Monday, September 7, 2009

Al Fresco Italian Bistro - Ocean Springs, Mississippi

By Jane Feehan

708 Washington Ave.
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Lunch: Monday-Friday – 11 a.m-2 p.m.
Lunch: Saturday and Sunday – 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dinner: Monday-Thursday – 4 p.m.-9 p.m.
Dinner: Friday-Saturday – 4 p.m.-10 p.m.

Al Fresco Italian Bistro’s food is uninspired. I’ve been here several times for lunch and dinner with different people and it never evokes much enthusiasm. The small loaves of warm bread in individual bags are gimmicky and as bland as the plain olive oil served with them. Some salad dressings are inedible, sweet and syrupy, and don’t deserve a place in any restaurant. I once ordered pasta and vegetables tossed in olive oil; it came swimming in oil. Their version of red sauce, or “gravy” as it’s called in the Italian community, was barely adequate and certainly not authentic. Al Fresco serves pizza, which I haven’t tried.

On the plus side is the atmosphere, which is more upscale than the menu warrants. The small, intimate wine bar is a nice place to meet for a glass or two. The patio, with great lighting in the evening, is the best part of eating there - and probably the primary reason customers return. Prices are inexpensive, with entries averaging $15. Service:Fair
© 2009

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