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Aug 2, 2008 09:16 PM

Pearl in Great Barrington not so great

Had dinner tonight at Pearl on Railroad Street. Four of us dined and all four had a dreadful experience. Seated in the front room, though it wasn't hot outside inside the air was stuffy and warm. Waiter said they couldn't turn up the A/C because the front door was open. Closing the front door so the A/C could cool the place off was not possible because the patio was open.I guess the waiters couldn't open the door or some such silly reason.
Apps were okayish, though the arugula salad which was supposed to have pears and cheese,had 3 microshaved pear slices and 2 tiny crumbles of cheese. The main courses were abysmal. My daughter ordered the salmon which came raw and was not the best quality fish. We don't like overcooked fish but a cold center on a small piece was unacceptable. Back it went to the kitchen. My sea bass was fine as far as the fish, but the quinoa was oversalted and the accompanying sauce was sour ketchup. My son's $39 steak, was tough and gristly, though the grilled polenta was good. Hubby had duck, it was oversalted and accompanied by "rice waffles". They were heavy littles squares of lead.
We have dined at Pearl's in the past about 2-3 times a year. The service was always good and the food was if not knock your sock's off great at least very good. I know every restaurant has an off night, but as we left everyone was so disgusted that I know this group won't spend the bucks there anytime in the near future.

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  1. wow, I was bummed to read this; I have reservations for Pearls a week from today; my husband and are spending two nights in Pittsfield. I already plan to go to Brix on Sunday night; any good suggestions for Monday night instead of Pearls? John Andrews sounds great but that's quite a hike from Pittsfield, right?

    5 Replies
    1. re: DGresh

      John Andrews, Old in on the Green (New Marlboro), north of Pittsfield- Mill on the Floss(New Ashford), Rouge in West Stockbridge, Chez Nous in Lee, Trattoria Rustica in Pittsfield. John Andrews is worth the drive.

      1. re: DGresh

        Try Sabor. The location seems weird but their Latin American food is fantastic. Or, Jae's Spice just opened on North Street. Also, I never think to go there but I had an excellent meal at Astor's in Pittsfield recently. Wonderfully briny oysters on the half shell followed by a grilled swordfish topped with a lovely fruit salsa. My boyfriend had a wonderful steak that was accompanied by truffled greens. We are looking forward to going back there soon. Finally, in Lenox, Prime is excellent.

          1. re: timwhoeatsalot

            Sabor is at 17 Wendell Ave. It's an odd and very unassuming (even unappealing) location but don't let that deter you. The food is great. Here's a link to their site:

      2. The last time I was there (2 years ago) a waiter asked me how I wanted my tuna. I told him seared, he asked "Ya, but rare? medium? well done?" I knew that things had slipped. The tuna was overcooked, the apps were mediocre, the service was barely tippable. I do like their bar food tho, or at least I remember liking their bar food...

        2 Replies
        1. re: timwhoeatsalot

          Per Berkshire Eagle today, Pearl's was closed, sold, and expects to re-open next week under new ownership. Chowhounders, please report back!

          1. re: woodlander

            I'm not surprised, or sad, that Pearl's closed. The few times I have been there, I was nothing but disappointed in every way. I used to rely on The Old Mill in S. Egremont for dependable, excellent food. The last time I was there, however, I had a lousy meal. I will certainly give them another chance. Consistency in this neck of the woods has to be given some slack, or I would never spend money out ever again.