Welcome back to Eater Scenes, where photographer Rey Lopez captures a restaurant at a specific time and day. Here, Lopez visits Pineapple & Pearls for an annual Michelin charity dinner for two high-profile food banks.
Three of D.C.’s top restaurants joined forces in one kitchen on the eve of Michelin’s 2019 star announcement to make an elaborate nine-course feast, complete with caviar gummy bears and pours from pricey champagne magnums.
Wednesday night’s $650-per-person dinner at Capitol Hill’s Pineapple & Pearls featured hits from Patrick O’Connell (The Inn at Little Washington), Aaron Silverman (Pineapple & Pearls), and Jorge Hernandez (Minibar by José Andrés) — with seven stars between the power restaurant trio, as of Thursday’s 2019 D.C. Michelin Guide announcement. While Minibar by Jose Andres and Pineapple & Pearls held on to their two-star ratings for 2019, the 40-year-old Inn nestled in rural Washington, Va. attained Michelin’s highest accolade of three stars, signifying “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”
The Inn showcased its team’s talent with a daring dessert dubbed “Apparently a Pear” — a hand-painted fruit filled with poached pear compote and sauced with light amaretto cream. Michelin Guide director Michael Ellis, who was in attendance with his team, told Eater a standout bite that stuck in his mind was Pineapple & Pearls’ silver bowl of white sturgeon caviar, gummy bears, and sprinkles.
The event benefited DC Central Kitchen and Andrés’ nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, which prepared more than 3 million meals for Puerto Rico hurricane victims over the course of three months. He recounts the experience in his latest book, We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time.