Food & Drink

This vintage Biloxi lounge has a mixologist and ‘really impressive’ high-end bar food

If you remember the old days in Biloxi, when a late night’s cravings could only be sated at a certain well-known 24-hour a day café, then you are going to love The Lounge at White Pillars.

White Pillars has made quite a splash, but The Lounge, with its on northward facing entrance and separate hours from the main restaurant, is filling a niche that needed to be filled.

Walk into this classy lounge and the 150-year-old bar makes a pretty amazing first impression. It was moved from the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago in 1959 and has been the centerpiece of this establishment since.

If you are into architectural antiques, you will also appreciate the 200-year-old set of wooden doors that came from the Ursuline convent in New Orleans. The subdued lighting completes the mood, and it’s hard to imagine a more perfect place to meet friends, enjoy a classic cocktail, glass of wine and really impressive food.

The menu is a one-pager, but is loaded with an impressive array of snacks, sides and main attractions that showcase the magic that comes out of Chef Austin Sumrall’s kitchen.

Just take a look at the sides ($5 and $7): duck fat fries with a seriously good roasted garlic aioli, mac and cheese with fried chicken skin crumble (you know that’s the best part of the fried chicken, right?), and pork skins with nacho cheese seasoning. Wow, give me a spoon and get out of the way!

You know I love small plates, and much prefer a selection of apps over a far-too-big entree, so the six snacks ($6 and $7) on this menu hit the spot, dead center you might say.

Chef Austin’s grandfather’s famous gumbo recipe leads off the selection, but close behind are the fried red snapper jowls, old school smoked fish dip, and shrimp corndogs are just a partial listing.

It is not often that I get excited about main courses, they’re just too big and often too expensive, but The Lounge menu is the exception. I am a burger nut, to put it mildly, and Chef Austin’s pork burger ($13) is now at the top of my list. Double patties of ground pork, course ground mustard, pimento and cheese (another of my addictions), served on a house-made bun. Killer good.

I also tried the grilled pork skirt tacos ($9) and a half dozen duck wings ($8), served Korean barbecue style and they were nothing short of sensational.

So, here’s the deal: Get off work, grab a friend or two, and don’t worry about going home and changing, this place may be classy, but it is also casual.

Meet at The Lounge, start with one of Justin Gehrmann’s original cocktails, or a classic if you choose (he is a mixologist in a class all his own).

Settle in, get comfortable, and the order the first round of small plates. Chill out, don’t be in a rush! Go in for seconds or even thirds. This is a night you will long remember, and the Lounge is open until you are ready to go home.

The Lounge at White Pillars

Where: 1696 Beach Blvd, Biloxi

Hours: 4:30 p.m. until, Tuesday-Saturday

Phone: 228-207-0885