Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
1612 14th St., NW
Washington, DC 20005
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw, Logan Circle
Open Monday through Thursday for dinner, Friday and Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo
Price Range: Moderate
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Oysters on the half shell; seafood-studded salsa with fresh-fried chips; grilled bacon-wrapped oysters; any of the gumbos; fried chicken; crawfish étouffée; BLT with fried catfish and a runny egg; Derby pie; Key-lime pie.
There are plenty of places around town where you can eat like a frat boy, counting “fried” and “butter-drenched” as the only food groups. Jeff and Barbara Black’s folksy Logan Circle fish house is one of the few worth the calories. That’s not to say it’s all about the fried chicken or fabulously messy barbecue shrimp with baguette.
There’s a terrific array of oysters—have them on the half shell or order a round wrapped in bacon and drizzled with vinegar reduction. Hour-plus waits are common—the restaurant doesn’t take reservations after 6:30—but if you can squeeze into the bar, you’ll be rewarded with strong cocktails and, from 4 to 7 on weekdays, two-for-the-price-of-one oysters and $5 glasses of wine. Don’t miss: Grilled oysters with chili butter and gremolata; a ceviche-like mix of seafood in salsa; seafood or duck-and-oyster gumbo; fried-oyster po’ boy; fried-shrimp dinner; pecan pie; apple pie; Bardstown Derby cocktail, with bourbon, grapefruit, and honey. Open: Monday through Thursday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.