Just about any restaurant that serves brunch in this city is doing something special for Easter, so pick a favorite and make a reservation. Here, we’ve rounded up a dozen unique ways to celebrate, from a boozy Easter egg hunt to an all-lamb dinner.
Nerai, 55 East 54th Street, 212-759-5554
Heading to a midnight mass or Easter Vigil on Easter eve? Stop into this Greek restaurant after, where the kitchen will turn out traditional Greek Easter fare until 2:30 a.m. The family-style feast includes avgolemono soup, lamb riblets, pork tenderloin, and tsoureki, a traditional sweet Easter bread. And each table will receive red eggs so patrons can partake in the traditional Greek Easter game, tsougrisma wherein players attempt to break an opponent’s egg with their own egg — without cracking their own egg.
Sweetwater Social, 643 Broadway, 212-253-7467
How do you up the ante on an Easter egg hunt? Involve booze. This Friday and Saturday, Sweetwater Social will host an adult hunt from 5 p.m. until 2 a.m., when you’ll be able to find eggs filled with bottles of liquor, drink tickets, and other prizes.
Francois Payard Patisserie, 1293 Third Avenue, 212-717-5252
Pick a side: Paris or America? Easter brunches from both cultures will be on display at Francois Payard Patisserie this Sunday at the Parisian versus American theme brunch. Francophiles can choose from braised lamb with rosemary, a classic croque monsieur, or quiche lorraine paired to a thematic cocktail and mini-croissants; supporters of the States can opt for eggs benedict or chocolate brioche French toast with a mimosa and a bread basket.
Lure Fishbar, 142 Mercer Street, 212-431-7676
Take a kid-friendly egg decorating class with pastry chef Katie McAllister on Saturday, where your children will dye eggs and put together miniature Easter baskets with housemade treats. (Parents can eat complimentary hors d’oeuvres and sip wine during the lesson.) Or hit brunch on Sunday, where you’ll find festive house-made Easter baskets with a variety of seasonal dishes like a spring vegetable frittata with purple artichokes, ramps, and Pecorino Romano; pea and ricotta ravioli, and a raspberry and pistachio pavlova.
Meatball Shop, 84 Stanton Street, 212-982-8895
The Meatball Shop’s Lower East Side location debuts brunch on Sunday, trotting out dishes like balls benedict — two poached eggs, bacon, choice of meatballs, and hollandaise on a brioche bun — and smash bun French toast served with housemade apple sauce and maple syrup. The restaurant will celebrate the holiday with a special bunny ball made with rabbit and seasoned with rosemary, parsley, fennel, and white wine.
Roman’s, 243 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-622-5300
Roman’s takes inspiration from Piedmont for its Easter feast, and it’ll serve a $65 four-course prix fixe menu for the occasion. Look for dishes like bagna cauda, veal tonnato, and fried polenta with fonduta for appetizers before eating roasted lamb or porcini mushroom risotto and finishing up with panna cotta or a Piedmontese chocolate terrine called bunet.
Gotham West Market, 600 Eleventh Avenue, 212-582-7940
A slew of specials comes from the various vendors at this buzzy market, and they cover just about any Easter tradition you’d like to observe. Sip a Blue Bottle Coffee hot chocolate bobbing with bourbon-infused handmade marshmallows or sit down for the Cannibal’s Sunday supper, where you’ll eat beer-glazed honey ham, scalloped potatoes, and a spring vegetable salad.
Rusty Mackerel, 209 Pinehurst Avenue
This Washington Heights restaurant is taking a page from Dr. Seuss and serving a Green Eggs & Ham menu for Easter brunch, which features ostrich and duck eggs. Dishes include green eggs and ham — an emu egg served in shell with pig head torchon, mustard, and greens — and the sunny ostrich egg for two, which comes with steak jerky and budding flowers.
The Lambs Club, 132 West 44th Street, 212-997-5262
If you’re more of a lamb-eater on Easter, this feast is for you. This five-course dinner features a tartare of lamb tenderloin, braised lamb shoulder agnolotti, and roasted loin of lamb. Festivities finish with rhubarb and sheeps milk millefeuille with sour cherry compote, yogurt crisp, and blueberry ice cream. Or stop by for the weekly jazz brunch, where you’ll find standard midday fare.
Edi & the Wolf, 102 Avenue C, 212-598-1040
Have your Easter brunch with an Austrian twist at this Alphabet City tavern, where the kitchen will riff on holiday classics via a menu that includes deviled Easter eggs made with speck and apple horseradish, roasted lamb with new potatoes and baby carrots, and carrot cake with whipped Greek yogurt. The family style feast costs $45 per person.
ilili Restaurant, 235 Fifth Avenue, 212-683-2929
Tuck into the Mediterranean/Lebanese-inspired brunch prix fixe this restaurant features each weekend and note the special Easter add-ons: artichoke mekle with tahini labne and mint; fennel-cured salt-baked dorade; Silk Road lamb shank with baby carrots and kale; and spring risotto with English peas, caraway, and parmesan. End your meal with a chocolate Easter bunny sundae or the Easter cookie plate. And look for kid-friendly activities like an egg decorating contest and a chocolate egg guessing game.
The Breslin, 16 West 29th Street, 212-679-1939
Having brunch at home? The Breslin is offering hot cross buns for takeaway this weekend (though you’ll need to pick them up tomorrow or Saturday). Place your order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and filling out the provided order form by noon the day before intended pick-up; orders can be retrieved at The Breslin’s host stand between 3 and 7 p.m. You can also stop into the restaurant for brunch on Sunday and enjoy the buns in the restaurant.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 17, 2014