Sometimes Al Fresco Is All Right

Written by Tom Fitzmorris December 04, 2019 08:21 in Dining Diary

Sunday was such a beautiful day I didn’t have a good argument when Mary Ann proposed lunch at the Lakehouse. After I sing at church, we go to Oxlot 9 for brunch, or the Lakehouse if the weather is especially nice. Or Chimes if ML is around and I’m outnumbered. Occasionally I get my brunch choice of Cafe Lynn, a delicious little bistro that MA finds uninteresting. It’s a decor thing, I am told because she loves the food too.

I have made no secret of my disdain for buffets, yet my wife remains steadfast in her devotion. At least Chef Pete Kusiw is there to make it worthwhile, creating something delicious for me to try from his dinner menu, since we never come here for dinner. This works for us both. He gets to be creative, and I get food that is not from a buffet steam table.

The word that comes across in my mind with any visit to the Lakehouse for Sunday Brunch is family. There are small ones and large ones, but kids of all ages are a given. On this day there were some five very large parties. With a buffet, this isn’t a problem, and here the buffet is well-stocked at all times. I'll say that for it. It is constantly attended by diligent staff.

Even MA was a little nervous about bringing me to sit outside because it was a little chilly at our house. We sat here at a sunny table, and even in my one shady seat, I have to admit it was more pleasant than cold. On the other hand, Mary Ann wished she had worn summer clothes as the sun beat down on her. She remains undeterred in her beloved outdoor dining. On the plus side for me, our table was mere steps away from some really easy listening jazz. I even got to sing a few bars.

The $33 price was a bad deal for us today, because MA had a pile of bacon and a very large veggie omelet heavy on the spinach. And two small chicken nuggets. I had nothing from the buffet, but only because Chef Pete brought out an Oysters Rockefeller dish topped with fried oysters and another sliced filet mignon in a demiglace. Mary Ann tried the steak which was too rare for her, and declared it butter-knife tender. It certainly was.

Helen is our girl, a waitress all servers should learn from. She is attentive, charming, and really can read our minds. It is truly a pleasure for her to serve us, she exudes with every attention to detail. Mary Ann had a bottomless mimosa that she couldn’t get to the bottom of with even one pour, and Helen kept right up with her iced tea obsession. And my coffee needs. She also brought me the perfect size and all-around perfect creme brulee (pictured) that I didn't know I needed.

Add to all of this the pleasantness of the lake across the street, and all the activity that brings, and even I have to admit this is just a great place to go for a Sunday brunch. And a bargain at $33.

The Lakehouse

2025 Lakeshore Dr  Mandeville


Th-Sat 11-2  Lunch

Th-Sat 5-9  Dinner

Sunday Brunch 11-2