La Finestra, The Manship, and Pay It Forward

La Finestra, a new restaurant owned by local chef Tom Ramsey (pictured), opened its doors Monday, Nov. 11.

La Finestra, a new restaurant owned by local chef Tom Ramsey (pictured), opened its doors Monday, Nov. 11. Photo by Trip Burns

Chef Tom Ramsey Opens La Finestra

La Finestra, a new restaurant owned by local chef Tom Ramsey, opened its doors Monday, Nov. 11.

For lunch La Finestra offers a variety of salads including chicken and shrimp Caesar, tuna and salumi chef salad. Also available are farfalle, spaghetti and penne pasta bowls with a variety of sauces and toppings to choose from, a variety of sandwiches, and daily lunch plate specials including lasagna, stuffed bell peppers, chicken parmesan and more.

The dinner menu includes appetizers such as pan-fried potato cakes, warm mixed olives and almonds, fried chicken skins, and more. Main courses include calamari, bruschetta, pasta dumplings, salami ravioli, short ribs, porcini-cured flatiron steak and more.

La Finestra is located in the Plaza Building at 120 N. Congress St. downtown. The restaurant is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Manship Opens in Belhaven

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The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen is the brainchild of Jackson restaurateurs Steven O'Neill (left) and Alex Eaton (right).

The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen—an upscale restaurant in Belhaven offering a Mediterranean- and southern European-inspired menu—opened its doors Oct. 31. The restaurant is the brainchild of Jackson restaurateurs Steven O'Neill and Alex Eaton.

O'Neill, 32, is the managing owner of the restaurant and a connoisseur of wine and spirits, holding a level-one sommelier's certificate. He is the former general manager of Parlor Market in Jackson, and has been in the restaurant business since his days working as a busboy at Copeland's in New Orleans as a teenager.

Eaton, 28, formerly worked at Rooster's Wood Fired Kitchen in Charlotte, N.C., which he has said greatly influenced his interest in wood-fired cooking. Eaton has worked for Chef John Besh in New Orleans and was a chef at Jackson's Table 100 when it first opened. He specializes in Greek, northern Italian and Spanish dishes prepared over a wood fire, which he refers to as the most "honest" form of cooking.

The Manship's kitchen uses wood-fired ovens and grills, and the menu features a selection of grilled and rotisserie bone-in meats and fish, cooked over hickory wood and reminiscent of a country meal in Greece or Italy. The menu avoids heavy, saturated foods and uses only ingredients made from quality produce.

The restaurant's bar offers regional Mediterranean wines and beers and uses fresh fruit and other ingredients while avoiding sugary mixers. O'Neill told the JFP that he will be mixing unique seasonal beverages, including one called "The Headless Horseman," a fall cocktail that pairs Cathead pumpkin spice vodka with autumn flavors such as cinnamon, allspice and maple bitters.

The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen is located at 1200 N. State St. in Belhaven. The restaurant serves food and drinks from 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday, with the kitchen closing at 10 p.m.

Pay it Forward Hiring Drive

This year, the Gulf Coast office of Express Employment Professionals hosts its second Pay it Forward hiring drive to put 100 unemployed people to work.

"The goal of this drive is to give encouragement and purpose to as many job seekers as possible by providing them the opportunity to earn a week's worth of pay, a reference and help provide for their families during the holidays," Jason Poole, owner and operator of the local Express Employment Professionals, said in a statement. "Even though the economy has crept up a little, people still need to work, and we want to make a big push. We had great success with it last year."

Poole said his company will donate a meal to Our Daily Bread of Pascagoula for every associate who gets work during this hiring drive. Additionally, Express Employment Professionals will donate any profits from the program to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Poole has a personal connection with both non-profit organizations and supports their endeavors.

Express associates are screened and evaluated before being placed in short- and long-term assignments in a variety of administrative, professional, and commercial positions. The Pay it Forward hiring drive will provide businesses with the additional support often needed during a busy time of year while helping individuals provide for their families.

"Pay it Forward to us means partnering with local businesses to help find jobs for unemployed workers in our community so they can earn a paycheck during the holiday season," Poole said. "Our vision is to lock arms with businesses along the Coast to bring hope to local families. Express exists to make good things happen to other people—nothing more, nothing less."

Companies and individuals interested in participating in the Pay it Forward hiring drive can call Jason Poole at 228-990-7467.


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