Jocelyn’s was a culinary mainstay in Ocean Springs for years, in fact, since 1981.
Jocelyn Mayfield, the owner and chef, finally had to retire, and the restaurant closed, to a very disappointed public, I might add. But recently, Patrick Bousqueto, Jocelyn’s grandson, decided to reopen the restaurant.
He worked for his grandmother since he was 14 and knows the menu inside and out. The restaurant has his name on it now, but Jocelyn is still around, as she checks up on Patrick occasionally, and makes sure he does not stray from her style and technique.
Let’s get one thing straight right up front: Patrick’s is unapologetically old-school. There is no Asian fusion, no immersion circulator in the kitchen, and no cookbooks by Charlie Trotter or Thomas Keller. This place is all about the coastal/Creole style of cooking that Jocelyn Mayfield practiced all her life in the kitchen. And it is killer good.
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The restaurant is just as it has always been, cozy and comfortable, but it has been remodeled and the bar upgraded. It has a little shine it didn’t have in the old days. The menu is a one-pager, with just six appetizers, a few soups and salads, and a dozen entrees.
The remoulade sauce you will find on the shrimp and crabmeat salad ($10 each) is still handmade by Jocelyn, it is simply served with fresh, sweet crab and shrimp, and is just delightful. If you order one of the two salads ($15), all the dressings are house-made and perfect: blue cheese, ranch and house vinaigrette. You won’t find much of anything coming out of a can or bottle here.
The bulk of the entrees are oven-baked, lots of cheese (au gratin), butter, lemon sauces and seafood heavy. The baked trout, garnished with lump crab and cream sauce (a special, not always on the menu), is about as Coast classic as you can get, and, yes, it is delicious.
The broiled trout amandine ($28) is another classic, and you can bet that trout was swimming in the Mississippi Sound just a few days ago. The baked stuffed shrimp with crabmeat stuffing in butter sauce is another example of the opulence of this menu, on the edge of being over the top, flirting with being too much, but safely in the realm of delicious.
The rack of lamb (prices vary according to market) was simply served, with au jus and mint jelly and perfectly cooked, tender and delicious.
I think you see where I am going. This restaurant has a theme, and there is no variation. Patrick’s is as friendly a place as you will ever find, has a nice remodel shine, and the food is prepared with passion and skill. When you are in a retro mood, and want just down-home, good, honest cooking, but with an up-scale side, this is the place for you.
Where: 2105 School St., Ocean Springs
Hours: 5:30-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; closed Sunday-Tuesday