A year after its splashy debut, Pineapple and Pearls will increase the price of its tasting menu from $250 to $280 per person beginning April 4. The price, paid in advance of reservations through an online ticket system, will continue to include tax, tip, and drink pairings. Tickets for the bar, which don’t include drink pairings, will go up from $150 to $180.
Chef and owner Aaron Silverman says the price bump will allow him to give raises to employees and support Pineapple and Pearl’s parental leave plan. Hourly front-of-house staff for the fine dining restaurant also partake in profit-sharing. “Basically, the better the restaurant does, the better they do,” he says.
The extra money will also go toward an extra food runner and a second person at the front desk “to make the guest’s experience more pleasant” as well as things like better glassware and ingredients.
Silverman says the price increase is not a response to the restaurant’s two Michelin stars.
“You could say that about anything. You could say that about the amazing Washington Post review, the amazing Washingtonian review,” he says. “Honestly, if that was that, we probably would have raised it more than that. We are trying to raise it the absolute minimum that we can and still provide quality service.”
The announcement comes just after the closure of the Shaw Bijou, which faced extreme backlash over its price ($185 per person, or up to $481 with tax, tip, and the priciest drink pairings). Silverman says that doesn’t concern him too much, but he’s always conscious about how the price will be perceived: “We’re nervous if we raise the price a dollar and we’re nervous even if we don’t raise the price a dollar.”