The Mississippi Gulf Coast affords many dining experiences. Casino dining is one that I probably don’t enjoy enough. I am just usually a low key diner… I gravitate to smaller, intimate spaces.
On a recent Friday afternoon trip to the Golden Nugget Biloxi, I found the best of both worlds.
This casino has a lot to offer. The location is perfect with plenty of outdoor space, easily accessible just far enough away from the busiest part of Biloxi’s Beach Boulevard. H2O, the Golden Nugget’s pool, is a fantastic luxurious getaway with extraordinary pool parties on the weekend. Their newly renovated banquet facilities provide a stylish yet intimate feel. Then, there’s the food, but I will get to that soon enough. The Golden Nugget has done a fabulous job of keeping things impressive, but not so grand that it loses an intimate feel.
I can say that the people here are the real gold. I was greeted by multiple smiling faces throughout my visit. Ryan Hayes, Executive Chef, and his two executive sous chefs, Tremayne Davis and Tinh Nguyen both made a point to not only welcome me and present dishes, but to actually sit at the table with me and talk about their work, their lives, and what inspires them. Honestly, I didn’t expect this experience, quite the contrary. So the personal connection was truly a pleasant surprise, and I thought you’d appreciate knowing that the people behind the scenes preparing your food are as good as the dishes they serve up.
Now, where shall I begin on the food?
First, I went to Michael Patrick’s, part sports bar and part restaurant with a lovely view. The Fried Green Tomatoes appetizer topped with crawfish and crab cream sauce made for a great start. What Southern gal doesn’t love fried green tomatoes and anything with crab meat in it?
The Fried Chicken Salad would be a lunch time staple if I worked in the area. The greens were colorful and fresh as were the rest of the veggies, and the salad was loaded with roasted pecans and topped with premium fried chicken – nothing out of a box here! I honestly didn’t even need salad dressing.
My favorite entrée at Michael Patrick’s was the Bourbon Baby Back Ribs. The rib meat really did “fall off the bone,” and the flavor was on par with what you’d expect at one of the South’s best local barbecue joints.
Now, for the menu item that has caused me a major craving ever since I tried it. I’ll be revisiting shortly for The Hangover Burger. This Angus beef burger was topped with bacon, pepper jack cheese, onion straws and… an over easy fried egg! It was to die for (I know, the jokes write themselves!). Juicy and perfect. Go try it for yourself.
It’s worth saving room for dessert. I recommend the Brownie Sundae.
Lillie’s Asian Cuisine
Lillie’s is the Golden Nugget’s Asian restaurant concept, also known as my new favorite sushi bar. Their sashimi is exceptionally fresh! The tuna tartare with avocado is insanely good served alongside some interesting shrimp flavored crispy chips.
If you are a rangoon fan, theirs are made with REAL blue crab, a rare treat which shouldn’t be missed and owned the day right up until the moment they brought out their specialty rangoons with spicy Gulf crawfish, cream cheese and sweet garlic chili. I probably would never have ordered these, but because the chef insisted – and I never argue with chef’s recommendations – I tried them. This is a crazy tasty signature item that should be at the top of your list when you visit Lillie’s at the Golden Nugget.
I finished off my tasting adventure at Lillie’s with their Korean Short Ribs. Marinated and served with rice and pickled vegetables, they proved that the Golden Nugget can do ribs right – Southern and Korean.
The Golden Nugget Culinary Philosophy
The chefs at the Golden Nugget take great pride in making nearly everything they serve completely from scratch. They estimate that 85% of what comes out of their kitchen is prepared by them and not pre-packaged. Bread, sauces, salad dressings, desserts and more are all made in house, and they make a LOT of it to meet the demand that the Golden Nugget requires on a daily basis. I really enjoyed even the simplest of foods I tasted. You’ll taste the attention that they give to the quality of their ingredients, and I am confident in recommending them after hearing the passion first-hand from their team of chefs.
>> For more on dining at Golden Nugget, visit their website with menus and restaurant hours.