Jourdan Nicaud has only been in the restaurant business for three years, but it has been a lifelong ambition.
Spend a few minutes with him and his passion is obvious.
Take a seat in his latest culinary adventure, Bacchus on the Beach in Pass Christian, and you'll find a restaurant that is polished, a menu that has been hand tailored and a staff that is well practiced and sharp. This place hums.
Bacchus has a beach feel to it, a nice deck with a great view of the Pass Christian harbor and the dining room is cozy and informal but still charming.
All the atmosphere in the world hardly matters, however, if the menu doesn't stand on its own, and Bacchus has got it down pat. There are eight appetizers offered, just enough to make a meal of small plates or that something special to whet your appetite.
Kent's BBQ Royal Reds would be a great place to start: a half pound of lobster-like deep-water shrimp baked in Cajun spices, white wine and butter ($12.95). If you're feeling hearty try the Wes's Debris Fries -- Cajun fries topped with beef debris, cheese, green onions and a killer mayonnaise ($9.95).
But remember that you are in Pass Christian, the oyster capital of the Deep South. Nicaud has oysters prepared six different ways and if you can't make up your mind you can get the combo platter. The oysters served here are select, one of the highest grades, so expect some to be two or even three bites large.
If you are thinking of a quick lunch then the sandwich menu will call your name. The Creole Club is a classic gone Coastal, and the apple wood smoked bacon and chipotle garlic mayonnaise push this one over the top. Something unexpected and absolutely delicious is the Cajun Cordon Bleu, which is stuffed with smoked Gouda, bacon, spicy mayonnaise and a perfectly fried chicken breast. It is a sandwich you won't find anywhere else. The Cajun lobster and shrimp roll should be given serious attention.
Cajun seafood and steak is the general theme, so expect great aged beef and an Almost Famous Pork Chop that is nearly enough for two. The shrimp and oyster platter is one of the best on the Coast and there is always a catch of the day to consider.
There is also a good selection of soups and salads if you want to keep it light and there is a dessert for everyone, but the bread pudding is a must try.