It’s often said that being a mother is the most difficult job in the world.
Moms power through the day after a sleepless night, and act as a disciplinarian – but also a friend. Even after her child becomes an adult, a mom continues to worry, console her offspring, and – whether you like it or not – offer advice.
She still endures an occasional sleepless night, wondering if you’re safe and happy, questioning her parenting decisions, and simply missing you.
Mother’s Day provides the perfect opportunity for us say thanks and let the moms in our lives know just how much we love them. New Orleans is filled with fun and delicious ways to do that. Here are our best places to dine, shop, relax, enjoy nature, and ultimately create fond family memories that will last a lifetime. Check them out. Because let’s face it; moms deserve a day off.
Take a Cooking Class
Share mom’s love for cooking by signing up for a class at Simplee Gourmet. The company’s chef instructors provide menus created with Mother’s Day in mind, along with the ingredients, and they walk participants through each step of the cooking process.
The classes last a little longer than two hours and typically welcome groups of up to 14 people, but they can accommodate larger groups for special events. After class, budding chefs can peruse the Simplee Gourmet retail shop, which is stocked with state-of-the-art cookware, cutlery, bar essentials and unique cooking tools. 1000 Girod St., 962-9162, simpleegourmet.com
Restaurants with Menu Specials
Copper Vine in the CBD features both a beautiful indoor dining area and a courtyard lined by lush foliage. On Mother’s Day, the restaurant will serve specials and dishes from their a la carte menu, including chef Mike Brewer’s shrimp and grits with wild white shrimp, stone ground grits, rosemary, and mushroom demi. All moms will receive a complimentary glass of bubbly. The wine pub offers a vast selection of whites, reds, and rosés. 1001 Poydras St., 208-9535, coppervinewine.com
Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak
A New Orleans classic, Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak promises a memorable dining experience any day of the year. Mother’s Day is no exception. On May 12, guests can create a customizable four-course meal, based on a set menu. Options include chilled cantaloupe and mint buttermilk soup with vermouth gelee; smoked salmon and caviar; “grandmother’s chicken” with smoked smashed potatoes, cauliflower puree, pickled peppers and petite basil; and Louisiana strawberry tartelette with pistachio gelato and coriander crema. Prices range from $40 to $60. 209 Bourbon St., 525-2021, www.galatoires33barandsteak.com
Atchafalaya Restaurant is famous for brunch, thanks to the restaurant’s live music and their scrumptious dishes, such as alligator sausage taquitos; strawberry and sweet potato salad; and Eggs Atchafalaya, which comes with poached eggs, fried green tomatoes, hollandaise, and either buttered blue crab or crawfish tails, among other savory tidbits. The Criollo Breakfast Plate contains Caribbean red beans, popcorn rice, fried cheese, eggs, avocado, tomato, and toast with guava jelly. On Mother’s Day, moms will be given flowers, along with Atchafalaya spice mix bags and recipes. 901 Louisiana Ave., 891-9626, atchafalayarestaurant.com
Popular Brunch Spots
Situated in one of the swankiest areas of the city, Willa Jean offers southern-inspired fare, such as griddled banana bread with whipped butter, a variety of gourmet biscuits and toasts, and breakfast plates. The Louisiana Crawfish Benedict comprising two poached eggs, a biscuit, and Creole hollandaise is a crowd favorite. The front bakery counter sells fresh, house-made treats and coffee. 611 O’Keefe Ave., 509-7334, willajean.com
Patois, a restaurant in a quiet Uptown neighborhood, is the place to go for a sumptuous feast in an elegant setting. The impressive menu includes the Smoked Pork Benedict biscuit with poached eggs, smoked tomato hollandaise, and bacon braised greens; the Pontchatoula Strawberry Pancake topped with seasonal jam; and the Breakfast Burrito – a mouthwatering blend of scrambled eggs, black beans, hash browns, cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, and spicy sauces. 6078 Laurel St., 895-9441, patoisnola.com
Have A Picnic
Since opening last fall, Picnic Provisions & Whiskey has delighted patrons with its one-of-a-kind menu concept. The cheerful State Street restaurant offers picnic-inspired fare, created by chef Tory McPhail, including the “ooey gooey” grilled cheese, and campfire cookie dough s’mores comprising half-baked chocolate cookie dough, crisp graham crackers, salted caramel, and table-torched marshmallows.
Customers can also order their meal to-go and picnic in nearby Audubon Park. The carryout menu includes whiskey smoked chicken salad; the crawfish boil hot fried chicken basket; cornbread cake biscuits; and zesty salads. The restaurant sells picnic linens and baskets. 741 State St., 266-2810, nolapicnic.com
Events Around Town
LongUE Vue House and Gardens
Longue Vue House and Gardens will host two Mother’s Day Tea events on Saturday, May 11 (10 a.m. to noon; and 1 to 3 p.m.). Each event costs $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Children aged 2 and under receive free admission. After snacking on finger sandwiches and dulcet treats, families can tour the historic estate, which hosts a museum, and stroll through the picturesque gardens. The gift shop will offer a 20-percent discount on your purchase. 7 Bamboo Rd., 488-5488, longuevue.com
Krewe of Turtles parade
On Saturday, May 11, Brennan’s will host the 5th annual Krewe of Turtles parade, where 10 turtles – Béchamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomate, Velouté, Remoulade, Ravigote, Bordelaise, Mignonette, & Cocktail – are pulled on handmade wagon floats through the French Quarter. Led by the KinFolk brass band, the parade kicks off at 11 a.m. at 550 Bienville Street and journeys to the St. Louis Cathedral, before stopping at Brennan’s on 417 Royal Street.
The sweet celebration is followed by a complimentary courtyard reception, but revelers are welcome to dine at the restaurant, afterwards. They can also stop by on Mother’s Day and feast on potato zeppole with an orange-bourbon glaze and powdered sugar; or eggs hussarde,with house-made English muffins, coffee-cured Canadian bacon, hollandaise, and marchand de vin sauce. Top-notch wines, bubbles and bubbly cocktails are always on hand. 417 Royal St., 525-9711, brennasneworleans.com.
Sip While Savoring
Effervescence – A place whose name even sounds festive – specializes in bubbly beverages, including: vintage Champagnes, sparkling rosés, Prosecco and Cava, along with “bubbles + troubles” sparkling cocktails. Sip while savoring shareable brunch plates and decadent appetizers, like caviar served with crème fraîche and pepper mash potato chips; avocado lettuce cups with almond dressing; and slow-poached eggs with labneh hollandaise. A pianist, and jazz singer Meryl Zimmerman, will perform on Mother’s Day. 1036 North Rampart St., 509-7644, nolabubbles.com
An Afternoon in Uptown
The Audubon Zoo
The Audubon Zoo will host their annual Mother’s Day concert at 2 p.m., featuring Grammy® Award-winner Irma Thomas and the Professionals. Guests can dine at one of the many cafés spread throughout the picturesque grounds, explore the animal exhibitions, or frolic in the Cool Zoo. Admission is free for moms.
At Belladonna Spa + Retail Therapy, moms can relax in fluffy robes while sipping tea or wine, and then partake in a hot stone massage, a seaweed body wrap, a coffee scrub, or a detoxifying still bath infused with essential oils. Belladonna also offers clinical treatments, such as facials, waxing services, manicures and pedicures. The retail shop sells health and beauty products, along with accessories meant for pampering. 2900 Magazine St., 891-4393, belladonnadayspa.com
They can also pop inside one of the surrounding boutiques, such as Perch and PHINA, or take their time exploring the Garden District Marketplace. Nearby brunch spots include Ruby Slipper, Another Broken Egg Café, and Coquette.
Spend a Day in City Park
Art in the Park
Café NOMA by Ralph Brennan is set in the New Orleans Museum of Art and overlooks City Park’s mystical lagoons and the lake lined by a bustling jogging path. The restaurant’s menu offers items the whole family will appreciate: flatbread pizza, chicken salad sandwiches, and turkey bacon paninis.
Since admission into the museum is free for moms on Mother’s Day, the guest of honor can wander through the art exhibits with her kids and stop by the gift shop, which sells jewelry, colorful summer scarves, books, and accessories made by local and regional artisans. Guests can also order a Café NOMA meal to-go and eat it outside, beneath lush live oaks, swathed in Spanish moss. 1 Collins Diboll Circle, City Park, 482-1264, cafenoma.com
Something for everyone
City Park hosts a slew of activities during Mother’s Day weekend. On Saturday, May 11, a plant sale will take place from 9 a.m. to noon in Pelican Greenhouse at 2 Celebration Drive. The Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, Storyland, and City Putt are open throughout the weekend. The New Orleans Botanical Garden will host free tours. Café du Monde will serve beignets and coffee near the Casino Building.
Indulge at The Roosevelt
Busy moms will relish the chance to relax in the opulent Waldorf Astoria Spa. Spa packages include The Royal Recovery, with an organic white tea hydration wrap, a facial, and a 50-minute reflexology session; and The Crescent City Retreat with a facial, a sugar scrub, and a pedicure and manicure. Clients can elevate their experience with Champagne and rich chocolate truffles.
After unwinding, guests can swing by The Roosevelt’s buffet ($79, $34 for children from 3 through 10 years old), which is lined with an assortment of salads and antipasti; heavenly, made-to-order Belgian waffles with whipped cream, house made berry compote, warm maple syrup; and fresh fruit. They can also create an own omelet, or order a meal from the menu. 130 Roosevelt Way, 648-1200, therooseveltneworleans.com
Enjoy Plates Crafted by the Chef
Toups South will offer a customizable three-course meal ($65), complete with decadent plates crafted by chef and owner Isaac Toups. A crawfish and corn fritter, followed by fried Oysters Rockefeller Benedict with biscuits, ham, poached eggs, and creamed spinach; and a strawberry granita is one possible combination. Diners can also add a wine pairing to their feast. Toups South is located inside of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. 1504
Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 304-2147, toupssouth.com
Jaci Blue drop earrings, $48, 2111 Magazine St., 603-2929, jaciblue.com
Azby’s cuff bracelet, $175, 5531 Magazine St., 895-1311, azbys.com
GAIA purse, $155, from The New Orleans Museum of Art; These purses are created by refugee women rebuilding their lives in Dallas, Texas, 1 Collins Diboll Circle, City Park, 658-4100, noma.org
Taylor Camellia 24k sunglasses, $215, from KREWE, 1818 Magazine St., 342-2462 krewe.com
Pontchartrain Beach decoupage tray, $160, from Hazelnut New Orleans, 5525 Magazine St., 891-2424, hazelnutneworleans.com
Pajamas, $105, from Basics Underneath, 5513 Magazine St., 894-1000, basicsunderneath.com
Tote bag, $42, from Lucy Rose, various locations; shoplucyrose.com
Porter Lyons “Virgo” necklace, from the Zodiac Collection, $675, 631 Toulouse St., 518-4945, porterlyons.com
#For photos of these gifts visit www.myneworleans.com