Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Pearl to be reconfigured

Pearl, the yearling restau-lounge at 1904 Chestnut St., will be reconfigured Jan. 5. The first foor will be called Akoya, and therein lies a story.

Pearl to be reconfigured

Pearl, the yearling restau-lounge at 1904 Chestnut St., will be reconfigured Jan. 5.

The second-floor lounge will continue to operate as Pearl. The first-floor restaurant will be known as Akoya, under executive chef Greg Garbacz (say it "gar-baze") and Scott Stein. Garbacz was sous chef under Pearl's former chef Ari Weiswasser and previously was chef de cuisine at Audrey Claire.

Concept will be "Asian gastro," and menu listings include Okinawa potato chips, fried wantons with pico de gallo, hard shell Hamachi tacos, and short-rib sliders. A robatayaki section will include grilled shrimp, lobster, beef, pork, and chicken on a stick, as will a surf and turf (short ribs, lobster and vanilla scallion oil).

Backstory on the name: An Akoya pearl is a cultured pearl developed by Kokichi Mikimoto. Stein's great-grandfather, Samuel, owned a pub at 100 Arch St. during the 1926 Sesquicentennial.  Samuel Stein met Mikimoto when he arrived by boat a block from the restaurant, and Stein and his wife, Rose, accompanied Mikimoto and Mayor W. Freeland Kendrick at the exposition on May 31, 1926. Mikimoto gave Rose Stein with a strand of Akoya pearls after presenting the city with a Liberty Bell replica covered in pearls. David Stein, Scott's father, recalls that his grandmother quoted Mikimoto as saying that “every woman should wear a pearl necklace.” The Stein pearls will go on display at the restaurant.

Michael Klein Philly.com
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at mklein@philly.com.

Michael Klein Philly.com
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