Black Pearl Restaurant on Denver Hot List

Black Pearl Restaurant on Denver Hot List

This is a first: As dining critic at The Denver Post, a post I've held since 2005, I've yet to review a restaurant twice. Today, I break that run.

The reason? A new chef, and a renewed energy, at Platt Park's Black Pearl restaurant, which (despite my initial misgivings about the place, as revealed in a 1-star review back in 2005) has persevered to become an essential, deeply rooted player on Denver's South Pearl Street.

I was perhaps too hard on the initial incarnation of Black Pearl, mostly because I expected so very, very much. Deafening buzz and a promising menu spiked my hopes; but those hopes were ultimately, dashed. "I was crushed," I wrote. "(The dishes) didn't work, and I think there was a step missing somewhere in the kitchen: quality control."

What a difference four years of refinement and reinvention makes. Because Black Pearl is now as much a gem as its name suggests.

Much of the credit goes to the dogged determination this place exhibits, a fierce sense of resolve to fill the tables with locals thirsty for drinks and hungry for supper. Black Pearl's energy, at some times better- directed than at others, has been unwavering for nearly five years; this persistence has rendered the place necessary to its neighborhood. Too rooted to fail, as it were.

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