Although I was initially wary of the hype surrounding its opening, Pearl Dive has exceeded my expectations. The food is great, even if you don't like oysters, and the Pearl Cup is one of many excellent mixed drinks worth trying. A favorite discussion among my friends who live in the area is whether Pearl Dive is even better than perennial favorite Hank's Oyster Bar, which is only a few blocks away on 17th and Q. On the one hand, Hank's has more outdoor seating, but Pearl Dive's indoor-outdoor bar with a huge window that swings open to 14th St. gives the whole restaurant a fun atmosphere. I cannot decide which has better oysters, but I LOVE the fish with sage on Pearl Dive's menu, whereas Hank's does a great grilled hanger steak. To the credit of both, we have not been able to decide on a clear winner, and we will happily continue to frequent both Hank's and Pearl Dive.
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