604 Porter Ave. in Ocean Springs is a pretty interesting address. It includes Eat Drink Love, one of the most popular dining options in Ocean Springs. The Roost is the boutique hotel component of this interesting little complex, and with the addition of The Wilbur, a new wine bar/cocktail experience/speakeasy, this address - excuse the patios - is lit.
Built in 1894, it has served as the home of a business or two that might be called shady, but today’s incarnation of this lovely old building, is sharp, shiny new, and as chill a place as can be found in this town.
The Wilbur has a well-endowed wine card, with a rather astonishing assortment of wines by the glass (at least 18), including Dom Perignon, a few regular offerings like Clos Du Bois, and even a pretty good Cotes Du Rhone, and an even greater number, and equally diverse list, of wines by the bottle. If you are into the craft cocktail craze, you will be right at home here. If you are familiar with the amazing assortment of hand-selected bourbons Jonathan Maisano (Maisano’s Fine Wine and Spirits) is famous for, you will find many of them here as well.
The menu is petit, and so perfect for a wine bar. It changes seasonally but has been crafted with a great deal of care, with special attention to quality ingredients. It is broken down into two sections, shared plates and entrees. The charcuterie platter is the headliner, with a unique build-your-own option (price varies by options). I’d pick a big red wine to go with the platter, something that won’t be overwhelmed by all the spice you will encounter. Another top bet is the baked brie ($12), served with cinnamon pepper jelly, pecans, and cranberries. A not too oaky chardonnay might be a good choice here.
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The Wilbur is also gaining some fame as a burger place (note I did not say joint). The burgers are up-town, and if you follow my lead, the pimento and cheese burger ($13), made with grass-fed beef, on a jalapeno cheddar bun, and house-made pimento and cheese, is a killer good choice. I am a bit old school, and so would go for an assertive local craft beer with this double-handed burger.
You might also want to take a look at the salmon BLT ($13), turnip and artichoke dip ($9) and the seasonal flat bread ($11), but in truth, I have to say, it really is hard to compare one offering to another on this menu. Everything is delicious, well thought out, beautifully plated, and affordable.
The Wilbur is a classy address, perfect for a solo evening, intimate date, or just a chill evening with friends. Put this place on your must-see list.
Where: 604 Porter Ave., Ocean Springs
Hours: 3:30-10 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday; 3:30 p.m.-midnight Thursday-Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday