There are a small handful of Italian places in South Mississippi that are good. Sicilian II in Biloxi always comes to mind. They have, hands down, the best pizza on the Coast, but then again, everything on the menu is really good. But I want to talk to you today about Stalla, the Italian place at the Beau Rivage.
Some friends of mine just don’t like the casino environment, but I assure you that Stalla is worth the short walk thru the slot machines to get there. It is beautifully appointed, and after a few minutes, you won’t even remember you are in a noisy casino. Take a look at the open wooden beams that dominate the dining room architecture. They came from a New England farmhouse that was deconstructed and shipped to the Coast. They really do add a rustic feel that is just right.
The kitchen is open, and I recommend that you sit at the chef’s table so you can see what is going on inside. It is usually a busy place, and I enjoy watching this professional team go about their work. The big gas and wood fried oven that sits in the middle of the kitchen cost a small fortune, but you are going to love everything that comes out of it—especially the pizzas. Check out the workstation in the back on the right. That’s where all the homemade pasta is made. Few places make their own pasta, and it is a sign that his place pays attention to the details. Do you see the hand-cranked slicer up front, on the right? It is an Italian made prosciutto de Parma slicer. Cool, right?
I have eaten here many times, and the menu has changed over the years, so some of the photos I am including are from a few years ago. Check out the bruschetta! That and a glass of wine is a meal unless you are starving. The pasta and shrimp is good (remember all the sauces are made from scratch), but one of my all-time favorites is claims and linguini. It is a classic and I do not think will ever go out of style.
When you visit Stalla, pay attention to the specials. I have seen fish overnighted from the Mediterranean on the menu, and you would not want to miss a treat like that. Stalla is a great place for a family meal, a classy date spot and also just a wonderful place for a laid-back evening, trying a handful of small plates and a few good glasses of wine.