I've been to a few "new to me" places recently that I thought I'd share about.
1.) Iron Horse Grill. No, you read that right. Back in the late 90s, I used to eat at Iron Horse Grill quite a bit. But then it burned down. Twice. Recently, it's been completely renovated and reopened. The renovation is AWESOME. The inside space is gorgeous and funky and full of character. They host lots of live music, and it's very atmospheric. I recommend it for drinks (Margaritas are fantastic.), appetizers and entertainment. (I ordered the pork chop, medium rare, for dinner. It came very decidedly well done. FYI.)
2.) Fondren Public. I actually first went here a good while back, but I'm only now getting around to posting about it. Located next to the Fondren Cups and the Rainbow Co-op, you could almost miss this place if you didn't know it was there. The storefront is tiny, but the pub is in the corner of the development and opens up to a huge corner lot out back. The beer list is impressive (I recommend the Mississippi Mule, a beer cocktail.), and I've tried nearly everything on the pub grub menu. (Seriously yum. And affordable.) Plus, in the back, they have a covered porch with TVs and games. Not only THAT, but a cute group of Southern boys cards nearly everyone walking in. (I think they should have a "card cam" so we can all see the droves of women so flattered and delighted to be asked for their ID!) So fun!
3.) The Manship. A new upscale dining spot in the recently constructed Belhaven Building. This is directly across the street from Baptist Hospital on State Street, on the ground floor. Free parking (for now, at least) is available in the parking garage directly behind the building. I've had two lunches and one party here so far, and everything I've eaten has been fantastic. The redfish burger - divine. The mac and cheese with pancetta? Indulgent. Say, "Yes, please," to the fire-roasted broccolini, as well.
4.) Miso. This is Grant Nooe's new restaurant in Fondren, now that Pan Asia (in Ridgeland) is closed. (Boo hoo!) I went to a dinner they catered, and the food was soooo good! I NEED to go back there for lunch soon. It's a need. I've heard their $8 lunches are delish, and they've recently introduced a citrusy salad for those who are watching their calories.
5.) Ely's. This place has been open in Ridgeland forever, but I'd never been there until over the Christmas holidays. Yum! I found out it's owned/managed by Richard Shapley, who went to Clinton High School with me *coughcough* years ago. I had a gorgeous plate of Redfish Blanc, and hubs had a steak. Both were absolutely delicious and filling, and I washed mine down with a nice glass of red. Now, normally, I wouldn't bring little man to eat dinner at a restaurant at this price point. (I would hate for him to act out and ruin a beautiful evening for other diners.) BUT it was early, so we chanced it. Get this - they actually have a kid's menu! Woo-hoo! Clay had some pretty upscale chicken tenders and a pile of fries. (It made me think of that time we all ate in the Palace Cafe in New Orleans.) Our server was absolutely charming with him, and we all enjoyed our evening immensely.
6.) Le Bakery. Ok, this place isn't in Jackson. Or even in central Mississippi. It's on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, in Biloxi. So, why am I telling you about it? Because it's just that awesome. After our weekend on the coast a while back, I stayed on for a conference. On the way out of town, I stopped by this bakery to get a few treats to take back home. I got a whole box of gorgeous pastries - turnovers, danishes, croissants, etc., and I literally had to FIGHT MY OWN FAMILY to get to eat any of them once I brought them home. It was like Lord of the Flies up in here. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, visit Biloxi without looking this place up.