Pearl - Champagne

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
May 1, 2005

Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St
(Bleecker & W 4 St)

The sparkling and champagne section of the wine list is always where I first lay my eyes at a bar or restaurant. Named after her maternal grandmother, Pearle, Rebecca Charles’s West Village oyster bar never misses a beat in taste or in the hustle and bustle. At Pearl, one has a choice of one sparkler and two champagnes. That’s quite a treat for such a succinct wine list, especially since most restaurants twice the size will likely serve only one sparkler or one champagne on their by-the-glass list. And, most likely it will be an easily recognizable brand name. But, not at Pearl.

For $8, one can order a Raventós i Blanc cava from Spain. As for champagnes, listed are Guy Larmandier Vertus Brut 1er Cru ($11) and Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve ($13). Both solid choices. I opted for the Guy Larmandier because I saw it was from Vertus, one of the southernmost 1er Cru villages for Chardonnay grapes in the Côte des Blancs. Truth be told, I have a hard time hiding my affinity for purely Chardonnay champagnes.

Although the bubbles were very vibrant, and many, they were by no means neatly beaded together. The creamy texture of this wine reveals great mouthfeel. The elegance of Chardonnay is faithfully translated with a bit of toastiness giving the wine both weight and character. It lingers just long enough…

My glass accompanied me from the smoked Atlantic salmon on top of johnnycakes with crème fraîche ($10) to my Pearl Caesar salad ($8). I could have easily had a glass for each dish!

name (required)

email (required, will not be published)




Sign up to receive the Cravings newsletter!

Wine Features

The Wine of Paris

Island Whites (Part II)

Island Whites (Part I)

South African Diversity

Surprise, Surprise! Bordeaux is Really Very Good

Burgundy Joy

New Year’s Bubblies for a Splurge and Splash


My Weekend from Wall Street to South Beach

Vérité: French Roots in California Soil

A Spirit for the Ages

Ultimate Lurton

Vinexpo, the Asian Rendition

It’s Never Too Early to Think About Father’s Day… Especially if He’s Keen on Scotch

Gin from the Past

The Beauty of a Sommelier

March of the Carnivores

Discovering Mexican Wine

A Feast in the Hills above Las Vegas

Oregon: Wines on the Frontier

Not What We Expected, Per Se

Cru Beaujolais at Union Square Cafe

Beaujolais Retailers

Beaujolais with a Backbone

Summer Cocktails?

What is Bubbling in Champagne?

Tight Little Island: Islay Scotch

French Wine Finds

Alto Adige

Back to Restaurant Season in Paris

Cyn's Favorite Champagnes in 2006

Sparkles Everywhere

Discovering Jura Gems

A Taste of North Fork

Milou en mai: My Month of May

Parisian Bistrots à Vin

A Wine Story About Bees (Buzzed by Older Wines)

Gaia: Deconstructing a Wine List

Robert Pepi Makes New Waves Under the Eponymous Label

Holiday Toasting!

Parker on Champagne: What's in a Vintage?

Pascale Rousseau

Ed McCarthy

Terry Theise

Sean Crowley

The World of Champagne Seen from the Inside Out

Lieb Cellars - Recipe 2

Lieb Cellars - Recipe 1

Lieb Cellars - Retailers

Family Cellars' Pinot Blanc: Flat or Fizz?

Rosé - Related Websites

Cyn's Rosé Recs - Retailer

Cyn's Rosé Recs - By The Glass

Jancis Robinson, Rosé & I

Pearl - Champagne

Danube - Grüner Veltliner

Esca - Bellini

Prune - Bloody Mary

iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

Sur La Table_Brand_120X90


Save Ten on Angie's List!

Alessi S.P.A. US