Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine

The inviting aroma of hot fried chicken fills the room. People nearby are happily sipping on sweet tea, moonshine, and whiskey. Laughter abounds. A platter of perfect deviled eggs is passed among friends. You might think you’re at your grandmother’s house in the Deep South. But this time, you’re right here in Plano, having supper at Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine.

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Deviled Eggs topped with Crispy Chicken Skin // photos by Jennifer Shertzer

Julia Pearl, described as a “celebration of Southern life and hospitality,” features classic, Southern comfort food dotted with elegant modern flair to create familiar dishes with bold, exquisite touches.

Darcy Dudley, President of Trendine Restaurant Group, who owns Julia Pearl, says the restaurant is named after his grandmother, Pearl, and his wife Vivian’s grandmother, Julia. Dudley has been dreaming of launching the concept in this exact space since long before the space was even available. On his way to church each Sunday, Dudley would pass the former Allen Wickers Pub location, look over to his wife, and say, “That’s the place. That’s where my restaurant will be.”

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Julia Jarman, one of the restaurant’s namesakes

“We’re excited to bring our vision to a reality and to open the doors of Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine,” said Mr. Dudley. “With our distinct brand of Southern-inspired cooking and hospitality, we’re confident that our concept will resonate with area diners, and we’re looking forward to making new friends over great meals.”

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House Made Blackeyed Pea Hummus

And great meals they are indeed; hardly a surprise with the stellar team behind the dishes. Culinary Director of this new concept is renowned Chef Tre’ Wilcox, a former Top Chef contestant. Wilcox worked as Executive Chef at both Marquee Grill and Abacus, Kent Rathbun’s award-winning restaurant. It was at Abacus that Wilcox met Jermaine Brown, the new Executive Chef at Julia Pearl, where Brown worked his way up from line cook to Executive Sous Chef. Smiling, Tre’ said this about Jermaine Brown: “He is no longer the right-hand man. He is the man.”

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Julia Pearl’s Executive Chef, Jermaine Brown, and Culinary Director, Tré Wilcox

Chef Jermaine Brown got his start at Brennan’s of Houston as Lead Cook. Since then, he has continued his culinary journey in Dallas and worked with a number of esteemed chefs. With 16 years in the restaurant industry, it’s clear Chef Jermaine is ready for prime time at Julia Pearl.

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Cornmeal Crusted Catfish with Whipped Potatoes, Green Beans and Caper Lemon Butter

The menu here is chock-full of Southern favorites. An appetizer (or three!) is a must here. Choose from selections like the aforementioned perfect deviled eggs garnished with crispy chicken skin, black-eyed pea hummus, chicken wings, or jumbo lump crab cake with lemon mustard sauce and parsley oil. The Julia’s Gumbo is spicy and delicious and another solid offering. For the main course you’ll find Southern staples like Southern Fried Chicken, Jumbo Texas Shrimp with Spicy Cheese Grits with a smoked pepper sauce, Pork Chops, or a Smoked Brisket Plate.

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Bar Manager Nick Kotecki created Julia Pearl’s signature cocktails: Jazzy Belle made with Tito’s Vodka, Julia’s Berry Mint Julep made with Old Smoky Moonshine, and Pearl’s Old Fashioned made with Jacob’s Ghost White Bourbon and a pearl-shaped ice cube
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Paintings on display throughout the restaurant are by DFW artist Johnice Parker

The 6,000 square foot space has an open layout with a double-side fireplace to split the restaurant from the bar area. Exposed brick, wood, and leather are married to conjure the perfect setting for a family meal. Touches of Mason jar light fixtures and a chalkboard on the wall round out the downhome classy Southern feel. With the cozy, upscale motif inside the restaurant, it’s easy to feel right at home dining at Julia Pearl.

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If you have a hankering for some comfort food, the namesake of Julia and Pearl can fix you right up. Your grandma might not cook here, but now might just be a good time to call her and invite her with you to Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine.

Julia Pearl Website >

 

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