Chef Colleen Conrad Takes Over at Pearl Dive

Plus: The 14th Street hotspot starts taking reservations.

The popular Pearl Dive/Black Jack on 14th Street gets a new head chef. Photograph by Eric Uecke.

Chef Colleen Conrad has been tapped as the new toque for 14th Street hotspots Pearl Dive/Black Jack, replacing James Huff, who is relocating to North Carolina. Conrad most recently held a sous chef position at sister Jeff Black restaurant Republic in Takoma Park, working alongside chef/co-owner Danny Wells.

While you won’t find big changes to the menu—those fried-chicken buckets aren’t going anywhere—a few new dishes are already in play. Look for items like a crispy Brussels sprouts salad with Benton’s ham and pickled onions, panko-crusted fluke with jicama-apple slaw, and whole wood-grilled black bass with spicy peanut sauce and winter greens. Fresh additions to the brunch menu are expected in the coming weeks.

One of the biggest changes at the typically crowded eatery isn’t entirely chef-related: Pearl Dive is now taking reservations from 5 to 7, seven days a week. There’s also valet parking for $12 until 10 on weekdays and 11 on weekends.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.