Friday Foodie Forecast: Chicago Mother's Day brunches
It's more than just coincidence that "Mother's Day" and "brunch" are nearly inextricable. Celebrating the day with a shared meal is one of the best ways to pay homage to Mom, Grandma, or any special woman. Brunch invites reminiscing, laughter and memories of family meals through the years. Whether your mother prefers a traditional brunch or something with a twist, choosing the perfect restaurant is sure to make your Mama proud.
Markethouse's contemporary, seasonal buffet will offer something for every Mother's classic taste. The brunch buffet prepared by Executive Chef Scott Walton will be served from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. Buffet choices include eggs Benedict with Swan Creek scrambled eggs; cream cheese and snipped chive-stuffed pancakes with oak-aged Vermont maple syrup and Applewood smoked bacon; Miller Farms honey cayenne-mopped chicken with fingerling potatoes and Carr Valley White Cheddar macaroni and cheese gratin. Desserts include assorted pastries as well as Markethouse's signature warm butterscotch bread pudding. The cost is $35 for adults and $15 for children ages ten and under, excluding tax, beverages and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (312) 224-2200. Markethouse is located at 611 N. Fairbanks Court.
North Pond's focus on local and sustainable cuisine will impress any mother, especially one who loves a good farmer's market. Chef Bruce Sherman was named Time Out Chicago's "Farmer's Friend" in 2007 and was one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs in 2003. His three-course Mother's Day brunch showcases Sherman's commitment to working with local farmers and features dishes such as grilled brown sugar pork medallions with gingerbread pancakes and Alphonso mangoes; gulf lump crab salad with roasted and candied beets; creamy "French" scrambled eggs with tarragon and morel mushroom ragout; sheeps' milk ricotta-stuffed buckwheat crepes;‚ grilled cod filet with saffron fettuccine and asparagus; grass-fed beef strip steak medallions; vanilla buttermilk panna cotta; and spiced banana cake with hazelnut buttercream. A children's menu is also available. Brunch will be served from 10:00 am until 6 pm. The cost is $75 for adults, $40 for children 12 and under. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (773) 477-5845. North Pond is located at 2610 N. Cannon Drive.
North Pond's Bruce Sherman searches for local produce at the Green City Market
Palm Court at the Drake
Afternoon tea at the Drake is always a regal affair, and Mother's Day is no exception. Mothers who want to feel like queens for a day will enjoy the formal tea service, luxurious floral arrangements, live harp music and dainty teas, sandwiches and pastries served in the opulent Palm Court. Exclusively for Mother's Day, Elizabeth Arden representatives will be available to offer complimentary "mini make-overs" for moms. Each guest will select a pot of tea as well as finger sandwiches and pastries. Mimosas and other cocktails are available for an additional charge. Afternoon tea is served between 1:00 and 5:00 pm, and each seating lasts approximately 90 minutes. The cost is $32 for adults. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (312) 787-2200. The Drake is located at 140 E. Walton Street.
Palmer House Hilton
The Palmer House Hilton, built in 1871, still retains all its original glamor and drama and is a fitting choice for a mother with timeless style. Executive Chef Stephen Henry and pastry chef Fabrice Bouet will prepare a Mother's Day buffet in the Lockwood Restaurant at the Palmer House from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. Buffet items include spring pea with minted cream soup; Harbor Point smoked salmon; asparagus, Portobello mushroom, peppers and endive salad; local and imported cheeses; prime rib carving station; pan-seared Atlantic salmon with spring pea purée; pan-seared duck tangerine; Japanese butternut squash ravioli; and assorted miniature desserts. Coffee, tea, juice and soda will be available in addition to unlimited sparkling wine. The cost is $55 for adults and $25 for children ages six to 12, excluding tax and gratuity. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (312) 917-3404. Complimentary validated parking is available at Self-Park, 55 E. Monroe Street. The Palmer House Hilton is located at 17 E. Monroe Street.
If you're looking to dazzle a mother from out of town (or even one from Chicago), Spiaggia's elegant menu and unbeatable views of Lake Michigan and the Gold Coast will make Mother's Day memorable. Executive chef Tony Mantuano will open Spiaggia for lunch from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm, one of the only days of the year when the restaurant is open during daylight hours. Both a three and four course lunch will be available, as well as‚ à la carte options for children. The cost is $65 for the three-course menu and $95 for the four-course menu. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling (312) 280-2750. Spiaggia is located at 980 N. Michigan Avenue.
For the adventurous and eclectic mother, Sunda debuts its new ƒ la carte brunch menu from 10:30 am until 3:00 pm on Mother's Day. Executive chef Rodelio Aglibot will serve contemporary interpretations of traditional Asian dishes from Japan, China and Southeast Asia as well as inspired egg dishes. Selections include Salmon and scallion scramble: brown sugar cured salmon, red onions, scallions and cream cheese; Hawiian "loco moco": steak topped with brown gravy and a fried egg on a bed of steamed rice; Oxtail and potato "smash": hash, fried eggs and horseradish creme; Chicken Bahn Mi: Vietnamese-style sandwich on French bread with chicken breast, spice butter and pickled vegetables; as well as sushi, sashimi and specialty Maki rolls. Drinks include a Bloody Mary bar, where guests can build their own Bloody Mary from a selection of garnishes including shrimp, kim chee and barbecue eel. Mimosa kits will also be available, featuring a bottle of house champagne and a trio of seasonal juices like lychee, yuzu and mango. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (312) 664-0500. Sunda is located at 110 W. Illinois Street.