Most Extravagantabulous Easter Brunch: Sante at Sonoma Mission Inn Money may not be able to buy happiness, but it can buy you access to a brunch whose sheer magnitude and luxury will at least put a smile of contentment on your face for a few days. The Michelin-starred resort restaurant gilds every lily with an all-you-can-eat spread that includes jumbo shrimp cocktail, Loch Duart salmon, foie gras wrapped in bacon, charcuterie, artisan cheeses and six salads to start. Chefs carving stations wield four kinds of smoked fish with caviar; roast prime rib, and leg of lamb. Toques make omelets and classic crepes to order. Entrees include braised short ribs, classic Benedicts, salmon, mushroom ravioli with black truffle in addition to grilled vegetable platters, a bread station and more than 20 desserts (croissant bread pudding, passionfruit cheesecake, chocolate strawberries, macaroons, fruit “martinis”). A hefty $89 pp, $44.50 for children keeps it classy, but even high rollers may need to loosen their belts a few notches to accommodate the bounty of good eats. Live entertainment, Monsieur Easter Bunny, and egg hunts 10am to 2pm. Reservations required. 100 Boyes Blvd, Sonoma, 939-2415.
Most Southern-Inspired Brunch: Rocker Oysterfellers
$28 prix fixe menu includes two courses. Choose from pimento cheese and crackers, blacked gulf prawns with minted pea dip, kale salad, tarragon deviled eggs, cinnamon and currant scones with sorghum butter, quiche with grilled ramps, asparagus, trumpet mushrooms and fromage blanc; lamb tostada, Southern Eggs bennedit (biscuit, braised collard greens, Tasso ham, poached eggs; blueberry and Meyer lemon french toast, chicken fried duck steak with onion gravy. 10am to 3pm, Easter eggs hidden on the patio for the kids. Gin fizzes and cocktails for the grown-ups. 14415 Highway One, Valley Ford.
Best Spot for an Outdoor Brunch: French Garden Easter Buffet includes beet salad with candied walnuts, grilled green and white asparagus, smoked salmon, deviled eggs, Benedicts, French toast, sea bass with orange beurre blanc, roasted prime rib, honey glazed pork loin, assorted desserts and pastries. $38 pp adults, $19 children; kids 5 and under free. 10am to 3pm, 8050 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol, 824-2030.
Best High Roller Brunch in Santa Rosa: John Ash & Co. Get someone with deep pockets to treat you to this top-notch holiday spread. Instead of a buffet, Chef Tom does a hearty Easter a la carte menu with some of the restaurant’s best bets: Dungeness crab fritters, Key lime blintzes with strawberry compote, Liberty Duck hash, cinnamon walnut French toast, eggs Benedict with blood orange Hollandaise (add Dungeness crab cakes for $10), sous-vide Loch Duart Salmon; fried Gleason Ranch chicken and waffles, grilled lamb, chicken fried steak with sausage gravy. Entrees from $15 to $29, brunch from 10am to 3pm. John Ash and Co., 4350 Barnes Rd,. Santa Rosa, 575.7350. Reservations strongly recommended.
Best Student-Chef Brunch: CIA Greystone For the second year, the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena will features a prix fixe Easter brunch prepared by chefs training to work in the country’s top restaurants (in addition to the regular menu). Roasted beets with goat cheese; salmon with lemon roasted garlic vinaigrette, grass-fed beef strip loin, brioche bread pudding. $52 tasting menu, 11:30am to 9pm, children’s menu available. 2555 Main Street, St. Helena, 967-1010.
Brunch in the Country That’s Close to the City: Zazu Zazu Restaurant and Farm is just a few miles from downtown Santa Rosa, but this country roadhouse feels a world away, surrounded by farms and vineyards. Hop on in for their $39 pp prix fixe that includes sour cherry stick buns, baked ricotta french toast, a “blushing” waffle with pink lady apples and brown sugar gelato, smoked salmon and asparagus tart, biscuits and gravy with Black Pig maple sausage, steak and eggs, Black Pig bacon burger. Sides: maple glazed donut and bacon “jimmies”, crispy Yukon spuds. 3535 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, 523-4814.
Wildest Easter Brunch: Safari West 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, 1:30pm, Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, (707) 579-2551. $68 adults, $35 for children.
Best Riverside Easter Brunch: Tolay Sonoma County Sheraton
Easter buffet spread prepared by Danny Mai, Executive Chef of Sheraton Petaluma’s Tolay Restaurant. The Easter Bunny awaits you to feast on traditional omelet, eggs benedict, Hobbs applewood smoked bacon and prime rib with truffle oil. $49, kids under 12, $19. 745 Baywood Dr., Petaluma, 283-2888.
More Easter Eats
Bluewater Bistro: Easter egg hunt and brunch in Bodega. Champagne brunch includes Benedicts, potatoes, bacon, maple sausage, salmon, prawns, ham, lamb, chicken salad, chocolate dipped strawberries. $30 adults, kids under 12, $12. 10am to 3pm. 2130 Blue Heron Drive, Bodega Bay, 875-3513. Reservations required.
Champagne Brunch at the Flamingo: Terrace Grille hosts an extensive buffet with salads, fruit, Costeaux breads, eggs, sausage, cheese blintz, baked tilapia, orange chicken with pineapple, chilled prawns, honey glazed ham, lamb, cheesecake and assorted fruit tarts. Easter Bunny makes a special guest appearance, and champagne is on the house. $35 per person, $16 or kids 5-11. 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 523-4745.
Patisserie Angelica: Easter Tea on Thursday April 5, Friday, April 6 from 11am to 4pm, 827-7998. Almond apricot, chocolate truffle or Meyer Lemon Egg Cake, $40; Banana Cream Pie with Caramel and mile-high whipped cream; macarons, marshmallows and more treats. Friday, Saturday 10am to 5pm, 6821 Laguna Parkway, Sebastopol.
Dry Creek Kitchen: “Craft Your Own” three course prix fixe ($49) with dishes including chilled carrot soup, Ahi crudo, Dungeness crab crepes, honey glazed ham, lamb, Meyer lemon french toast, English toffee nut bread and butter pudding, chocolate orange cake. 11am to 2pm. Three course lamb dinner tasting menu, 6-9pm. 25 Matheson St., Healdsburg, 431-0330.
Best Help The Community Post-Easter Brunch: Ceres @ Zazu
On April 14, Ceres Project teen volunteers hit the kitchens making banana coconut muffis, bacon and cheddar cornbread, artichoke and goat cheese tart, salmon BLT, steak bruscheta, salad with sour cherry vinaigrette. $39 pp, including Taylor Maid coffee or tea. 100% of the proceeds and tips go to Sebastopol’s Ceres project. 523-4814 for reservations.