On a chilly spring day, three of the regular “Food with Friends” friends missed our fourth friend, brought along another friend, and met up with an old friend for a fabulous dining extravaganza at Hattiesburg Country Club.
Have I lost you yet?
With Jamie unable to join us for dinner, fellow foodie Jessie Vasser graciously joined Brittany, Evan, and me for dinner. When we arrived at the club, we were greeted by their new Executive Chef, Antoine Anthony. Chef Antoine and I have worked together in the past and I was thrilled we would have the chance to visit with him and have him walk us through all of the fabulous courses he and his staff prepared. I had not realized that he and Evan were friends as well, so it was a great reunion all around.
The gang visited the Hattiesburg Country Club on a Monday, which is a day the club is normally closed for regular business. We were able to stroll through the facilities with owner and General Manager Carter Callaway, who caught us up on some of the recent renovations and told us about upcoming updates that are on the way. We loved having the special attention and private tour, of course.
After our tour, it was finally time to be seated for dinner in the Overlook Room, which boasts a gorgeous view of the 18th green. Chef Antoine prepared a tasting menu for us titled the “Dawn of Spring.” Lucky for us, Chef sat and dined with us so we could discuss the preparation of each course.
“The Scallop that Made a Believer of Brittany Purvis”
We started our culinary tasting tour with a pan-roasted scallop over a white wine cream sauce with tomato, capers and mushrooms. What a way to start the meal! Evan remarked, with a dreamy look in his eye, that “a scallop is one of the best things in the world.” But the real testament that this was a great dish is the fact that Brittany Purvis ate the entire plate AND raved about it. I eat frequently with this anti-seafood foodie and I was blown away!
For our second course, we enjoyed a pan-seared duck breast with a blueberry sauce and a tarragon pilaf. When I read the menu, I knew the sauce would be a wonderful combination with the duck. This plate was also a hit across the board. There is really nothing better than the crispy end piece of a perfectly-seared duck breast.
Next, we tried the Chilean Sea bass topped with a tomato confit over a bed of sautéed spinach. I can’t describe what a treat it was. The fish was delicious and impeccably cooked – a perfect combination of flakiness and crispiness. Another surprise of the evening came when Brittany tried the seabass. She really made the Food with Friends gang proud with her bravery. Although Chef Antoine was very enthusiastic about each course, I was left with the impression that this was his favorite.
I could barely wait for the next dish to arrive at our table: baby lamb chops stuffed with Boursin cheese with a balsamic mint glaze and chiffonade mint. Ever since the menus were placed in front of us, this was the dish that had me drooling. As I told Chef, “You had me at Boursin.” The lamb chops definitely delivered and lived up to every expectation. The creamy Boursin was perfect and I only needed just a dab of the mint. What a great combination! It took all of the restraint I had not to pick up the lamb and eat it like a lollipop. We all felt the same way, I’m sure.
Just when we were on the brink of culinary overload, we were presented with a petit grilled filet mignon with seared potatoes and a bepraise sauce. It was great to sample a classic steak-and-potato dish. There was no need for a steak knife; mine was perfect. As we enjoyed this last course, Chef took some time to tell us about the local and regional suppliers he uses for his meats and seafood. Most of his suppliers are no more than 100 miles away.
But That’s Not All
Even after five dazzling entrées, I just couldn’t say no when Chef Antoine offered ice cream to the table. Brittany, Jessie, and I indulged while Evan abstained. As we enjoyed our final treat, we chatted with Chef about everything Hattiesburg Country Club dining has to offer. While the Overlook Room will continue to feature the type of fine dining that our group enjoyed, there are also theme nights on certain evenings of the week. I’ve heard the pasta night it outstanding! The club also features casual fare in their 19th Hole and plenty of snacks and beverages to enjoy on the course.
HCC also boasts an impressive offering of event services. The club has various spaces on their property to host and cater anything from a corporate event to a baby shower or an upscale wedding.
Chef Antoine has been in the business for nearly three decades and brings a heap of talent and ideas to the table. Being able to enjoy this meal with him was an absolute joy and a great reminder to me of what a kind man he is. I know that I’ll always be excited about what is to come from his kitchen. I have no doubt that Hattiesburg Country Club is destined to be a dining hot spot under his guidance.
For membership or event inquiries, please contact the courteous staff at Hattiesburg Country Club by calling 601-264-5076.