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Pearl’s Trinidadian flavors now in Williamsburg

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Sweet, sweet T and T has found its way to a shocking location, Williamsburg. Known for its hipsters, cute boutiques and plenty of good eats, Fallon Seymour — along with husband John Seymour, who also owns popular Williamsburg eateries Sweet Chick and Pop’s — is bringing her culture to the not-so Caribbean neighborhood.

“I have always wanted to open up a restaurant, especially a Caribbean restaurant and expose people to my culture,” she said. “Caribbean food to me is comfort food so I believe the people in the neighborhood will feel that and enjoy.”

Pearl’s, named after Seymour’s grandmother and just steps away from Pop’s located on North 8 between Bedford and Driggs avenues, radiates the colorful culture, sound, and taste of Trinidad.

Unlike other Caribbean restaurants, the décor is more retro, subtly capturing Trinidad with homage to popular sayings on the walls versus flags. There are splashes of bright colors, a wall dedicated to known Trini sayings like “Eh, Eh, Eh,” and “The Mighty Sparrow” to mention a few.

The retro-like theme is carried out with the stacked “old school” boom boxes above the open kitchen where the smell of spices floats throughout the narrow restaurant.

“Whenever you go into a Caribbean restaurant there all kind of the same, this one has more neon and vibrant colors, and all of the sayings. We just kind’ve wanted to make it fun, playful, and kind’ve feel the warmth of the islands when you’re coming in,” she explained.

Cooking alongside her grandmother since the tender age of four, Seymour is serving up Bake and Shark, Stuffed Crab Back, Conch and Dumplins, and other staples along with all the sauces for added flavor.

“Pearl is my grandmother and she taught me how to cook as young as four years old. She used to teach me how to roll bake and fry flying fish so this whole concept is kind’ve like an ode to her,” she explained.

While the popular trend of “modernizing” Caribbean cuisine has gained steam with new Caribbean restaurant openings this year, Seymour is staying true to form — right down to the spelling of items.

Taking few liberties and keeping things traditional, Seymour has still added a few spins on favorites such as the Sorrel Shandy — home brewed and less sweet.

“It’s our housemade Sorrel Shandy. We bottle that in Trinidad and I think that it’s too sweet — the one in the bottle — but this is not as sweet,” she explained.

Opening its doors just before the New Year arrives, Seymour is hopeful that in the coming months Pearl’s will be added to the list of favorites — such as Sweet Chick and Pop’s — along the Bedford L stop with lines outside awaiting to take a bite into her culture.

In the coming weeks, Pearl’s will be opening for lunch and brunch but is currently open for dinner.

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at aolivier@cnglocal.com. Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.
Updated 1:54 pm, January 7, 2016
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