30 Under 30: Celebratory times call for a (small) splurge
After a nine-month hiatus to complete my MBA studies, my return to the “30 Under 30” column is long overdue. Since I plan to stay in New Orleans after graduating from Tulane's A.B. Freeman School of Business, and since I still have a year and half left until my 30th birthday, I have plenty of motivation to search for deals for the under-30 crowd.
Of course, like any student, I don't need extra incentive to seek out thrifty spending secrets and hidden entertainment gems. And since this is, after all, the season of commencements and ceremony, a recent lunch foray took classmates and I in search of some celebratory grand cuisine at not-so-grand prices.
Our quest led us to Commander’s Palace, located in the Garden District at 1403 Washington Ave. One of the most well-known restaurants in New Orleans, and a landmark since the late 19th century, Commander’s has a reputation for elegance and excellence. In addition to savory Creole-inspired cuisine, the restaurant’s multitude of bright, airy rooms and friendly wait staff make it a great location for a special occasion.
The only potential downside to Commander’s Palace for a young professional is the lofty prices that inevitibly go with a restaurant of its caliber. However, the weekday lunch offerings make it a lot more affordable for those on a budget.
During the week, Commander’s offers a two-course lunch special for $18 and a three-course menu for $30, as well as a la carte options. And my favorite part of the deal: 25-cent martinis that make a perfect compliment to the meal (available in classic gin or vodka and three specialty versions: the Commander’s martini, Cosmopolitan and Ray’s Melon).
Chef Tory McPhail changes the menu almost daily in order to serve the freshest possible ingredients; however, staples include the turtle soup and Creole bread pudding soufflé – both a must for any Commander’s novice. For an idea of what to expect, check out a sample menu here.
Just a short walk from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, Commander’s Palace is a great option for an elegant daytime outing. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday, and due to the restaurant’s popularity, reservations are recommended. Be sure to don your finest for the occasion and avoid wearing shorts or t-shirts, as business casual attire is preferred.
Bon Appetit! And congratulations ...
New Orleans native Megan Peck writes about bar happy hours, restaurant specials, interesting events and any lagniappe happenings that can be enjoyed for $30 or less, and that particularly appeal to the under-30 set. If you have bargain Big Easy pleasures, please send them her way, at [email protected]
Native New Orleanian Megan Peck writes occasionally about lie in New Orleans for NolaVie. Email her at [email protected]