An award-winning chef brings Italian food - not anything at all like your mama's - to Old Town Bay St. Louis and wins over diners from across the coast.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
It was a lucky coincidence to have lunch with friends at C&C Italian Bistro on Friday and then go for the much anticipated steak dinner with family on Monday.
They were two entirely different meals, both plentiful and delicious, showing C&C’s versatility.
Chef David Dickensauge’s arrival on Main Street last year caused a stir with news of his plans to offer artisan pizza, pasta made in house and rustic Italian small plates. Dickensauge interned in Chicago Italian restaurant kitchens and wanted to bring those out of the ordinary dishes to the Bay.
A key player in the renovated space is a special gas-fired brick oven, which produces not only exceptional pizzas but menu treats such as charred oysters on the half shell.
Pizzas come with such glamorous themes as Rockefeller (oysters, creamed spinach, bacon and bechamel), Scottish smoked salmon and Steak Gruyere (grilled filet mignon, Gruyere, horseradish cream, truffle oil and micro arugula).
Besides the brick oven offerings, C&C’s menu is broken down into appetizers, fish and meat, the housemade pastas, sandwiches and salads alongside daily specials.
Our lunch gathering tried a little of everything. The pizza option was Primavera, with olives, feta, marjoram, onion and marinara.
For seafood, it was shrimp atop soft polenta that was topped with a poached egg and crispy proscuitto. The Toscano sandwich was stuffed with roasted hampshire pork, arugula, cracklings and salsa verdi on rustic bread.
Two brick oven-roasted Hampshire pork chops made an impressive and generous large plate with extras to take home and enjoy later. My choice of pasta was the Tagliatelle with rich bolognese ragu and parmigiana, rich tasting and warming on a dreary day.
Everyone agreed that our Italian dishes, all different, were tasty, generous and nicely presented. And it didn’t hurt that Frank Sinatra was serenading us from Pandora.
Dickensauge has crafted weekly specials that might make you want to double down for lunch and then back for dinner in quick succession.
Monday is steak night with the $20 18-ounce ribeye or 8-ounce filet and $10 pasta dishes.
Tuesday is live music with various dinner specials, Wednesday is wine specials and those brick oven charred oysters and Thursday is a four-course set dinner and wine pairing. Happy hour is celebrated Monday through Saturday.
C&C Italian Bistro is open for lunch Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Monday-Friday starting at 5 p.m. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.