It's a few days after Cinco de Mayo and it's time to get over that two day tequila and maragita hangover, buck up, and do something special for Mom on Mother's Day. And when it comes to dining options, what better way than by taking her to Sunday brunch?
But deciding where to take Mom could depend on what kind of mother she is, so food insiders and The Daily Meal's contributors recommended restaurants for seven kinds of mothers in featured cities across the U.S.
Is Mom a hyper-successful CEO? A great home cook? Celebrity-obsessed? A cougar? A mother with young children? Some combination? These picks should help narrow your last-second choices.
Of course, Mom's wonderful and she loves you, so she would probably just enjoy spending time with you at any of these places, right? Love you, Mom — you're the best.
Corporate CEO/Fortune 500 Mom: SD26, Marea, Gilt, or La Bonbonniere. If she's never heard of La Bonbonniere, your power-mom may think that she's off to the latest hot West Village brasserie. When she walks through the door of this legendary greasy spoon, reassure her that the best challah French toast she's ever had will be the perfect antidote for the bends she's experiencing having warmed her favorite seat at the Four Seasons Restaurant only two days prior.
Great Home Cook Mom: Blue Ribbon Bakery, Buvette, Pappardella, or perhaps Mama's Food Shop. Mama's will warm the heart of any mama who toils in the kitchen year-round. With a focus on American kitchen classics like roasted chicken and bacon-wrapped meatloaf, Mama's will win over the cook with its homey charm and eat-cher veggies mandate. Be sure to clear her plate for her; it is Mother's Day after all...
Mom with Young Kids (Kid-Friendly): Bubby's, Serendipity, and Isabella's. Or for something different, Big Daddy's. "For the mom who wants peace and quiet on her Mother's Day, Big Daddy's will allow the kids to treat Mom to a traditional diner plate while keeping their chattering, smiling mouths full of the best tater tots in the city," Jonathan Burr noted. "It ain't fancy, bit it will get the job done." Po in the West Village is good with kids, and they have lots of smaller, simpler dishes that are good for the little ones. "If your mom has young kids, please keep her at home or Denny's," notes Monica Ong. "Just kidding. I say A Voce, they even have a kid's menu! Or Ditch Plains. Kids love Marc Murphy."
Cougar Mom: Beaumarchais (in the Meatpacking District), Abe & Arthur's, Public, Luxembourg, Lavo, or any of the party brunches in the city. Start out mother's day on Saturday night in Meatpacking and just keep the party going! Another option is Brasserie 8½. Brasserie 8½ is the perfect scene for the mom who has never let her pumps gather dust. With a Mother's Day brunch that runs the gamut from steamed mussels with Thai curry broth to shepherd's pie, Brasserie 8½ is the scene for the "Samantha" mom in your life. Pan American — model types that hang around Nolita are always hanging out around the bar.
Green Mom/Hippy Mom: Café Mogador, or perhaps ABC Kitchen — the crossroad of the locavore movement and restaurants in New York. "Bring your earth-dog momma to this outpost of upscale but ethically sourced plates and be sure to cap it off with a sundae," Jonathan suggested. "Peacefood on the Upper West Side — fantastic vegan food with mod, eco-friendly decor," suggested Nikki Goldstein. Cookshop or 10 Downing for locally sourced organic food.
Domineering Mother-In-Law: "Call out sick," suggested Monica. "Or do dimsum in Chinatown — the rushed service will make brunch go very quickly." Other suggestions: Daniel ("Boulud's food can make any mother-in-law bite her tongue!" quipped Karine Bakhoum.) Or perhaps Cipriani Dolci. When considering a Sunday brunch for your "other" mom, the most important consideration is of course, escape routes. Cipriani's Grand Central Terminal outpost will not only deliver the classic Venetian fare you would expect, afterwards, you can either immediately shuffle your beloved in-law onto the train back to New Haven, or make a quick getaway on the 6. Or Trattoria Dopo Teatro — they got a new chef recently and the food is very good, particularly for the theater district, and it’s perfect for pre-theater, obviously. Veselka could work. Or maybe wherever she tells you to go. "The Smith," recommended Ashton Keefe. "This hipster joint and complimentary drink should loosen anyone up. If not check out the peep show near the bathroom; 1920’s porn viewable through a hidden peephole." Good luck.
Celeb-Obsessed Mom: Beauty & Essex, Balthazar, Brooklyn Diner, Gemma, or Quattro Gastronomia Italiana in the Trump Soho Hotel — paparazzi are almost always camped outside! Or try Morandi as Jonathan suggests: "On any given Sunday, you are almost assured a celebrity to burst forth from a tinted-window SUV in front of this hot West Village trattoria. Just have the napkin ready when your mom's insalata falls from her dropped jaw when Sarah Jessica sashays in the front door."
Contributors: Karine Bakhoum (Restaurant Consultant and Publicist), Jonathan Burr, Chef Brando De Oliveira, Nikki Goldstein, GutterGourmet, Monica Ong, and Ashton Keefe. (Photo courtesy Flickr/thenails, AMagil, gemsling, Christian Haugen).