Chef Aaron Silverman’s Capitol Hill Wine Bar Now Serves $45 Set Menus

Can't do $325 tastings at Pineapple and Pearls? Try Little Pearl's wallet-friendly prix-fixe.

Little Pearl wine bar. Photograph by Scott Suchman

An evening at Pineapple and Pearls costs a cool $325 these days (including tax, tip, and drink pairings). But now chef/owner Aaron Silverman is introducing a far more relaxed—and wallet-friendly—tasting menu at his nearby Capitol Hill restaurant, Little Pearl. The daytime cafe will continue run as is, while the evening service switch over to a mostly prix-fixe format for food, offering a $45 set menu with optional $30 wine pairings. There will also be a few a la carte snacks and an In-N-Out-inspired burger.

“We really love the Little Serow style menu format and like how it makes eating at Little Pearl really easy as you don’t have to make any decisions,” says Silverman, who’s been testing the idea out over the last few months. “We are just serving our best dishes every single night.” 

The lineup will include about eight to ten dishes, and will change often. Regulars at the atmospheric eatery—housed in a historic carriage house near the old Naval Hospital—may recognize some past dishes, such as eggplant parm toast or fried brown butter ice cream. Silverman and head chef BJ Lieberman are also working on new items like squid ink-ricotta ravioli and a Japanese monkey bread. In keeping with the casual theme, Silverman says they’re happy to accommodate allergies, dietary restrictions, and plain-old dislikes.

Sommeliers Andrew Limberg and Kerstin Mikalbrown have already created a fun, eclectic mix of wines that include natural bottles alongside splurge-worthy Burgundies and everything in between. The $30 pairing includes about five pours—half of which will be natural wines—and will vary based on the customers’ tastes.

“The fun part is customizing the pairings for individual guests based on their preferences,” says Silverman. “We recently had a couple that was planning their honeymoon in Italy, so we went all Italian.” 

Silverman and Lieberman are also using Little Pearl as a stage for some more casual chef dinners, such as a seafood-themed, eight-course meal the duo will prepare on December 27. Silverman says the evening is meant to harken back to their early days and the “warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feeling” cooking at pop-ups together in preparation for opening Rose’s Luxury. Tickets are available for $85 per person (not including tax, tip, and drinks).

As for regular prix-fixe at Little Pearl, reservations are recommended, but there’s room for drop-ins too.

Little Pearl. 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

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.