Happy Hour | Pearl in Bellevue is a beacon of gourmet grandiosity
As far as happy hour is concerned, Pearl Bar & Dining is regarded as the Eastside's, well, pearl. It boasts an extensive array of cocktails, wine and gourmet food best devoured on a slow night.
Seattle Times staff reporter
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On the Eastside, it seems no one can talk about happy hour without summoning Pearl Bar & Dining. At some point, this Bellevue haunt became the barometer to which all Eastside happy hours are marked against.
It's true. No Eastside happy hour is as grand as Pearl. The extensive food list: sauteed beef, kimchee beef, fried cheese (Beecher's, of course), tuna, salmon, shrimp, calamari, chicken, pork, lots of protein dressed up in various ways, all half off ($4-$7.50).
Ditto its cocktail and wine-by-the-glass list, which seems to stretch into infinity.
That explains the lure of Pearl. It may also explain its inconsistency. The good news: The most finicky eater will find something. Its juicy Berkshire pork sliders come close to being full-size sandwiches (three for $5). Its garlic sauteed tenderloin strips with blue cheese can fill you up. Crossing the bridge home, I still had visions of its simple but elegant smoked salmon on potato cakes, topped with crème fraîche.
Still, I wouldn't want to visit Pearl on a busy night. It runs an extensive bar menu that I think may be too taxing on its kitchen staff. On a crowded night, the Dungeness crab cake was soggy and undercooked. And the fries left the deep fryer five minutes too soon.
Pearl brags about its cocktails, but they skewed too sweet for me. Wine ($3-$9.75) is a better option to pair with the gourmet food, and beer ($3 and less) is the better value if you want to save money.
Pearl Bar & Dining, 700 Bellevue Way N.E., Suite 50, at Lincoln Square, Bellevue, offers happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily and, additionally, from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sundays to Tuesdays and 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays. All bar food and drinks half off during happy hour. Complimentary valet parking at The Westin Hotel (425-455-0181 or pearlbellevue.com).
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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