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RED LOBSTER OPENS NEW RESTAURANT IN OAKDALE
New Location Offers Menu Featuring Fresh Seafood, Healthy Dining Options & Traditional Favorites

OAKDALE, Minn. (January 30, 2006) — On Monday, February 13, Red Lobster will open its newest location in Oakdale.  The new restaurant will feature a menu with a variety of fresh fish entrées, live Maine lobsters, the company’s healthy LightHouse Menu and its award-winning kid’s menu, as well as an assortment of traditional Red Lobster favorites.

The 226-seat, 7,222-square-foot restaurant is located at 8350 3rd Street North in the Oakdale Village (off I-94).  Employing approximately 125 crewmembers, the new Oakdale Red Lobster will begin serving at 11 a.m. on opening day.  Guests can enjoy lunch until 4 p.m. and dinner all day long. 

“We are proud to be a new neighbor in the Oakdale area.  Our enthusiastic crew looks forward to serving guests the freshest seafood in a comfortable, relaxing atmosphere,” said Cory Thiessen, a 15-year Red Lobster veteran and the general manager for the new Oakdale restaurant.

Fresh Seafood on the Menu
Guests at the new Oakdale restaurant can enjoy flavorful seafood dishes that include shrimp, scallops and crab, as well as the company’s signature, fresh live Maine lobsters straight from the restaurant’s lobster tank.  Also offered are oysters on a half shell (available seasonally and served raw or steamed with traditional cocktail sauce) and Prince Edwards Island Mussels (steamed in white wine with fresh Roma tomatoes, garlic, green onions and parsley).

Additionally, the menu features Red Lobster’s popular Jumbo Shrimp entrée.  For a limited time, seafood lovers can enjoy their choice of two of the following – the delicious new preparation, Lobster, Crab & Seafood Stuffed Shrimp, Jumbo Shrimp Scampi, Jumbo Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp, Jumbo Crunch-Fried Shrimp or Garlic Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Skewer.  This new preparation consists of butterflied jumbo shrimp stuffed with lobster, crab and seafood topped with Monterey Jack cheese and a creamy lobster sauce.

Furthermore, the Red Lobster restaurant will offer select cuts of fresh fish, including salmon, tilapia, rainbow trout and artic char in thick, skinless portions – always fresh and never frozen.  These selections can be grilled, broiled, fried or blackened and reinforce Red Lobster’s reputation for offering the freshest, most flavorful seafood at a friendly price.

LightHouse Menu
For the many health-conscious Americans who seek foods that are low in fat, calories or carbohydrates, the Oakdale restaurant offers Red Lobster’s “LightHouse Menu” providing guests with nutritional information for some of Red Lobster’s most popular menu items.  The menu lists more than 30 items – including succulent dishes such as live Maine lobster and snow crab, plus accompaniments, side dishes, dipping sauces and beverages – with the caloric, carbohydrate and fat content for each.

Nutritionists advise consumers to eat more seafood since it is such a healthy protein.  In fact, the American Heart Association recommends people eat seafood at least twice a week as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.  Federal advisers also recommend Americans eat more fish and fewer refined grains such as white bread.  They also say the amount of salmon and other fish containing heart-protecting Omega-3 fatty acids should be doubled to two servings a week.

Award-Winning Kid’s Menu
The Oakdale restaurant also will offer a kid’s menu that includes grilled fish, steamed crab legs and steamed and fresh vegetables as well as traditional favorites.  Based on these new choices, Child Magazine named Red Lobster one of the “Best Restaurants for Families.”  Also, Restaurant Hospitality magazine named Red Lobster the Grand Winner in last year’s annual “Best Kids Menu in America” competition.

About Red Lobster
Diners have recognized Red Lobster as the nation’s best seafood restaurant for 17 years in a row in nationwide polls by Restaurants & Institutions magazine.  Red Lobster has over 670 restaurants in North America and more than 63,000 employees. 

The company served more than 141 million guests in fiscal 2005 (ending May 29, 2005) and enjoyed total sales of $2.4 billion. 

The company is a subsidiary of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI).  Darden also owns and operates Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill and Seasons 52 restaurants.  For the Red Lobster nearest you, call 1-800-LOBSTER or visit www.redlobster.com.

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