Top 5 Easter brunches

April 21, 2011

Some like buffets. Others prefer their Easter brunches a la carte. If you're still trying to figure out where to go this weekend, here are five excellent choices, ranging from casual to partial mortgage payments.

1. The Four Seasons
If you work for JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs, go ahead, blow some of your bonus money this year on one of the best, big-time buffets in the city. They had me at "unlimited Alaskan King crab legs." $120 per adult/$35 per child ages 5 - 12 (excludes tax and gratuity). 120 E. Delaware Place, 312-280-8800.

2. Prairie Fire
The urban sibling to Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook (also with a great brunch), chef Sarah Stegner is a stickler for local and seasonal produce. A brunch favorite - the grilled ham steak with potato frittata followed by mom's lemon chiffon pie - has never left her menu. $39 per adult/$15 children 10 and under. 215 N. Clinton, 312-382-8300.

3. The Bristol
Chris Pandel is a big fan of the nose-to-tail ethos that many of his fellow chef bretheren have embraced lately. If you want to add a dash of Brooklyn to your Easter brunch, this is the place to go for bold, creative dishes that just might challenge your eggs benedict-loving parents. Try the pork belly and fried egg sandwich or bread pudding French toast with bourbon cream. $23 per adult/$12 children 10 and under. 2152 N. Damen, 773-862-5555.

4. Salpicon
Priscilla Satkoff's Old Town regional Mexican gem continues to silently chug along, while Señor Bayless and his acolytes grab most of the spotlight. Don't overlook her fabulous chilaquiles. A featured brunch item is the costillitas de borrego - a New Zealand baby lamb encrusted with pumpkin seeds and served with a pasilla-tomatillo sauce; accompanied by papas con chorizo and grilled zucchini. A la carte menu prices vary. 1252 N. Wells, 312-988-7811.

5. Table 52
Art Smith relishes the chance to entertain like a Southern gentleman (albeit one that has a Gold Coast address) but that's precisely what makes this place so special. Whereas most Southern-influenced restaurants are strictly casual (The Southern, Wishbone, etc.) you'd feel downright foolish if you showed up here in jeans and a t-shirt. Smith's biscuits, chicken and hummingbird cake are plentiful reminders that the recipes here are all from the deep South. A la carte menu prices vary. 52 W. Elm St., 312-573-4000.

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