Edi and the Wolf (Photo: Courtesy of Edi and the Wolf)

9 Hoppin’ Easter Brunches in New York City

Whether you want the traditional lamb or something more daring, these nine New York City restaurants are serving up serious feasts – reserve now before they're booked

Save the chocolate eggs and jelly beans for later in the day. On April 20, 2014, get yourself out of bed, don your Sunday finest and enjoy one of the best things about Easter in NYC — brunch. Whether you’re a brunch purist who wants bacon and eggs or an Easter traditionalist who’s looking for lamb and spring vegetables, there are plenty of choices to tantalize your taste buds. A smorgasbord of shellfish? That’s an option. A hearty plate of French toast? Not a problem. No matter what you crave, the food at one of these nine NYC restaurants is sure to hit the sweet spot this Easter.

 

Gravlaks at Smorgas Chef

Gravlax at Smorgas Chef (Photo: Courtesy of Smorgas Chef)

Swedish Brunch at Smorgas Chef in the Financial District
Give your Easter a Swedish kick with this Nordic restaurant’s extravagant $35 smorgasbord. The restaurant is situated on historic Stone Street downtown, and guests can dine at a cozy table inside or alfresco at one of the many outdoor wooden picnic tables lining the street. The menu reflects influences of the restaurant group’s 150-acre eco farm in the Catskills, Blenheim Hill, which raises animals and grows ingredients required by Scandinavian cooking (lingonberries alongside cucumbers and tomatoes). Dishes that highlight the farm’s bounty include mustard-crusted leg of lamb, a signature 72-hour aquavit gravlax, bright asparagus salad with prosciutto, and Scandinavian-style waffles with bacon. Finish the meal off with a Swedish princess cake, a combination of marzipan, custard and fresh berries. Brunch is from 11am to 10pm. Reservations are recommended. 53 Stone St., 212-422-3500, smorgas.com

 

Cafe Boulud

Brunch at Cafe Boulud (Photo: Courtesy of Cafe Boulud)

French Bistro Brunch at Cafe Boulud on the Upper East Side
Do Easter brunch Daniel Boulud-style at his swank, white-table clothed bistro uptown, famous for its seasonal bites with a Provencal bent to them — all of which is extend to the special holiday brunch menu. Overseen by chef Gavin Kaysen, the three-course special runs $95 for adults and $45 for kids 12 and under, with options that move from crepes Suzette to grilled leg of lamb with lentils, wild mushroom quiche, and Maine Peekytoe Crab Benedict with ham, wilted arrowleaf and choron sauce. No matter what you choose, a stroll in nearby Central Park will add the cherry to your Sunday. Brunch is from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Reservations are recommended. 20 E 76th St., 212-772-2600, cafeboulud.com

 

Red Cat

Red Cat (Photo: Courtesy of Red Cat)

Artsy Mediterranean-American Brunch at Red Cat in Chelsea
After Easter service at church or a brisk walk along the High Line, head to this longstanding west side restaurant to replenish. Though the tables may have white linens on them, there is nothing stuffy about the service or food being whipped up by chef Andy Xu, which on this occasion highlights spring. Guests can order from the regular brunch menu or try an Easter special such as the lobster omelet with caramelized onions and spring greens, or the asparagus salad with tangy goat cheese, crisp radishes and a fresh oregano dressing. Brunch is from 11:30am to 2:45pm. Reservations are recommended. 227 10th Ave., 212-242-1122, theredcat.com

 

Lincoln Ristorante

Lincoln Ristorante (Photo: Courtesy of Lincoln Ristorante)

Michelin-Star Italian Brunch at Lincoln Ristorante on the Upper West Side
Treat yourself to a memorable meal this Easter Sunday by upping the ante and splurging on the $70 prix fixe brunch at the Michelin starred Lincoln. A creation of chef Jonathan Benno, this four-course meal leans on Italian specialties made with local ingredients such as ricotta dumplings with walnut pesto and roasted grapes, homemade pasta with lobster and scallop sausage, fresh branzino, leg of lamb, and for dessert, farro cheesecake with orange sherbet. As if that’s not elegant enough, guests chow down in the stunning, glass-walled space, located right next to Lincoln Center. After the meal, take advantage of the stretch of grass that grows on top of the asymmetrical building, lay out in the sun, and ponder what to do with the rest of your Easter. Brunch is from 11:30 to 8:30pm. Reservations are recommended. 142 W 65th St., 212-359-6500, lincolnristorante.com

 

Sea Grill

Sea Grill (Photo: Courtesy of the Sea Grill)

Brunch Starring Seafood at The Sea Grill in Midtown
Skip the traditional lamb and Easter egg brunch and indulge instead in a seafood-heavy meal at this elegant Midtown institution located in the heart of Rockefeller Center.  For Easter, you can dine on chef Yuhi Fujinaga’s creations such as the Catskills artisanal applewood-smoked salmon with frisee, crispy farm egg and salmon caviar, or fresh herb-crusted soft-shell crab with grilled citrus-marinated hearts of palm and avocado puree. The $65 price tag comes with three courses, and children 12 and younger have access to a special $25 prix fixe. Ask for a table overlooking the ice rink and watch the skaters as you sip a mimosa and nibble on fresh oysters. Brunch is from 10am to 3pm. Reservations are recommended, and be sure to book a turn on the ice before or after your meal. We hear the Easter Bunny may be making an appearance as well. 19 W. 49th St., 212-332-7610, patinagroup.com

 

Bo's Kitchen

Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room (Photo: Courtesy of Bo’s)

New Orleans Brunch at Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room in Flatiron
If you meshed New Orleans with New York, chances are it would look a lot like this brick-walled eatery headed by chef-partner Todd Mitgang. Its elegantly casual setting (funky hanging lights, potted plants, marble-topped tables) is in line with its unpretentious but well-executed fare. Easter brunch hits all the Low Country classics — roasted oysters, monkey bread French toast, eggs Benedict with ham, and a special seasonal lamb dish. Chase down your meal with a honey blossom mimosa and praise the chef for making Easter right. Brunch is from 11:30am to 3:30pm. Reservations are recommended. 6 W. 24th St., 212-234-2373, bosrestaurant.com

 

Brunch at ilili (Photo: Evan Sung)

Brunch at ilili (Photo: Evan Sung)

Lebanese Brunch at ilili in NoMad
Here’s an Easter brunch both adults and kids can get excited about. Not only does this Lebanese restaurant offer a modestly priced $28 prix fixe brunch, but it also has a few tricks up its sleeve, such as an egg decorating contest and a chocolate egg guessing game. But don’t let it distract you from your lamb shank, English pea risotto, and fennel-cured, salt-baked cod. Guests can relax in a comfortable red chair and take in the golden decor, a maze of wooden boxes and frames that give the long room an Alice in Wonderland feel, in a good way. Then, call the kids back for the Chocolate Easter Bunny Sundae, a delicious mess of dulce de leche and chocolate ice cream, caramelized puffed rice, tahini whipped cream, and the crowning glory — a delicate chocolate bunny on top. Brunch is from noon to 4pm. Reservations are recommended. 236 Fifth Ave., 212-683-2929, ililinyc.com

 

Edi and the Wolf

Lamb at Edi and the Wolf (Photo: Courtesy of Edi and the Wolf)

Austrian Brunch at Edi and the Wolf in Alphabet City
Revel in the magical forest-like space that is Edi and the Wolf. Though there are no Easter eggs hiding amongst the foliage, you can still order a plate of deviled eggs with speck, apple, and horseradish to satisfy the need for tradition. The four-course menu runs $45 per person, and like any big holiday gathering it’s served family style. That means you can fight over that last scoop of English pea dip or final hunk of tender roasted lamb just like at home. For dessert, the restaurant sticks to the Easter bunny theme and serves a tasty carrot cake with whipped Greek yogurt. Make a reservation on opentable.com for brunch from 11:30am to 4pm. 102 Ave. C, 212-598-1040, ediandthewolf.com

 

Truffled creamy Parmesan grits at Tocqueville

Truffled creamy Parmesan grits with an egg at Tocqueville (Photo: Courtesy of Tocqueville)

Farm-to-Table Brunch at Tocqueville in Union Square
Feel extra good about scarfing down the three-course prix fixe at Tocqueville this Easter Sunday — befitting its location next to one of the city’s best Greenmarkets, the restaurant specializes in market-driven, local and sustainable eats. The $68-a-person Easter menu includes French toast with apple-pecan chutney, pan-roasted lamb loin with lamb bacon and an indulgent seafood tower with fresh oysters, bay scallops, tuna tartar and jumbo lump crab. Dessert comes in the form of dark chocolate soufflé with walnut ice cream, capping off a meal so rich, you might just have to lay your head on the immaculate white table cloth. Brunch is served from 11:30am to 4pm. Reservations are recommended. 1 East 15th St., 212-647-1515, tocquevillerestaurant.com