Behind the Scene at the Lachini Winemaker Dinner

Thursday, May 20, guests took part in an engaging, elaborate Winemaker Dinner with Ron Lachini, owner of Lachini Family Vineyards. Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson and Ron Lachini paired world class wines with Pearl’s fresh, seasonal dishes.

As guests arrived and mingled, a salmon crudo with orange, ginger and chives was passed. This lovely small bite was paired with Jaillance, Brut Rose, Cremant de Bordeaux, N.

Lachini Estate Vineyard Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, OR 2008, accompanied organic golden beets, topped with a Humboldt Fog chevre and micro beat sprouts.

The remaining winemaker dinner courses went as follows:

PORCINI CRUST ALASKAN HALIBUT FILET, hon shimejii mushrooms, white truffle, mache. Served with “Giselle” Pinot Noir Vertical Willamette Valley, OR

BRAISED KUROBUTA PORK BELLY, spring onion risotto, Reggiano parmesan, verjus glace. Served with “Spur” Cabernet Blend, Columbia Valley, WA 2007

GRILLED SNAKE RIVER FARMS WAGYU SIRLOIN, Robuchon potatoes,black cherry vanilla essence demi. Served with “La Bestia” Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA 2007

Guests ended their evening with a local artisan cheese plate with seasonal accompaniments. Learn more about Pearl’s esteemed dinner co-host, Lachini Family Vineyards, at their website,


Winemaker Dinner update from Matthew Davis, Pearl Sommelier

Wagyu Sirloin served at the Barrage Winemaker Dinner.

I’m really excited about how are previous wine dinners have gone.  Barrage with winemaker Kevin Correll was intimate with some of his first supporters able to see the success he’s reached, as well as a rowdy sell-out crowd celebrating the legacy of Woodward Canyon.  Thursday will be awesome with winemaker Eric Dunham joining as the guest of honor. See menu below.

-Matthew Davis

Pearl Gives Back

When Mikel and I made the decision to open a restaurant, we knew that we would become part of a local network of philanthropy. We knew that the community would come to us for support and that we would be able to partner with a number of worthy charitable organizations in unique and creative ways. We have focused our support towards children, medical research and the local arts community.

This past week we were involved with three separate events.


Poker Slam for Rise n’ Shine
On Thursday night, Pearl catered the annual “Poker Slam” at the Mercer Island waterfront home of local game inventor and philanthropist Rob Angel. Menu items included the “Full House” Wagyu Sliders, “No Limit” fresh seafood platter  with gulf shrimp and Dungeness crab and the “All In” porcini grilled chicken. But this was much more than just a poker night on the lake… numerous guests arrived by boat, the vintage wine was flowing, several cigars were smoked. You see, Rob invites his close friends along with local celebs and sports stars to raise money for a great cause – Rise n’ Shine of Seattle. I was lucky enough to be hosted at the tables that night by Lakeside Capital, a longtime sponsor of the event. With a little bit of luck I did make it to the final table where we lost to a pair of 10’s. When all was said and done, Sean Hobday won the poker tournament, but Risenshine was the big winner – as they accepted donations of over $45,000. Thanks to Rob and all the participants for such a great night!




Efeste Winemaker Dinner for Sacred Heart School
Friday night Pearl catered a Winemaker’s Dinner at the Efeste Winery in Woodinville as part of the Sacred Heart School 2010 auction. Efeste is a wonderful venue for these events and they are open for tastings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Winemaker Brennon Leighton is doing amazing work and is busy collecting numerous accolades. Sacred Heart is a wonderful school on Clyde Hill and we have supported their cause for several years. I could tell this would be a great pairing before we had our first sip. The evening started with hors doeuvres and wine in the kitchen and then moved into the beautiful barrel room for dinner. Guests were treated to four stunning Efeste wines paired with a delicious menu from Pearl: spicy ahi tuna canapés, roasted King Salmon with fresh favas, black angus tenderloin with bleu cheese demi glace and ginger-molasses ice cream sandwiches.

Wine Dinner for Special Olympics Washington Chapter
Saturday night at Pearl we hosted a Chef’s Table wine dinner in support of The Special Olympics. The kitchen team was on track that night, working alongside Wine Director Matt Davis to create a memorable evening. Appetizers included beautiful Kushi oysters paired with shiso mignonette. The salad course was a classic frisee salad with warm bacon vinaigrette with poached egg and goat cheese crostini, paired with the wonderful Chaleur Blanc from Delille Cellars. The fish course was wonderful Sablefish from Neah Bay, marinated in honey and miso and served with an intense “Namya” broth and Dungeness crab dumplings. For the entrée we paired our latest signature dish – Grilled Wagyu Sirloin with bleu cheese fritters alongside two wines; Dussek Cabernet from Woodhouse Family Cellars and the The Tsutakawa from aMaurice Cellars. WOW! What an incredible steak and two awesome wines.

Three events in three nights! I’m tired, but I feel good about supporting our community. I know that we can’t do every event, so I really give it my all for the ones we can.

– Co-owner and Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson

Behind the Scene at the Woodward Canyon Winemaker Dinner


Featuring Thomas Woodley, National Sales Coordinator for Woodward Canyon Winery

4.15.2010 – The fanfare of a winemaker dinner on the floor is one thing; seeing the staging involved in the back of the house is entertainment on its own merits. Our Woodward Canyon winemaker dinner was no exception.

The evening started with an eager group of dinner guests and Spicy Tuna Tartare combined with a medley of cucumber, radish and wasabi tobiko. The starter was paired with Jaillance Brut Rose Cremant du Bordeaux, France NV. The remaining winemaker dinner courses went as follows:

Dungeness Crab – Fennel-apple salad, cider vinaigrette, hazelnut brittle

Paired with Chardonnay – Columbia Valley, WA 2008

Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson and Sous Chef J.J. Ullakko placing the fennel-apple salad

Sous Chef J.J. Ullakko drizzling cider vinaigrette on the fennel-apple salad

Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson placing the Dungeness crab and hazelnut brittle to complete the dish


Alaskan King Salmon – cedar planked, paprika spice rub, Washington lentils, bacon, savoy cabbage.

Paired with a Merlot – Columbia Valley, WA 2007


Sous Chef J.J. Ullakko seasoning the Alaskan King Salmon with a paprika spice rub

Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson and Sous Chef J.J. Ullakko plate the Salmon over a bed of Washington lentils, bacon and savoy cabbage


Snake River Farms Wagyu Sirloin – romescu, wild ramps, crimini mushrooms

Paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon – Walla Walla Valley, 2008

Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson prepares the crimini mushrooms

Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson and Sous Chef J.J. Ullakko plate the Snake River Farms Wagyu Sirloin over romescu with wild ramps and crimini mushrooms


Roasted Prime Beef Tenderloin – Yukon gold potato puree, foie gras demi

Paired with a “Artist Series” Cabernet Sauvignon – Columbia Valley, 2007

Executive Chef Bradley Dickinson slices the roasted prime beef tenderloin

Sous Chef J.J. Ullakko adds the foie gras demi

Chef Bradley Dickinson and Sous Chef J.J. Ullakko plate the last dish of the evening

The winemaker dinner ended with a local artisian cheese plate with seasonal accompaniments and assorted delicacies. Guests retired with  full stomachs and a shared appreciation for the region’s food & wine, and the masters behind them.

Many thanks to Thomas Woodley of the Woodward Canyon Winery.

Meet the Team: Matthew Davis, Sommelier

Matthew Davis first learned about hospitality from Seattle restaurants Earth & Ocean and Canlis, and served on the wine teams at Ray’s Boathouse and 0/8 Seafood Grill before being appointed Pearl’s wine director. 

As ambassador to the restaurant’s service team and its rich offering of Washington and old world wines, Matthew shares his enthusiasm about all the winemakers coming through Pearl’s winemaker dinner series and the local finds that are joining our wine list each month.  

He draws great satisfaction in being surrounded by people who feel the same way about service that he does.

“Outside Pearl we don’t always get what we want and aren’t treated as we would like to be, but here at Pearl we get to treat people as special as we ought to be treated all the time,” he says.

On the menu Matthew enjoys the Wagyu Sirloin (“you just can’t get a deeper more full flavored steak anywhere,” he says). That and the diversity of choices in Pearl’s beverages make it tough to decide, but if he had to pick just one he’d have a glass of DeLille Chaleur Blanc.

In his free time, this UW Husky alum likes to rock climb in Ballard, cycle with his college buddies, and cook for his family. Matthew is a certified sommelier by the Court of Master Sommelier and has passed level two of the International Sommelier Guild. He is working on completing the Guild’s Diploma program.

Meet the Team: Rosa Freitas, Sales Manager

Rosa Freitas, Sales Manager

Rosa Freitas, a longtime Seattle area restaurant professional, has known Chef Bradley since 2001. When she had the opportunity to work with him at Pearl, she jumped at the chance to spearhead private dining, catering, and event coordinating, You’ll also see her around the floor during lunch.

 “I love the sense of family at Pearl, and the fact that everyone is valued and plays a role in what we do, from the servers all the way up to Bradley and Mikel,” she says. “There is such a great sense of pride that is shown by everyone.”

 Rosa recognizes the bar has been set high since the day Pearl opened its doors more than a year ago.  She loves the challenge to build on what the restaurant has already established and constantly introduce the restaurant to new people. After all, Rosa notes, it’s the customers and individuals that make Pearl what it is.

 Ask her about her Pearl favorites and she’ll recommend the Wagyu sirloin with bleu cheese fritter (she raves about all the marbling and that fritter, “it melts in your mouth, it is fantastic!”). To drink, it’s the Pearl Collins for its fresh, seasonal (fruit changes) and light qualities.

 When she isn’t at Pearl, Rosa shares her time with her family: children Payton and Ryann, and fiancé, Will. She also enjoys traveling and scuba diving.