Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Salute Italian Restaurant - Gulfport, Mississippi

1712 15th Street
Gulfport, Mississippi 39501
(228) 864-2500
Lunch: Monday – Friday - 11 a.m.-2 pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Dinner: Friday-Saturday – 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Dinner: Sunday – 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Brunch- Sunday – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

By Jane Feehan

If you want to mingle with the who’s who of Gulfport, they’re at Salute Italian Restaurant. This eatery is as popular for a cocktail at the martini bar as it is for the food. It’s one of the trio of restaurants owned by Rob Stinson and partners – the others being Highway 49 and Back Bay. The food is as close to Italian as you’re going to get on the Mississippi Coast.

I ordered flounder topped with artichoke, shrimp and crabmeat and it was fresh. The side of cappellini was topped with large chunks of tomato seasoned with garlic. Not my idea of marinara but it may titillate another palate. The house salad was just ok – a bit tired looking but the honey balsamic redeemed it. They serve good Italian bread with a tasty pesto dip. Can’t say much for the skimpy basket it came in and the thin paper napkin that was supposed to keep it warm except that it’s a cheap way to present something good.

Desserts are made there, I was told. The Amaretto Chocolate Bomb was a great choice –warm, chocolaty and …well…sweet. Best to share this one after eating pasta.

This isn’t your traditional Italian joint with checkered tablecloths and a Chianti wine bottle doubling as candle holder but it’s worth a visit. Salute's d├ęcor is modern. There's a patio and a great view of the Gulf. Choices include Italian favorites – lasagna, ravioli, spaghetti and pizza – as well as steaks, chicken and seafood. Service: Good but I didn’t like it rushed. Pianist on weekends.
© 2009

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