Cured At Pearl | Chef Steven McHugh
Cured at Pearl may have opened at the end of December 2013 but it has been a dream of Chef Steven McHugh for many years (and even before.) I remember meeting the chef at the opening preview of Luke San Antonio and thinking how personable he was. That it was crazy busy but took a second to patiently take a picture with me! It was easy to follow his career (and food) since he moved here towards the end of 2010 because he supports so many local events and organizations. Understanding that commitment to quality, taste, and locally sourced food led to my ridiculous excitement for Cured at Pearl opening.
Food Highlights from our 12/30/2013 visit (pictured):
- Charcuterie board selection of apple jalapeno pork rillettes, jalapeno sausage, country style pork pate, chicken liver mousse, hunters sausage, tarragon sausage accompanied by pickled okra, cauliflower, mustards, jams, and crispy flatbreads
- Griddle burger with onion jam, cheddar, and crispy fresh cut fries (make it a double!)
- Crabmeat ravigote so fresh with avocado, tomato, citrus, and beets
- Cabrito Sliders (which we first enjoyed a couple of months previously at a chef demo during the farmers market) on local bread, fresh pickles, and onion sprout
Intense desserts during our first visit included:
- Chocolate Donut Bread Pudding #NOLA
- Texas Citrus Tarte with deliciously sweet Meyer Lemons
- Carrot and Cardamom Cheesecake accompanied by an amazing stuffed Lady Apple
I’m sure a lot of restaurants say, “locally sourced”, but Chef Steven McHugh takes it to the next level. When we received our charcuterie plate, I immediately recognized the beautiful, yellow Oak Hills Farm cauliflower (that I just purchased at the Pearl Farmers Market) and he grinned that I noticed. When they were starting to open I remember seeing him walk his kitchen staff (shout out Ashby!!) around the market where I’m sure he was pointing out the importance of basing the menu off what was offered seasonally. As someone who has been there for lunch twice, brunch twice, and dinner once (in the past two and a half months), I can definitely attest to how frequently the menu updates. There are staple dishes of course but the desserts have changed completely already.
Going to Cured for the first time?
Here are my suggestions:
- Call ahead and make dinner reservations 210-314-3929 (if you use Open Table, make reservations from Cured’s website)
- Go with a group so you don’t have to be as limited in your choices
- Bring your phone charger for easy use in the USB outlets for leisurely dining and electronically charging (take foodie pictures without fear of battery drain!)
- Thank your waiter, chefs, and bartender for the love they drench their food and service in
- Try cocktails at the bar while you wait for a table if you don’t make reservations ahead of time
- Perfect place to celebrate anything
Always dedicated to the environment, Cured was sustainably restored around its walls that have stood for 110 years!
- Original building built in 1904 as Pearl’s Administration Building which included the president’s office
- Includes interior fashioned with reclaimed or original materials
- Beautiful exposed brick with layers of history
- Look DOWN at the beautiful floors, especially by the open kitchen
- Look UP at the ceilings that match the original pressed patterns
- Visit the men’s water closet and see the original desk repurposed into a sink and trash can
- Look at the vault turned walk in fridge by the bar (ask the waiter to peek in, they’re cool)
- The antique meat slicer at the bar, check out what the bottle of waters are beautifully stored in
“We tried to design cocktails we could put our philosophies into, which are being local and handcrafted. Our biggest seller was developed by my wife’s creative suggestion – the Cured Cocktail – meyer lemon, thyme and moonshine infused with ginger that’s mixed with house-made citrus bitters, topped off with Champagne. People can be afraid of moonshine, but then they try it and end up having two or three because it’s just smooth and it’s got that lemon in there. The Champagne adds effervescence. It’s really refreshing.”
Cured at Pearl
- Website: http://www.curedatpearl.com (sign up for the wonderfully written monthly newsletter!)
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/curedatpearl (regularly updated, check out pictures from the very beginning)
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/chefstevemchugh
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CuredatPearl
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/CuredatPearl
Charcuterie for a Good Cause
One of the driving philosophies of Cured is an appreciation of life, in gratitude and celebration. Chef Steve McHugh survived non-Hodgkins lymphoma and since opening Cured, found a way to give back while doing what he loves – by donating $1 from every Charcuterie Board ordered to a different charitable organization every quarter. From now through March, each dollar from an order will go straight to the Leukkemia and Lymphoma Society.
- Already nearly $2,000 from char boards has been donated to LLS to fund much-needed research that has helped millions, including Chef Steve, live strong.