Jazzeppi's - Biloxi, Porter Avenue

"It is a laid back, fun atmosphere. We have Jazz music in the background. That's the name...Jazz-eppi's," Sharon Mattina says.

Co Owner, Sharon Mattina, grew up in Biloxi in the restaurant business. Some of the dishes at Jazzeppi's were created by her mother and father.

Mattina says, "We had a restaurant called Gino's. It was a family Italian style restaurant, so some of the recipes were carried on from there."

Before she and her husband decided to open their restaurant, they traveled extensively.

"We traveled quite a bit before we decided what to do. We went to Las Vegas; we went to California. I went to New York. We went to Miami, just to see what was going on in other parts of the country before we came home and decided to do this," says Mattina.

Jazzeppi's has been open for seven years. Three years ago it expanded, adding private dining for up to 80 people.

"We have another smaller dining room that we've added onto also, and that can hold up to 20 people," Mattina says.

Whether it's a rehersal dinner, a small get-together or a romantic dinner for two, the private dining room is very cozy. As for the food, it's a twist on Italian.

Mattina says, "I like to say that it's Italian with a Coastal Flair...a lot of our Italian dishes we've created around the Coastal Cuisine. Our biggest seller, I think, still is the Veal Mattina, which is one of our Veal dishes we created with...it has the shrimp, crabmeat and crawfish cream sauce over it."

Steaks and Veal are a staple in the cuisine, but if you're wanting a smaller portion, appetizers are served entree style at the bar.

Mattina says, "My favorite, probably is the brandied apricot shrimp... the portabella mushroom is also a good seller here. We have crab claws. We have a spinach artichoke dip served with bowtie fried pasta."

Fish is bought fresh each day and created into a daily special.

Mattina says, "We always have three additions to our menu every night. Three appetizers as well as three entrees."

With 48 wines to choose from and 45 martinis, it's also a gathering place for many locals.

"We have Diver Downs, the Hollywood, the still favorite is probably the Cosmopolitian as well as our Apple Martini. My favorite is the Flirtini...which is more of a champagne cocktail. It has vodka and champagne and pineapple juice. We have such a variety of food and appetizers as well as the martinis and wine that it's almost impossible not to have something on your list that would be a favorite," says Mattina.

Jazzeppi's is open for dinner starting at 5 o'clock each evening Monday through Saturday. For more information call 228.374.9660.