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Mussels, Not Oysters, at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

From what I’ve been told, Logan Circle was not that long ago viewed as a rough-around-the-edges-type neighborhood. For better or for worse, it appears to have evolved into a yuppified urban hotspot of shops, yoga stores, restaurants, and of course, a Whole Foods. You can’t be a yuppie neighborhood without a Whole Foods.

I like Logan Circle a lot, although I’ll admit doing group ab exercises on the sidewalk outside Lululemon after one of their Monday runs made me feel like a pretentious ass. Aside from that, it seems to be a great neighborhood, made better by the recent addition of Pearl Dive Oyster Palace.

My friend Alia and I met there recently, and we decided to go early because we’d heard how crowded it got later in the evening.

It was a good call. When we arrived there several open tables; by the time we left, the place was full.

I suppose the no-brainer would have been to order oysters, but we decided on sharing an appetizer of mussels instead.

One of the best things about mussels is dipping bread into the broth, and this was good broth, full of wine and garlic.

Here’s Alia’s fried shrimp dinner.

And my grilled rockfish over, yup, more mussels!

The rockfish was light and clean, while the broth had an extra surprise — andouille sausage. Smoky and spicy, the andouille flavored everything around it. I had almost gone for the crab cakes as my entree, but I’m glad I opted for this instead.

For dessert, we shared a chocolate panna cotta. I actually didn’t think it looked all that appetizing when it arrived at the table — the color was strange — but I changed my tune once I tasted it.  It had almost a toasted caramel flavor and those little cookies on the side were sinfully buttery. We oohed, aahed and polished this thing off in a hurry.

Longtime residents of Logan Circle may be decrying the yuppification of their neighborhood.  But if that means more seafood restaurants like Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, I say bring it on.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
1612 14th St. NW
Washington, DC