One thing in particular jumped out to me while I pored over the menus for The Pearl, Cameron Mitchell's newly opened gastropub/oyster room: punch bowls.

One thing in particular jumped out to me while I pored over the menus for The Pearl, Cameron Mitchell's newly opened gastropub/oyster room: punch bowls. I first came to know the joys of punch bowls during trips last year to New York City and San Francisco, where lots of bars serve these made-for-a crowd cocktails.

If everyone's in the mood for the same drink, they're a great deal, and the presentation can't be beat. Your punch of choice is delivered in a gorgeous, vintage punch bowl (old-school bridal shower-style!) with little class mugs for everyone who is partaking. Ladle out mugs of the boozy goodness until it's gone and everyone's, well, punchy.

On my first visit to the Pearl, I was in a party of two, so we wisely chose to save the full bowl (recommended for four or more people, $38) for another visit. But I did order one serving of the Bourbon Apple Punch ($10), and really enjoyed it. It's Bulleit bourbon, Calvados apple brandy, apple cider, housemade spice syrup and baked apple bitters, with some sliced fresh apples as a garnish. It's served cold, not warm, but still makes a good beverage for a wintery day.

Also available is a Citrus Punch, with Ketel One Citroen, absinthe, Lillet Blanc, fresh orange and lemon juice, and blueberry bitters. Let me know if you order one...I spied some of the pretty punch bowls while perched at the bar and can't wait to see how the Pearl serves them up.