Although located mere steps from Scarlet Pearl’s casino floor, Under the Oak Café is a world of its own.
Bright, cheerful and imaginative, the eatery reopened Dec. 14 following a long-awaited $4 million renovation. The result, according to Scarlet Pearl CEO LuAnn Pappas, is an entirely new restaurant — boasting 50 additional seats for total of 180 and a kitchen twice the previous size.
“I love the décor’,” Pappas raves about the playful patterns and warm yellow-and-black motif, inspired by New York-based brand MacKenzie-Childs. “It was intended to be whimsical, and what we’ve done has hit that mark.”
Under the Oak C afe’ creates excitement as soon as guests walk into the Scarlet Pearl, says Dennis Pearse, vice president of hotel, food and beverage. The restaurant’s centerpiece tree, adorned with twinkling lights, lends the café a unique ambiance.
“I feel like I’m in ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” Pearse says. “It
looks magical, like something you’d see in Disney Word.” Attention to detail extends from the custom sunflower handles on the server station drawers to the stained- glass panels that beautify the bar. The same care and consideration apply to the menu — an eclectic mix of Southern, French and Italian fare, not to mention burgers and specialty cocktails. Chef Tremayne Davis recommends the chicken francaise, featuring pan-seared chicken cutlets sautéed in lemon butter white wine sauce, and notes that sauces are made from scratch.
Breakfast will be served all day, including classics like country biscuits and gravy, French toast and buttermilk pancakes. Guests can dine at cozy tables or enjoy their meal under the oak in an oversized, plush booth.
The whole intent of the renovation, explains Ryan Hayes, director of food and beverage, was to expand the culinary experience and create an upscale atmosphere.
“There were no shortcuts in setting up the environment,” Hayes says. “Paired with the food, it’s a win-win.”
Under the Oak Café at Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort
9380 Central Ave., D’Iberville
Sunday-Thursday, 7a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. – 1 a.m. www.scarletpearlcasino.com/restaurant/under-the-oak-cafe