Gate City Tavern forms from a Black Pearl

by Charles Womack

Alex Kazakos, who studied at Johnson & Wales University, has closed his Black Pearl Grill & Oyster Bar for a more moderately priced place in the same location that he is calling Gate City Tavern.

Kazekos has brought in a lot of lower-priced items and is offering a new menu featuring burgers, steaks, pasta, gourmet pizzas and seafood.

“We will continue to offer fresh market fish like our walnut crusted salmon, grilled tilapia, and Asian tuna,” said Kazakos, “but we are now offering new and exciting quality items at a lower price.”

Some of the new entrees include mama’s meatloaf, marinara or alfredo primavera and steaks.

On a recent visit, I had the pleasure to try one of their new signature items called the Drunken Sirlion ($14). The 10-ounce cut is marinated in bourbon, brown sugar and beer for 24 hours and served with garlic whipped potatoes, onion ribbons and choice of appetizer salad. I was pleased with the taste and tenderness of the beef.

My wife and I started our meal with her favorite appetizer, a holdover from the old concept: sliced ahi tuna.

The sesame-crusted tuna was served with Asian miso and tortilla slaw and is delicious and served beautifully.

A second appetizer we enjoyed was fried green tomatoes, which are served stacked up in a nice pile and are battered and friend to a golden brown.

Other appetizer menu items include Bangkok shrimp, oysters and grits, calamari, and jalape’o hummus. There is also a full bar with your favorite beer and a new martini and wine list. On Friday and Saturday, all Martinis are $5. All bottles of wine are half price on Wednesday.

The menu also features sandwiches, including blackened salmon, chicken bacon swiss, crabcake and corned beef reuben. Salads include oyster spinach, chicken Mexican and nuts and berries.

Another welcome addition to the menu is gourmet pizza. Each 12-inch pie is created from fresh dough made in-house with an herb oil, parmesan-brushed crust. There are 12 choices on the menu, including a Kentucky Derby chicken with cherry-cola barbecue sauce, grilled chicken topped with Monterey jack and chedder cheeses, bacon and pico de gallo; Greek with tomato sauce, feta cheese, Roma tomatoes, oregano, black olives, red onion and fresh basil; vegetarian with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, mushrooms and basil; and meat-lovers with pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham, bacon and mozzarella.

Two we tried included the margherita with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, Roma tomatoes and fresh basil and the Thai chicken which comes with Thai chili sauce, grilled chicken, red peppers, Monterey jack and cheddar cheese. Both were delicious, simple and pure.

You can also enjoy a soup — spicy black bean tortilla, New England clam chowder or chili — paired with salad or a sandwich for $6.50.

Also, one child (ages 10 and younger) per paying adult can eat free every day.

Patio seating is offered. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Gourmet pizzas are now standard fare at this High Point Road establishment.

(photo by Charles Womack)

by Charles Womack /

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Gate City Tavern 3706 High Point Road, Greensboro