Brunch: Easter and beyond

easter.jpgWe all have slightly different litmus tests to what makes a great brunch. I have a friend that simply won’t step out of the house unless there’s a solid Bloody Mary involved. With celery. For another, it’s real maple syrup and crisp bacon and to heck with the view. Personally, I require a Mimosa, real Hollandaise sauce, smoked salmon and outdoor seating with a view– a pickiness that doesn’t always equal many brunch invitations. But come Easter and Mother’s Day, two springtime holidays that all but demand familial brunch reservations, somewhere, anywhere, it’s easy to get a little complacent. Don’t.

Because what makes for a great brunch all the rest of the year are the things — romantic tables, a lovely garden setting, a top notch cocktail, buttery Hollandaise (or whatever your gauge) — that make it doubly so when stepping out with mom, grandma and the rest of the clan.

Throughout the county, restaurants eager for your business are raising the brunch bar, featuring everything from house-smoked fish to golden eggs. Not to mention some darned nice Bloody Marys.

Most Willy Wonka-esque, Cafe Saint Rose
CafĂ© Saint Rose’s sprawling stream-side patio is a lazy Sunday jaunt to Chef Mark Malicki’s slightly surrealistic Sebastopol road house. Here, kids ramble through the weeds and parents breathe contentedly with a glass rose and whatever local goodies Malicki’s whipped up — like suckling pig hash and Lucky charms with half and half.  On Easter (only), he’s dreamed up a scheme to give away two Golden Eggs. A grown-up winner gets dinner for six featuring Mark’s favorite Russian River wines. One even luckier kid gets (and no we’re not kidding) free dessert for life at Mark’s restaurant. 9890 Bodega Highway, Sebastopol, (707) 829-5898. Prix fixe brunch menu from 11am to 4pm. Call for reservations and menu details.

Best Easter Egg Hunt with Brunch
NY-via-Sonoma restauranteurs Eric Korsh and Ginevra Iverson know that the best part of Easter is the smoked fish. Or maybe it’s hunting for eggs. Either way, they’ll have both at Restaurant Eloise on April 12, starting at 10am, in additional to other brunch classics.  Kids can hunt around the culinary gardens for jellybeans and snap peas. 2295 Gravenstein Hwy South, Sebastopol, (707) 823-6300.

Best brunch on Santa Rosa Ave.: Dierk’s Parkside Cafe
Maybe the view of the bus station isn’t the most romantic, but when the food’s this good, you won’t mind. Chef Mark Dierkhising’s got breakfast and brunch down cold.  Special surprises for mom on Easter Sunday, plus it’s one of the few spots accepting walk-ins. 404 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa., (707) 573-5955.

Wildest Easter Brunch
Hunt for Mr. Hare in the wilds of Safari West after brunch in the Savannah Cafe. The six-foot bunny is on the trail of his old rival, Mr. Tortoise and will leave Carrot Clues along the way. 10am and 1pm, April 12. 3115 Porter Creek Road
Santa Rosa, (707) 579-2551. $63 adults, $30 for children.      
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Most Wine Country-est Brunch
BarnDiva’s committed Slow Food philosophy means lots of farm-fresh meats and produce that celebrate each season – from their free-range eggs Benedict to hot cross buns. The enclosed backyard garden is a favorite Healdsburg sunning spot come Sunday morning, not to mention picture-perfect for your Easter family photos, which last year included live chicks (of the yellow, fluffy sort) and an egg hunt. 231 Center St., Healdsburg, (707) 431-0100, open for brunch at 11am.

Easter Italiano
Soak up the Sonoma sun while munching through Estate Restaurant’s Cal-Ital Easter menu featuring bacon and fried egg pizzas, lamb torta and Frangelico pastry cream zeppole. And then there’s dessert. $32 per person, 400 West Spain St., Sonoma, (707) 933-3663.

Bloody Great
Though it’s not exactly brunch, haute burgery, Healdsburg Bar and Grill, plans to offer up their popular Bloody Mary Bar for Easter, in addition to their usual burger and salad fare — a nice touch for tired bunnies. 245 Healdsburg Ave, (707) 433-3333.

Where are you headed for Easter? Sound off.

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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11 Comments

  1. I finding for information for my research and I read your post that so useful for me, thx google I found your site for great info.

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  2. yes im looking for casual placein petaluma.. any ideas?

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  3. Sorry to hear about Latitude. I’ve been banned there since I gave them a bad review in the Bohemian years ago. Heh.
    h

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  4. Uggh, we tried to go to Latitude for Easter brunch. We had reservations for four so we were seated promptly, though far back in the furthest reaches of the deck where we had to walk quite a ways to the buffet. We waited for about 5-10 minutes for a server to take our drink order but no one came so we hiked to the buffet. The single, tiny, one-line buffet that served a crowd that must have been 150-200 people. This was not an open buffet that you could get into and out of but one in which you waited in line for 10 minutes to even reach the food. How ridiculous. After waiting in line for five more minutes we took off and headed over to Jack and Tony’s Whiskey Bar and had a great Easter brunch.
    At J & T’s we were again seated promptly by very friendly (though slightly green) staff. Waited on constantly, served great food and drinks in a comfortable atmosphere. What a difference. The only criticism I have of J & T’s is that, early in the day, the huge windows offer a bit too much light, so maybe they can get some shades or tinting or something.

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  5. I just posted a comment about the Humble Pie in Penngrove on the Pie forum and I can’t believe they arnt on the Brunch list! They have a killer brunch with equally killer bloody marys and everything is perfect and as it gets from the crispy bacon to the AMAZING just made hollindaise sauce. The prices are pretty good and they play records *SWEET!* I wouldnt suggest it for the stuffy grumpy set, but it’s a heck of a brunch for the younger hipper crowd.

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  6. Thanks Chole! I think we will check it out!

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  7. Gee, I thought Heather would probably be at home whipping up some of that tasty tater tot casserole :-)

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  8. Fantastic Mother’s Day brunch at The Union Hotel in Occidental! If you’re lucky, you can find a spot on the patio–filled with flowers, but either way the food is great. No smoked salmon, but the raviolis are out!

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  9. Petaluma-Yes, the Best! Rooster Run Golf Club & Event Center is serving up a fabulous Champagne Brunch Buffet (and killer Bloody Mary’s) with a Carving Station, Belgium Waffle & Omelet Station, Poached Salmon, French Toast, Smoked Turkey Breast, Tower of Fruits, Salad & Dessert bars and lots more all served in a Newly Remodeled Event Center-Check them out-it’s awesome!

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