I haven’t walked into to many restaurants where they literally had to turn the lights on for me. At some places I wish they would turn more lights on so I can actually read the menu, and other places Wife L wishes they would turn some lights off, because the less you can see in some of the places we’ve been, the better off you are.
Granted, we caught the Black Pearl Inn on Route 20 in Sharon Springs at an awkward time, right around 3:30 on a drizzly, gray Sunday.
The bartender, who had one patron to chat with, directed us into the dining room where we were met by our friendly waitress. Nobody else about, except for the cook out back. The waitress took our drink orders and then decided to hit the lights, giving us a better view of what really is a nice dining area.
Couple M, who traveled Route 20 often as they traveled from Schenectady to Cazenovia, speak well of the Black Pearl.
I’m just not sure where the name Black Pearl and the menacing skull and crossbones on the outdoor sign come into play. Maybe the owner just likes pirates, but it doesn’t quite seem to fit the nice atmosphere of the dining room, where local photographs adorn the walls and the ornate tin ceiling adds a nice touch.
Our lunch/dinner was good, if not exceptional. My cheeseburger was served on a fresh Kaiser roll and topped with lettuce, onion, and tomato. It was good, with that wonderful grilled flavor. The fries were rough-cut, but not very crisp or very good.
Wife L had a nice piece of haddock and a side of macaroni salad. Daughter B opted for a tuna sandwich, also served on a Kaiser roll.
The menu doesn’t really stand out in terms of specials or unusual offerings, but if you are looking for an inviting place to stop and eat while driving on Route 20, give this place a try. It might not thrill, but it should not disappoint.
Of course, if you are looking for a more interesting dining experience and have more funds and time to spend, absolutely visit The American Hotel, just up the road from the Black Pearl on Route 10, in the heart of the village of Sharon Springs.
We stayed and dined at The American Hotel a few years back, and it was marvelous. A wonderfully restored inn that dates back to when the village was a thriving vacation hotspot in the mid-1800s and later, in the 1950s, a refuge for Hasidic Jews from New York City looking to enjoy the sulfur waters at the springs along Main Street.
After a period of significant decline, two entrepreneurs bought the hotel in 1996 and brought it back to life. The food is eclectic, interesting, and wonderfully prepared. This is fine dining in a casual, comfortable atmosphere.
Again, it’s been a few years, so if you have been to the American Hotel more recently let me know if it has maintained its very high standards.