The Pearl is Cameron Mitchell Restaurants' latest contribution to the dining scene in Dublin's Bridge Park.
The sleek and bright restaurant at 88 N. High St. in historic Dublin is in that sweet spot between casual and fine dining, general manager Jill Armstrong said.

Editor's note: After Gov. Mike DeWine's March 15 order to close Ohio's bars and restaurants to diners because of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Pearl in Dublin offered carryout service. However, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants on March 19 closed the Pearl and all its locations for the duration of the pandemic.

The Pearl is Cameron Mitchell Restaurants' latest contribution to the dining scene in Dublin's Bridge Park.

The sleek and bright restaurant at 88 N. High St. in historic Dublin is in that sweet spot between casual and fine dining, general manager Jill Armstrong said.

"It's meant to have a pub and tavern feel, but it's upscale," she said.

Kaitlin Sharbo, who trained at the Culinary Studies Institute at Oakland Community College in Michigan, is the restaurant's executive chef.

The restaurant is central Ohio's second Pearl -- the original is in Columbus' Short North -- and it is among Cameron Mitchell Restaurants' four venues that straddle the Scioto River. The Pearl is next door to the Avenue Steak Tavern on the west side of the river, and Cap City Fine Diner and Bar and the Exchange, a private-events space, are on the opposite bank.

The two sides will be connected by the Dublin Link, a pedestrian bridge that unites both Bridge Park developments.

The Pearl's interior is composed largely of white tile, floor-to-ceiling windows and two exhibition kitchens -- one for the traditional menu and the other for the oyster bar.

Armstrong said the two Pearls have the same menu and nearly identical wine lists.

The restaurant's burger might show how seriously the kitchen takes its everyday fare. It is made of chuck and brisket ground daily in-house, topped with triple-cream cambozola cheese and a red-wine reduction, and it is served with a side of fries with tomato jam.

One of the house favorites is the pineapple-marinated hanger steak sided with kimchi fried rice and a sunny-side-up egg.

Furthermore, four types of oysters are baked, fried or served on the half shell. Also available are clams, peel-and-eat shrimp and colossal blue crab.

Most entrees are $16 to $34.

Armstrong said the Dublin restaurant has the same warmth as the original Pearl, where she was an opening server.

"This has become full circle for me," she said. "This concept is home. This is where the journey began."

When dine-in service is restored, hours will be 4 to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 4 to 10 p.m. to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

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Afra Grill plans to dish up quick-serve Somali fare in Columbus' Northland neighborhood.

In the style of Chipotle, customers can choose a rice bowl, sabaayad (soft bread), a salad or a Somali version of a taco, topped with black beans, suugo (Somali sauce), chickpeas or plantains, a choice of protein (chicken, goat, steak or curry vegetables), vegetables and sauce.

When dine-in service is restored, Afra Grill will seat up to 75, plus eight in a private dining room, at 1635 Morse Road, one building to the east of Couscous House.

It also has a coffee and tea station, an adjacent lounge and a drive-up window.

An opening date has not been set, said Moe Hassan, a contractor on the project.

Prices weren't immediately available.

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Dulce Vida, a Mexican ice cream shop, has opened at 1127 N. High St. in Columbus' Short North.

The family-owned business specializes in artisan ice cream and paletas (Mexican-style popsicles) in more than 40 flavors.

Block's Bagels has opened in the North Market, 59 Spruce St. in Columbus, and is providing carryout service during the restrictions on restaurants because of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The eatery offers bagels and cream cheese, sandwiches, dill potato salad, knishes, latkes and other deli favorites.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary