Well I went on down to the Audubon Zoo, and they all asked for … lunch! The Audubon Golf Clubhouse offers food with unparalleled atmosphere; the clubhouse is surrounded by oak trees and features extensive outdoor seating.

The clubhouse kitchen offers breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday and a special brunch service on Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dining patrons need not be a member of the golf course to enjoy the clubhouse; it’s open to the public.

Richard Buchsbaum of the Audubon Clubhouse recommends the Citrus Salmon Caesar – “fresh grilled salmon lightly blackened and served on crisp romaine with citrus lime Caesar dressing” – as the perfect lunch item this spring.

Buchsbaum also recommends coming to the clubhouse in the morning for “just for a coffee and muffin and sit on the veranda and enjoy the serenity of the mighty oaks!”

The Easter Sunday Buffet Brunch menu includes classic brunch items as well as New Orleans favorites, from an omelet station and mimosas to shrimp and mirlitons bisque and Southern yams.

Reservations can be made for 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. on Easter Day, April 4, by calling 212-5282 or 212-5285.

Information, 6500 Magazine St., 212-5285, www.auduboninstitiute.org.



Drago’s stimulus

Drago’s Restaurant is known for its timeless takes on New Orleans classics, one of the most popular dishes being Charbroiled Oysters in a signature garlic and butter sauce. Tommy Cvitanovich, owner and executive chef at Drago’s, hopes to make another charbroiled dish a new favorite: Charbroiled Maine Lobster, prepared in the same style as the classic oysters.

Cvitanovich says that with all the pitfalls of the poor economy, one of the positives is the abundance of reasonably priced, “super large” lobster. “For four or five-pound lobsters, most restaurants are selling them for $20 to 23 per pound; we’re selling them for $16.50 per pound,” Cvitanovich says.

Other new specials and dishes are also making their way to Drago’s menu, including the Shrimpers’ Stimulus Platter, which consists of shrimp prepared three ways: étouffée, fried and served with a risotto and spinach. “One of our most popular specials is the stuffed soft-shell crab,” he says, adding that the crowd-pleaser will be back on the menu this month.

No matter what’s in season, Drago’s (along with the city of New Orleans) always embraces their motto and mantra: “We Live to Eat.”

Information, 2 Poydras St., 584-3911; 3131 North Arnoult Road, Metairie, 888-9254, www.dragosrestaurant.com.

 




Mixing it up at the Windsor Court

Whether you’re looking for the latest summer cocktails, trying to refine your wine-tasting palette or wanting to take a class that requires alcohol consumption instead of term papers, The Grill Room in the Windsor Court Hotel is offering a Mixology Class series in the Polo Club Lounge every fourth Thursday in April, May and June. “The classes will be led by either Roger Blais, the Polo Club Lounge’s head mixologist and one of Travel+Leisure’s 2009 World’s Greatest Hotel Bartenders, or Sara Kavanaugh, the fabulous Director of The Grill Room and Polo Club Lounge (and the Sommelier),” says Lauren Schug of The Grill Room.

“We’re really excited about this spring and summer for the Grill Room,” says Schug. The Grill Room will feature new holiday menus this spring. Easter and Mother’s Day specials will include an appetizer buffet with paté and cheeses, a selection of springtime soups and salads, entrées such as Roasted Colorado Lamb or Seared Maine Diver Scallops and a decadent dessert buffet.

“Windsor Court will be partnering with Viridian Spirits and Ted Breaux to put on an Absinthe Hour during Tales of the Cocktail in July,” says Schug. “Ted is the foremost absinthe expert in the U.S. and was a major player in the legalization of absinthe.”

There is truly something for everyone at The Grill Room this spring and summer.

Information, Windsor Court Hotel, 300 Gravier St., 522-1994, www.windsorcourthotel.com/restaurants-and-bars/the-grill-room

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