'Victoria Parade': The Finale to our Winter Dinner Series

Goodbye August! Time to sign off our Winter Dinner Series with a bang, as Paul explains…

When we opened Pearl at the start of May, opening one night a week for dinner wasn’t exactly a priority, but it was a challenge and project of passion I was happy to take up. Studying in Melbourne meant Thursday night was officially the start of the weekend, and often the biggest night of the week. That vibe has stayed with me til this day, and I think going out on a Thursday evening (or Little Friday as is rolls around in my head) is the first grand, enjoyable habit towards an improved work/life balance.

The Winter Dinner Series, introducing a set produce-driven 2 or 3 course menu that we change weekly, in the depths of the Tassie winter hasn’t been without its, challenges.

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I’m told much of our clientele bail north for the Winter months. I’m told $55 for dinner is unrealistic for Devonport. I’m told people don’t go out when it’s dark at 5pm. I’m told people don’t eat seafood in ‘this’ weather. I’m told oysters don’t sell. I’m told a lot of stuff…

So we’ll focus on the locals that are here. Keep it intimate; I’m happy hosting 25 people for dinner. Scallops and mussels are at their best right now and right on our doorstep- why wouldn’t we feature that? Prawns are still fresh and plentiful. Our oyster/seafood order hasn’t changed since the week we opened, and in fact, has risen over Winter. A garlic bread and steak in most local pubs would be the same price as our 3x courses. We have a beautiful warm, well-lit building with loads of free parking- let’s utilise it!

And so we did! Put an ad on the front page of the paper, Thursday Winter Dinners. Bombarded you online (apologies, the mute button is free!) and opened every Thursday evening from 6pm. We’ve kept the focus on seafood, though have been careful to include non-seafood options every week. We’ve used dinner to experiment a little with our kitchen and new dishes. The numbers started well from week one, and I’m really happy with the support we’ve received, particularly from a few groups of loyal and appreciative locals. It’s touching.

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On to our final Winter Dinner- titled ‘Victoria Parade’. I’ve been sitting on a little side-collection of wine from some my favourite Victorian vineyards, including one I worked at for a long time (will save that for another post), and have looked at our best-selling dinner items from Winter. The result for this week is a 4x course menu with matched wines- definitely my favourite event format to plan/host.

The price point matches our average spend for the Winter series, but the value here is exceptional. The wines alone retail at $30-$60 p/bottle. Value is what made the winter series a success, inspiring the boost for our last one. The dishes are a mix of seafood and non-seafood; all having performed well over the winter months (produce quality and sales).

So this is it! If you’ve thought ‘one week’ we’ll go, this is THE week. If you’ve been one previous Thursday and would like one more, this is the best one yet!

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The calendar-savvy folk may be questioning the ‘finale’, with 2 Thursdays in fact left of winter. We have a private event booked on Thursday 29th, meaning this coming Thursday is our last opportunity to end the series. After the week’s break we’ll be back for Thursdays Evenings in Spring, and something a bit different for Little Friday as the weather warms up…

Thank you for your support!

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