A new oyster bar and seafood restaurant is opening at 1704 Beacon St. in Brookline’s Washington Square in the space formerly occupied by Grassona’s (and before that, Fairsted Kitchen). Ivory Pearl debuts on August 5, opening for dinner service at 5 p.m. Ivory Pearl is currently equipped to host 50 diners on its patio and 25 diners inside its dining room. Walk-ins are welcome, but the restaurant encourages diners to make reservations on its website.
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Today’s the BIG DAY! We are dropping our ⚓️ We open at 5:00pm! We have a 50 seat patio and 25 seats indoor. Walk-ins welcome or book a reservation online. Link in bio. #ivorypearl #nowopened #openinbos #newrestaurant #winebar #cocktailbar #rawbar #seafood #brookline #boston
The oyster joint — listed among Eater Boston’s most highly anticipated spring openings before the pandemic turned everyone’s schedules upside down — is the latest restaurant from bartender extraordinaire Ran Duan, who also operates a pair of extremely popular Sichuan restaurants with award-winning cocktail bars: the Baldwin Bar in Woburn and Blossom Bar in Brookline Village.
While the bars at the Baldwin Bar and Blossom Bar focus mostly on tiki and tropical drinks, Duan previously told Eater that Ivory Pearl will feature a cocktail program unlike its siblings — and unlike any other in Boston. “Our focus is to pair not only wine but cocktails with seafood,” he said at the time.
Indeed, he was providing a bit of foreshadowing: Wine is the inspiration for the cocktail menu, with an emphasis on carbonated cocktails, which are meant to resemble sparkling wine as much as they do traditional cocktails.
“We started with the idea that we knew we wanted to have a large section of our menu dedicated to carbonated cocktails,” James Sutter, who helped design Ivory Pearl’s cocktail list, told Boston.com. “We wanted that just because of the food program we were planning to have — we knew that they’d pair well with the raw bar and with the seafood direction.”
For example: The cocktail list includes a drink called the Pink Label, which consists of Aperol, Manzanilla sherry, fennel, citric acid, and a riff on gazpacho made with strawberries instead of tomatoes; it’s meant to hint at brut rosé. The Champagne Papi is made with vodka, koji rice, honeydew, and citric acid, and it is inspired by the bubbly for which it is named. The list goes on like this and also includes cocktails inspired by the humble martini, as well as other classics like the Old Fashioned.
The raw bar at Ivory Pearl includes oysters (all sourced within New England), littleneck clams (also sourced within New England), shrimp cocktail, crab claws, and caviar. Ivory Pearl’s menu also includes sea urchin, tuna crudo, locally sourced striped bass, whole Maine lobster, a fisherman’s platter with coleslaw and French fries, and more. In line with today’s need for low-contact dining experiences, diners will be able to access the menu on their own devices by scanning a QR code.
Ivory Pearl’s cocktails will be available for takeout (while allowed by the state due to the pandemic), though Duan told Boston.com that the team is still trying to figure out a possible takeout situation for the food, as seafood is best eaten immediately after it is prepared. A potential solution might be meal kits, with diners doing the cooking at home.
For now, the restaurant will rely mostly on outdoor dining, as well as the small amount of indoor seating. Reserve online or just show up, and get a sneak peek at some of the dishes, the drinks, and the space on Ivory Pearl’s active Instagram account. Seafood tower, anyone?
• Ivory Pearl Will Land in Brookline’s Washington Square with Wine-Inspired Cocktails [BOS]
• Ivory Pearl Coverage on Eater [EBOS]
• Ivory Pearl [Official Site]