Vestige: Big-city like cuisine on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

While looking for an above-average date night venue, I came across the restaurant Vestige on Open Table. Gulf Coast restaurants are famous for historical venues and fabulous recipes, but I wanted to try something different and a little outside the box. I had dined at NOJA in Mobile and was looking for something similar in the Ocean Springs area. Vestige serves a tasting menu which means you don’t choose anything because it’s already been hand-selected for you. The food on the tasting menu was incredible because it paired flavors with items I would have never thought to put together before.

Vestige is owned by Chef Alex Perry and his wife Kumi Omari. Perry is an Ocean Springs native, while Omari grew up in Japan. The menu is often inspired by the flavors and techniques of Japan, which Perry finds intriguing and delicious. Omari makes all of the restaurant’s breads and desserts. In 2019, Perry was a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist in the Best Chef: South category. Things that inspire the couple daily such as nature, plants, and art are all incorporated into the menu. Perry enjoys working with local coastal foods and turning them into dishes with a Japanese flair.

Vestige is described as a ‘Contemporary American’ restaurant and believes in seasonality, sustainability, and locality whenever possible. Since the menu is seasonal and market-driven, it is always changing based on what is fresh and available. The night I dined at Vestige the menu was as follows:

  • First course – sashimi of Hamachi, extra virgin sesame oil, kanzuri, melon.
  • Second course – Heritage pork collar, smoked preserved okra, carrot kimchi, shiso, tare.
  • Third course – black sesame miso glazed black cod, heirloom tomatoes, tomato dashi.
  • Bread & Butter – Feliciana’s best milk, oak and molasses bread, Okinawa black sugar and lemon butter.
  • Fourth course – Japanese A5 Wagyu beef ribeye, wild chanterelle mushrooms, spruce, matsutake shoyu.
  • Dessert was blueberry Bavarian, matcha and mint genoise, black sesame, almond, diplomat cream.

Pricing can vary based on availability; however, this tasting menu was $80 per person plus tax and gratuity.

The restaurant venue is small and makes for a very intimate meal. The wait staff provided amazing one on one service. Fresh flowers adorned the table adding a charming touch. They also have hand-crafted cocktails, a wine list, and local craft beer available.

After eating a great meal, the perfect ending to the night was taking a nice walk along Front Beach, thankful to have experienced a taste of big city-like cuisine but on our beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Vestige is open with limited indoor seating and serving a multi-course pre-set tasting menu Tuesday through Saturday from 5 pm to 9 pm. Reservations are highly recommended via Open Table or by calling (228)818-9699. Vestige is located at 715 Washington Avenue, Ocean Springs.

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Written by Kathryn Winter

A Gulf Coast native, Kathryn is a graduate of The University of Mississippi Journalism School and has written for various publications among the South.

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