With magnificent sunset views and superb food to match, Anthony’s Under the Oaks offers a top-notch fine-dining experience without the usual stuffy dress code.
Tucked next to the drawbridge in Ocean Springs, Anthony’s has large, picturesque windows overlooking Fort Bayou and beautiful live oak trees that provide the perfect setting for the delicious dishes that customers have been raving about for almost three decades.
Opened in 1992 to offer guests something different than the all-you-can-eat chicken, catfish and shrimp that sister restaurant Aunt Jenny’s specializes in next door, Anthony’s was named after manager Jan Hamilton’s uncle, Carl Anthony, in an effort to be fair — being that her aunt Jenny already had a namesake restaurant.
If you time your visit to Anthony’s Under the Oaks right, the bayou offers a beautiful sunset backdrop to accompany the fine dining. While many will dress up for the occasion, it is not required, as casual dress is more than welcome.
“I just want people to be able to feel comfortable here,” Jan says. “A lot of times, people see a white tablecloth and think they have to be dressed up. That’s not the case here. We just want people to come in and have an enjoyable evening while experiencing the beautiful view.”
When my girlfriend, Lauryn, and I arrived, we were greeted warmly and sat in front of the large windows that span the entire rear of the restaurant. Although it was a bit cloudy, the sunset view was a fantastic way to begin our meal.
While the atmosphere the striking view provides is not to be missed, the primary reason to visit Anthony’s is the mouth-watering food from Jan’s son, chef Joseph Hamilton.
After our excellent server, Maggie Younghouse, brought us drinks from a full bar, assistant chef Michael Byrd presented an amazing sampler of large oysters. All three varieties, the grilled oysters with chef’s garlic butter sauce, traditional oysters Rockefeller and oysters Bienville topped with a crab dressing, were excellent. Served with a side of hollandaise sauce, they were some of the best I’ve had on the Coast.
A New Orleans-style seafood gumbo and fresh salad were up next. The gumbo was very tasty and perfect for dipping the fresh French baguette bread served to each table.
For our main course, Lauryn had the chef’s fish-of-the-day special of blackened grouper served over a roasted corn and crab sauce. The corn’s sweetness paired perfectly with the generous amount of crab.
I had what I was told was their most popular dish, the steak au poivre. The pan-fried, pepper-crusted, top-choice black angus ribeye was outstanding. The steak was finished with a Lea and Perrins-based sauce I couldn’t stop thinking about long after leaving.
The perfect ending to such a fantastic meal was Jan’s homemade key lime pie, which was the ideal combination of sweet and tart that left us wanting to return for more.
Anthony’s Under the Oaks is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch. Reservations are recommended for weekend dining.
IF YOU GO