Photo by Rachel Park on Unsplash
Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 9th, and not only is it our annual date to celebrate all the moms in our lives, but this year, it’s timed with the city’s gradual reopening and lots of good news surrounding Covid and vaccine numbers. Since the holiday tends to be one for an early meal, we’ve rounded up some great New York City restaurants with brunch specials for Mother’s Day. Keep in mind that local restaurants are still operating at 50 percent capacity for indoor dining, and many places are requiring reservations.
With locations on the Upper West Side, Central Park South, Park Avenue South, and Tribeca, Sarabeth’s has become a mainstay for a lovely, never-fails brunch. For Mother’s Day, brunch specials include a smoked salmon tower and apple cinnamon French toast. This is a great option if you want to start the day early, as reservations begin at 8am.
On the Upper West Side, this restaurant has been serving up Italian fare to locals since 1983. On May 9th, moms get a complimentary drink, which they can enjoy alongside a special $55/person prix-fixe menu. Choose from appetizers like a chilled spring pea and mint puree with a jumbo crab dumpling and entrees like sauteed veal tenderloin or crispy soft shell crab milanese. For dessert, there’s a cannoli or a gluten-free strawberry olive oil cake.
Just off Central Park on the west side, the Ribbon has a $64.99 Mother’s Day package that can be delivered for two or served family-style in the restaurant. It comes with a Ceasar salad, choice of a main course (the famous fried chicken is only available for indoor dining) and choice of dessert, as well as a bottle of prosecco and a chocolate rose for mom. Between 1pm and 5pm, indoor dining guests will also experience a free live performance of “I’ll Follow The Sun,” the songs of John and Lennon and Paul McCartney by Marissa Mulder.
Central Park Boathouse
This iconic restaurant reopened to much relief on March 29th. And on May 9th, they have a special menu for $89/person (it’s half price for kids under 12). There are appetizers such as octopus carpaccio and a yellow tomato soup, and entrees such as seared ahi tuna, roasted dry-age prime rib, and a cast-iron roasted chicken. And for dessert, there’s a sour cream cheesecake, a strawberry shortcake, and a creme brulee, to name a few. We’d recommend making reservations early for this popular spot.
Tavern on the Green
Central Park’s other beloved restaurant, Tavern on the Green, is also thankfully reopening on April 29th. Their three-course Mother’s Day prix-fixe is not cheap at $115/person, but the setting can’t be beaten. The meal includes a basket of Madeleines
with whipped strawberry butter, an appetizer like cream of wild mushroom soup or roasted black fig and goat cheese flatbread, an entree like main lobster eggs benedict or brick-oven roasted beef tenderloin and eggs, and dessert like a lemon meringue cheesecake or molten black-and-white chocolate cake.
Orsay combines modern French and classic brasserie fare, all in an Upper East Side setting that looks like it’s been plucked straight from Paris. Their $56/person Mother’s Day prix-fixe includes a basket of Vienoiserie, a choice of appetizer like spring asparagus soup or burrata salad, and a choice of entrée like an asparagus and leeks crustless quiche, Croque monsieur or madame, and a flat iron steak. You can dine inside or on their lovely sidewalk patio.
This Michelin-recognized French bistro on the Upper East Side has a special prix fixe menu that comes with complimentary fresh-baked croissants, chocolatine, and lemon cake, as well as a choice of an appetizer and entrée with options including brioche French toast, lobster bisque, brie and black truffle Croque monsieur, and a ribeye steak. It’s $59, and both indoor and outdoor seating options are available.
Though this is another French restaurant on the Upper East Side, Jacques Brasserie stands out for its dark wooden walls adorned with vintage poster advertisements and bohemian scenes a la Toulouse-Lautrec. They also have lovely sidewalk seating. On Mother’s Day, order special a la carte dishes like lobster bisque, jumbo lump crabcake, and filet mignon.
In Hell’s Kitchen, this charming bistro has a special French-inspired brunch for Mother’s Day. For $69 per person, the prix fixe menu includes one appetizer, one entrée, one dessert, and a complimentary bottle of French vino. Enjoy brasserie classics such as escargot, soupe à l’Oignon, poussin, steak frites, and beignets or mousse au chocolate. Dine in the lovely garden or inside the Victorian-era inspired dining room.
Lidia and Joe Bastianich’s Italian mainstay on Restaurant Row has put together a four-course prix-fixe menu for $59.95/person that’s available from 12-8:30pm. It comes with spring frittata, followed by unlimited servings of three daily pastas, then a choice of either Prosciutto Cotto, braised beef short ribs, or salmon, as well as Ricottina, an Italian take on strawberry cheesecake, for dessert.
Alfie’s Bar & Kitchen
For a casual but delicious Mother’s Day meal, Alfie’s in Hell’s Kitchen has two brunch specials for Mother’s Day–banana walnut pancakes with dulce de leche and southern biscuits with sausage gravy and eggs. They will also be offering $9 Aperol spritz.
In Midtown, Michelin two-star Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit is celebrating Mother’s Day with a three-course lunch menu from 12-2:30pm. For $135/person, it comes with shared starters for the table followed by a choice of main course and dessert. Dishes include Matjes herring tart, venison tartar to start, roasted duck, poached halibut, rhubarb clafoutis, and creme brulee. You can also get this menu as a two-person to-go “Mother’s Day Kit” for $195.
Known for their wood-fired pizzas, pasta, and wine, this Gramercy spot has a special $38/person brunch prix-fixe that comes with one brunch cocktail (mom gets her second for free!), assorted muffins and biscuits, and a choice of yogurt, soup, or salad, with entrees like a gorgonzola burger with truffle fries, lemon ricotta pancakes, and mushroom omelet.
Nomad Italian restaurant I Trulli has a beautiful, plant-filled outdoor garden that is perfect for Mother’s Day. They start serving at noon, and in addition to the a la carte menu, you can order from a special family-style Mother’s Day menu with some of their holiday classics.
Nomad’s longtime Lebanese favorite ilili is celebrating mom with a festive four-course prix-fixe menu for brunch that includes a-la-carte menu items and specials, including five varieties of hummus, artichoke crab salad, truffle eggs benedict, and traditional lamb shank. It’s available in the dining room or the heated outdoor cafe and is $65/person ($35/person for children under 12).
Italian restaurant Bottino has long been a staple among Chelsea’s art galleries, in part due to their gorgeous garden. If this sounds like the setting for mom, they have a three-course prix-fixe brunch that’s $75/adult with a seasonal bellini or fresh juice and $40 for kids under 12. The menu is available from 11am to 4pm and includes delicious dishes like a pan-fried branzino with pureed artichoke, peas, and black truffle vinaigrette or mascarpone pancakes with prosciutto butter and amaretto cookie crumble.
Tried-and-true East Village wine bar has a $48/person three-course prix fixe that’s available on Mother’s Day from noon to 4pm. Some of the standout dishes include a whipped ricotta toast, a spring vegetable frittata with mascarpone, a sausage and kale ragu with fried eggs and sage, and a sour cream poppy seed cake.
This modern Hawaiian restaurant in the East Village will be open for Mother’s Day brunch from 11:30am-3:00pm, where you can enjoy one of 13 varieties of musubi, popular Hawaiian snacks made with rice and ingredients wrapped in a sheet of nori seaweed, as well as their full menu and award-winning wine list.
Tribeca’s neighborhood favorite Bubby’s is giving mom a complimentary mimosa on Mother’s Day. They’re beloved for their brunch menu, which includes their famous pancake varieties (which include caramelized banana and toasted walnuts, chocolate chip, and Nutella and mixed berries) and mouth-watering fried chicken. You can also give mom the gift of Bubby’s with their DIY pie kits and pancake mix.
The Japanese-Italian restaurant in Nolita from the team behind Wayla has a special Mother’s Day brunch menu that includes Vegan Banana Soft Serve, Asparagus Okonomiyaki, and a Yuzu Meringue Torta.
The Osprey at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
The setting can’t be beaten at this Dumbo spot; it’s just steps from the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge, has lush greenery everywhere, and is wrapped in wall-to-wall glass doors to create an indoor-outdoor garden experience. And when it comes to the food, you can expect market-driven American comfort food, highlighting local seasonal ingredients. For Mother’s Day, there are a few specials including the Osprey’s Nest (soft poached egg, kadaifi, smoked sablefish, lemon creme fraiche, sustainable caviar), Chitarra Carbonara (egg, guanciale, spring peas, pecorino romano), and a Rhubarb Pavlova (basil meringue, poached rhubarb, strawberries, mascarpone sabayon).
Though this fried chicken restaurant now has locations in Prospect Heights, Long Island City, and the Lower East Side, their original location was the Williamsburg outpost. This Mother’s Day, all four restaurants have on offer their blueberry muffin waffle, honey butter chicken buttermilk biscuit, or the Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich. Sweet Chick is open for indoor and outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery.
This longtime Williamsburg favorite has a three-course Mother’s Day brunch prix-fixe menu that’s $49/person with a free mimosa. Their sidewalk seating is also lovely.
On the Long Island City waterfront, this lovely newcomer has a Mother’s Day brunch from 11am to 3pm. It’s $45 and includes a choice of a bloody mary or mimosa, an entree (like a crispy pork belly benedict or a 28-day dry-aged burger), and a choice of one side (like sesame sourdough or duck fat hash browns). Their outdoor dining setup has 34 individually heated greenhouses.
Victory Garden Cafe
In Astoria, this Greek restaurant has a lovely Mediterranean-style outdoor garden. Their $49/person Mother’s Day menu comes with all the fixings, starting with four dips (caviar dip, eggplant dip, white garlic sauce, and spicy feta dip), mini spinach and cheese pies, and a Greek salad. For the main course, there are choices like a traditional moussaka or shrimp scampi, and for dessert, a chocolate mouse or baklava served with coffee or tea.
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