This week, I’m blogging about some of my favorite places to eat. This is not a comprehensive list, just the places I have been going to for a long time and think are really good at what they do.
Today we’ll focus on fine dining. If you are interested in fine dining in the most romantic setting possible, make a reservation at Thirty-Two, on the 32nd floor of the IP Casino Resort Spa. But make sure you make the reservation for sunset. The view from that height of the Coast is spectacular. You might find it hard to believe but the menu is as exciting as the view. Try the seafood stew (Cioppino), the largest selection of artisanal cheeses around, lobster macaroni and cheese, great beef and a stunning Moroccan spiced lamb.
There is just no way I could even think about fine dining without mentioning Vestige in Ocean Springs.
I think of it as one of the finest privately owned restaurants in the South. It is farm-to-table and the menu changes often. Chef Alex Perry was inspired by Chef Thomas Keller and his famous French Laundry Restaurant.
Because the menu changes so often it is hard to recommend specific dishes, but the most-recent menu has foie gras, heirloom tomato and pickled shrimp salad, and Sand Ridge farm pork belly that will rock your world. Perry is a young chef to watch. He is going places.
BR Prime at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino is another casino restaurant I think is stunningly good. Chef Jason Carlisle is at the top of his game, and in addition to a fantastic wine cellar (and one of the few sommeliers on the Coast), elegant dining room, the menu is world class. Check out the caviar (two kinds to choose from), amazing beef (hand selected by master butcher Greg) with equally amazing toppings, and fresh-as-is-possible seafood from around the world.
You also might want to try Charred in Ocean Springs, Mignon’s at the Palace Casino, Chimneys in Gulfport, Corks and Cleaver in Gulfport and Whiskey Prime in Pass Christian.
There are plenty of other fine-dining restaurants on the Coast, but these are my favorites.