Beer & Wine

Sneak Peek at Pearl Restaurant & Champagne Lounge, Opening December 10

​The iconic South Beach hot spot, Pearl Restaurant & Champagne Lounge, is making its official comeback December 10 -- six years after closing to the public.

From 1999 to 2005, Pearl (second floor of Nikki Beach) was a favorite among A-List celebrities back in its hay day. Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon, Paris Hilton, Janet Jackson and Sting were among the regulars.

Owners Jack and Lucia Penrod reopened because of popular demand. "Everywhere my wife [Lucia] and I traveled, people were always asking for Pearl. We figured that since everyone missed it as much as we did, 'Let's bring it back!' " said Jack, founder of Nikki Beach Resorts and Hotels Worldwide.

At 8,000 square feet of purely white and orange decor (did we mention the orange fur wall behind the DJ booth?), the place is striking. Lucia notes "I've been told the theme of Pearl is Austin Powers meets The Jetsons". Not a bad comparison but we'll assume it was after the Jetsons won the lottery and moved into a chic loft. While the layout of Pearl circa 1999 is the same, a new ceviche bar and cigar room have been added.

The reopened restaurant will try to capture the lounge-like atmosphere and retro ambiance of the Pearl's last incarnation with more emphasis on food this time around. Executive Chef Sylvain Noel will bring all types of cuisine to the menu -- including Middle Eastern, Latin American, American, Asian, and European cuisine.

Pearl's doors will be open Tuesday through Saturday at 6:30 p.m. for dinner and when the clock strikes 11, guests will be dazzled by a dramatic drawback of white drapes to reveal the lounge area and DJ booth. It's strongly encouraged to make reservations for dinner (786-515-1150), as seating is limited (a little exclusivity never hurt anyone, anyway).

We'll be attending the invite-only pre-opening dinner just for you -- pen, notepad, camera, and go-go boots in hand.

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Alex Rodriguez