Dinner my first night was at Al Fresco, a pleasant place, family run with a menu that was not extensive, but had all the essentials. Something interesting did occur though. I judge all Italian restaurants by the way they do veal. My waiter was friendly and as we discussed this, he assured me I would love their veal. As he delivered my fresh bread with a nice dipping oil that had both cracked black pepper and parmesan cheese in it, he said the chef wanted me to know that they had received their veal delivery from a different source and they were not happy with it. They were having problems getting it as tender as it should be. I thanked him for the warning and ordered the shrimp scampi. It was freshly prepared and with a surprisingly light sauce.
Okay, my plans to poke around some of the lovely shops in Ocean Springs on Day 2 was disrupted for reasons that aren’t important. My brother and sister-in-law arrived right on schedule though so we walked into town and had lunch at the Government Grocery and Restaurant. (It’s on Government St and I assume it was once a grocery store). Great burger and cold beer – what more can you ask for?
My brother and I then took care of some family business as my sister-in-law did roam the shops. She is an incredible seamstress and fabric artist and Ocean Springs has several shops that she loves. I had some residual work to take care of after my brother and I finished, plus I snatched a little nap. Hey, it happens.
Even though I had Italian on Friday, Leo’s has wood-fired pizza and I am a sucker for that. The outside dining was full and inside was filled with marvelous black and white photos of movie stars and singers. Lena Horne, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, etc., – the iconic photos. Most of the restaurants downtown are not large and I have been impressed with the service. It has routinely been attentive without hovering. There are multiple restaurants downtown and I’m making my way through them. The others are spread out on either Highway 90 or on Washington just past the bridge up to the I-10 exit.
There is a nice mix of cuisines available with fresh seafood and the Cajun influence prominent along with standard Southern favorites. Mississippi was one of the first states to enthusiastically establish catfish farms, so that is plentiful. We did not go to those places on this trip, but we will keep them on the list.