book early and have a memorable experience with really creative food and top-notch service.
If you’re short on time, but want to check it out, visit the coffee shop (open Tuesday through Saturday).