By Chris Dearman
For over 13 years, Mosaic Restaurant & Bar has provided award-winning cuisine and specialty cocktails with an international flair. Recently, the Gulf Coast favorite has changed hands to continue its growth. While the diverse menu remains, Southern cuisine favorites have been added, and overall experience has been improved with a complete remodel to provide a more communal space.
New owner Ken Williams was born in New Orléans, but grew up and worked overseas for most of his life. Having moved to Ocean Springs a year and a half ago after early retirement, he was immediately attracted by Mosaic’s global menu and being able to relax outdoors while listening to live music. When the opportunity arose to purchase the iconic restaurant, along with The Beer House which shares a beer garden with the largest selection of craft beer on the Coast, he jumped at the chance. “Conceptually, it’s the same restaurant, but I’m bringing my own flair", Williams said of the chance to put his own spin on things.
“Let’s be honest. This place was awesome. I just want to make it a little more awesome.”
Last year Mosaic was the recipient of Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce Main Street Tourism Bureau’s Restaurant of the Year award, so Williams has kept the award-winning cuisine showcasing a wide variety of sophisticated dishes from all over the world. You will find tapas, seafood, beef, pork, chicken, and vegetarian dishes that are bursting with flavor, as well as signature platters, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and Southern cuisine.
You really can’t go wrong with anything they offer, as great care has been taken to bring an exceptional dining experience. While Mosaic has been best known for their tapas, William’s wanted to add to the impressive menu by embracing his roots, so you can now get gumbo and other Southern staples as well. Mosaic also caters to those looking for healthy options, with a variety of refreshing salads, and throughout the menu, you will find icons that designate which dishes are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
Having dined at Mosaic many times, I was eager to taste some menu items that I hadn’t had the opportunity to try before. Having heard raves about The Original Seared Tuna, I was delighted when the plate of sushi grade tuna served with seaweed salad, pickled ginger, and green onion aioli was placed in front of me. The melt-in-your-mouth goodness will definitely have me coming back for more.
The Curry Chickpea Samosas were also a delight. A traditional Indian food, the samosas are filled with potatoes and peas, then deep fried and topped with a house-made chickpea curry sauce. A wonderful mix of flavors and texture. Next up was the fantastic Garlic Gulf Coast Shrimp. Large Gulf Coast shrimp cooked to order in garlic, citrus juice, simmered in white wine, and flamed with vodka. Served with asparagus, rice pilaf, and crostinis, the sauce was so good I was tempted to lick the bowl.
I ended my meal with the Signature Platter House Ribeye, which is a tender, top choice USDA Prime steak served with rice pilaf, grilled asparagus, and sautéed baby baker potatoes. Be sure to
bring your appetite, as this large, perfectly cooked, high-quality piece of meat surely won’t disappoint.
In addition to the delicious food, Mosaic prides itself as having one of the largest drink menus on the Coast. Known for their beautifully prepared mojitos and specialty drinks, the newly renovated bar now also features high-quality whiskey & bourbons. Improvements have been made to the wine menu as well.
Looking to find your new favorite beer or try one you can’t find elsewhere? The largest selection of beer on tap on the Mississippi Gulf Coast can be found at The Beer House. Specializing in local brews found in an 82-mile radius, there are 45 beers on tap that you can buy by the pint, or in eight-ounce flights to sample a variety. If you are not sure what to try, just tell whoever is working behind the bar what kind of beer appeals to you, and they will be more than welcome to offer suggestions.
Before leaving I asked Williams to sum up why people should come to see the changes he’s made to one of the most interesting restaurants on the Coast.
“Well, if you liked the way it was before, you are going to love what it is going to be. If you have never been here before, it’s the only place like it on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We have the most beer on draft. We have the most diverse menu. We’ve got the friendliest staff. The best music. So I ask you, why wouldn’t you come here? Why would you go anywhere else?” Mosaic Restaurant & Bar and The Beer House are open seven days a week. Live entertainment is on hand most days, with Happy Hour every day from 4-7pm. Come to relax, sit out on the porch, and listen to great music. $5 Bloody Mary’s, Margaritas and Mimosas can be enjoyed every weekend, and the new Jazz Brunch on Sunday’s 10 am - 4 pm is not to be missed.
Mosaic Restaurant & Bar
1010 Government St.
Ocean Springs, MS 39564