Chef Matt Kallinikos is at the top of his game. I just can’t say enough about his passion for getting things exactly right.
In the restaurant business, an unrelenting passion for what comes out of your kitchen is of paramount importance. And what comes out of Chef Kallinikos’ kitchen at Thirty-Two, the fine dining restaurant at the IP Casino Resort, is simple perfection.
Recently, Chef Kallinikos tossed the summer menu out and built a winter menu that is stunning. It is just a single page, but it is loaded with dishes that are going to blow you away. But first, let me give you an idea what the ambiance of Thirty-Two is all about.
Thirty-Two is without question the most romantic spot on the Coast, and for many miles around. Its name comes from being on the thirty second floor of the IP hotel, and the view — both of Biloxi’s beach side, downtown and Back Bay — is breathtaking.
There is just not another view like it around, and if you are savvy enough to make your reservation for sundown and get a window seat, you are going to have a night to remember.
Tables are reassuringly well-spaced, the glass wine cellar in the middle of the dining room adds intimacy, and subdued colors combine for a relaxed but very sophisticated vibe.
It would take many pages to describe this menu like I would prefer, so I’ll do my best by picking just a few items that I thought were truly exceptional. Tuna tartare is not something you see on many menus these days, and I thought it a bold move to add it to the appetizer selection. Spicy mayo is combined with tuna, edamame, cilantro, lime, avocado relish, sweet soy molasses, yuzu pearls (a citrus fruit) and potato gaufrette (think wafer). See what I mean?
The seabass Provencal is another very classy dish. You can have it pan-fried, char-broiled, sautéed or blackened in a black cast-iron skillet. It comes with herbes de Provence, stewed black lentils, mirepoix, bacon, kale, roasted tomato and leek sauce. I assure you that you will not find a dish like this anywhere on the Coast — absolutely beautifully plated and delicious.
If you want to try beef that is considered the best in the world, try the Japanese A5 strip. It is sold by the ounce with a 4 ounce minimum and is priced accordingly. If you are crazy hungry, Thirty-Two also has a tomahawk cut from American wagyu beef, but there are also five other beef cuts to choose from. There is also ten accompaniments that range from grilled asparagus to lobster and winter truffle mac and cheese.
There are four house specialties, French country chicken galantine, braised veal creeks, sweet tea-brined pork chop, but I’d go for the double-cut lamb rack. It is prepared with apricots, herbs, dates, almonds and roasted carrots. This dish left me breathlessly impressed.
Chef Kallinikos and staff are absolutely on fire, and if you are interested in fine dining on a level you will encounter only a few times in a lifetime, put Thirty-Two on your bucket list.
Location: 850 Bayview Ave, Biloxi, 32nd floor of IP Casino Resort’s hotel tower
Hours: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday