Like Cheers, But With Red Gravy
116 North Beach Blvd.
Bay St. Louis, MS
Now Open 7 Days a Week!
- story by Lisa Monti, photographs by Ellis Anderson
I’ve eaten many a meal at Trapani’s Eatery since the original restaurant opened more than 20 years ago. So many, in fact, that having a meal there sort of feels like home.
Actually, the food tastes like home. Dishes like paneed veal, an old family favorite on Sundays, and spaghetti with red gravy - not sauce - trigger childhood memories.
And rightfully so. Tony Trapani and I are cousins - our mothers were sisters - and our maternal grandmother, Emma Carver, was a wonderful cook whose paneed veal and spaghetti gravy were on our Sunday rotation.
When Emma cooked, she deployed all the kitchen’s resources: spices, seasonings, mixing bowls, deep pots, cast iron skillets, everything but a cookbook.
Luckily, Emma’s gift for cooking lives on, at least in some of us.
Not surprising, with coastal decor and a bar named Blue Marlin, seafood plays a big role in Trapani’s kitchen. Starters include the popular crab cakes, rich gumbo and sesame ahi tuna. A longtime favorite is the fried green tomatoes topped with crabmeat and hollandaise.
Not to put too fine a point on the seafood connection here, but every Trapani’s entree salad comes with a seafood option, and the salad packed with crawfish will totally satisfy your craving for them.
Among the got-to-try entrees, Eggplant Delacroix is a stand out - eggplant slices breaded with Progresso crumbs, just like Emma used, and topped with sauteed Gulf shrimp, onions bell peppers and mushrooms then finished with hollandaise and parmesan. I know.
The kitchen also offers great steaks, fish, ample sandwiches and homemade desserts. If you try just one, get the divine Dinwiddie Delight. I believe it’s been on the menu since Day One, so if you’re a regular, its likely you’ve already gone over the calorie cliff already.
Sitting on the Blue Marlin balcony, overlooking the harbor, is a most pleasant way to cap off the monthly art walk. And when there’s live music on the balcony, well, a good thing gets even better.
Trapani’s restaurant and Blue Marlin bar are must-try destinations for Coast tourists, and for locals, both upstairs and downstairs are great spots for socializing with friends, old and new.
If you live on the coast, not everybody at Trapani's will know your name, but chances are lots of folks will.