The first of the big brunches kicks off this weekend with Easter brunch Sunday, March 31.
Here are some restaurants offering brunches for Easter Sunday. Call or go online for reservations, or confirmation and details of menus, times and prices. Note that many other restaurants are offering specials this day; we didn’t list ala carte brunches. Also note that prices don’t include taxes or tips, and while some include soft drinks, most do not include alcohol unless stated.
The Riverside Hotel on Las Olas has changed out its staid old Grill Room and replaced it with Wild Sea – a wowing seafood restaurant. But for Easter brunch, they’re serving in the Himmarshee ballroom a buffet that stars a carving station featuring slow-roasted prime rib and root-beer-cinnamon glazed ham. Other salads, entrees, sides and desserts are included. $39.95 for adults; $15 kids 12 and younger. Call (954) 377-0943; www.riversidehotel.com
The Blue Moon Fish Co. in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea is spreading a buffet that includes a salad bar with a number of choices, raw bar (stone crabs, shrimps, oysters), a Tuscan trattoria (pastas), a carving station (ham, lamb, prime rib, brisket), chef’s station (mahi, salmon, crabcakes – to name some) and desserts. $49.95 for adults, $24.95 for kids 6-12. Call (954) 267-9888. www.bluemoonfishco.com
Also in Broward, try Le Bistro in Lighthouse Point, where chef Andy Trousdale offers a 3-course menu with dishes like a goat cheese tart, leek and potato soup, a citrus sorbet, rack of lamb, turkey roulade and crispy skin Scottish salmon, along with choices of dessert. $35 (includes Champagne cocktail). Call (954) 946-9240; www.lebistrorestaurant.com
PALM BEACH COUNTY:
The Addison in Boca Raton is open for Easter brunch, with chef Patrick Duffy offering a variety of stations, including an omelet station; challah French toast prepared to order; a fresh fruit bar; a raw bar; baby lamb chops carved to order, and hand-rolled sushi. A balloon artist entertains along with a five-piece band in the courtyard under the banyan tree. $64.95; kids under 12 are half-price, and under 3, free. Seating 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (561) 372-0568; www.theaddison.com/calendar.
PRIME steakhouse in Delray Beach is directly on Atlantic Avenue – sit outside to watch the Easter traffic or dine in. A full buffet of breakfast and brunch items includes an omelet station, French toast, ham or sausages, waffles, fresh fruit, along with a sushi display, prime rib carving station, swordfish, seafood paella, pasta choices, a chocolate fountain and more. $39l95 adults; $15 for children. Serving 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Call (561) 865-5845; www.primedelray.com
Vegan specials are available at Snappers restaurant in Boynton Beach for Easter, along with a traditional menu of honeybaked ham, or Greek style lamb shanks with potatoes and carrots. Tip: Check out Chef John’s wine list if you haven’t been here. Prices vary for the menus. Call (561) 375-8600; www.snappers.com.
Kids will love Easter brunch at the Pampas Grille in West Palm Beach’s CityPlace. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Easter Bunny shows up on Saturday, March 30 for an egg hunt and other activities; brunch is served both Saturday and Easter Sunday. Brunch includes eggs Benedict, stuffed French toast, smoked bacon, O’Brien potatoes, and unlimited choices from the sides bar, along with meats served rodizio-style. $29 (includes a mimosa or bloody mary for adults.); kids under 10 dine free when adults buy a brunch. Served 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (561) 444-2147; www.pampasusa.com.
At John Spoto’s Water Bar in the PGA Commons, an Easter buffet served al fresco (but inside seating is provided) will include a variety of breakfast items along with an omelet station, leg of lamb, ham, peel-and-eat shrimp, mussels, crab legs, pot roast with vegetables and salmon Florentine. $29.95 adults; $12.95 kids 10 and under. Call (561) 776-5778; www.waterbargrill.com.
For a splurge, try one of the big hotels on the islands:
The Ritz-Carlton has the Easter bunny hopping around through brunch and photos with him are complimentary. An Easter egg hunt is on the lawn at 1 p.m. while brunch seatings are spread throughout the day. Look for a huge spread that includes pastry shop breads, seafoods hot and cold, carving stations, a dessert bar and more. $95 adults; $45 kids 2-12. Seatings from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – call for availability. Call 561-533-6000; www.ritzcarlton.com/en/properties/palmbeach/
The Restaurant at the Four Seasons Palm Beach. The list is lengthy for their huge Easter Brunch buffet, starting with a bloody mary bar, a chilled seafood station with oysters, house smoked salmon, tuna tartare; a sushi station, soups, salads, a shellfish offering of lobster tail, king crab, crab cakes; risotto, roast chicken, seared salmon; a carving board with lamb, bone-in ribeye, ham, and a variety of toppings, and a large dessert bar that includes homemade ice cream, toffee monkey bread, lemon meringue pie, a passionfruit creme brulee and more. – to name but a few items on the list. $110 for adults. For children’s prices, seating times, call 561-582-2800. www.fourseasons.com/palmbeach.
At Cafe Boulud in the Brazilian Court, Palm Beach, chef Jim Leiken spreads a number of dishes, including house-made ham, and herb and mustard-crusted roast leg of spring lamb. The pastry chef, Arnaud Chavigny whipped up carrot cream cheese mousse, raspberry chocolate sacher, Key lime pie and more. Two Easter egg hunts take place Sunday; at noon for kids 5 and younger, and at 12:30, for kids 6 to 12. Brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $75 adults; $36 kids 10 and under. Call (561) 655-6060; www.cafeboulud.com.
Top of the Point is from The Breakers, which set the standard as the macdaddy of brunches. But the Circle Dining Room and ballroom brunches at the main hotel sell out a month in advance. (Reminder for next year.) But at the hide-away Top of the Point, in Phillips Point, West Palm Beach, diners get a spectacular view and a buffet from the hotel chefs with a variety of hot and cold foods and displays. Reservations a must. $85 adults, 11-3 p.m. Call (561) 655-6611; www.thebreakers.com
Tags: Brunch and Breakfast · Holiday cooking · The Eat Beat: Restaurant News
March 16th, 2013 · 1 Comment
Get your green on around town at any number of spots for St. Paddy’s Day activities. Since the true day falls on Sunday, it’s going to be a two-day affair everywhere we’ve seen. Irish pubs should be happy.
Here’s a short list of the Irish pubs that do a bigger party; worth the trip.
North to South county:
Rooney’s in Abacoa, Jupiter. Street party and revelry with bands, beer, and special menu. Helps if you’re an Irish Steeler’s fan; this guy owns the NFL team.
Paddy Mac’s in the Publix plaza on PGA and Military. Big tents, bands, several bars, and a special menu. Plenty of Guinness. Owned by an Irishman who retreats for a week afterward.
O’Shea’s on Clematis Street, downtown. They close off the 500 block of Clematis for this two-day Paddyfest. Bands, dancers, kids’ area, beer, and more. Plenty of fun.
Slainte (say “slancha”) in Boynton’s Renaissance Plaza on Gateway Boulevard at Congress. A major redo of the place will excite last year’s St. Pat’s goers. Bands, beer, dancing, big partying in the parking lot.
Tim Finnegan’s on South Federal in Delray Beach. Irish breakfasts, dancers, bands, more. (Delray Beach’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Saturday this year -is the largest in South Florida.)
The Dubliner in Boca’s Mizner Park. One of the many Irish pubs within the downtown area, so if you don’t like what they’re doing here, meander over to the Black Rose, Holloway’s or the Wishing Well all nearby.
Because they’re funny
The Pampas Grill at CityPlace is doing green Caipirinis. Irish Car Bomb Jell-O shots are at 75 Main in Delray. The Ritz-Carlton in Manalapan is serving Green Eggs and Ham.
Tags: Holiday cooking · Sips: Drinkables
We all want to take it easy. Especially us ladies…so pork and bean rarebit it is!
I collect old food pamphlets and recipe booklets, as much for the graphics on them as for the recipes – many of which are as woefully out of date and funny as their nutrition message.
So this fun collection of vintage food ads got my attention. Good for a chuckle. Go to this website for ads dating to the 1800s.
Tags: Today in the World of Food
February 21st, 2013 · 4 Comments
Sorry for my web absence, but I’ve been away – since the 20th of January, to put a date to it, and took a break from posting here. But I’m back, and plan on regular updates about restaurants, food and travel.
Ken Steinhoff at Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio – a frozen fairyland of icy waterfalls, frozen ponds and snow. /photo by Jan Norris.
I been on the road – through nine states and close to 2500 miles to arrive in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to see “real winter” with an old friend, Ken Steinhoff. He’s a Missouri native who would explain the nuances of coping in snow and ice. As a South Florida lifer, I had little to build on. I’m now a veteran of single digit weather. I traveled to many of the places he writes about in the blog I follow, Cape Central High, about growing up in a small town in the ’50s and ’60s. There is a Big Story to come on this trip; stay tuned.
Fried mullet, cheesegrits and orange cake
Only a few days home and I was gone again – to Florida’s Panhandle on a magazine assignment, with a side trip to visit cousins.
Frying mullet, oysters and shrimp with Larry Hatler in Pensacola, February 2013. /photo by Jan Norris
In Pensacola, I was feted as the favorite cousin in my mother’s big family. For my visit, they rounded up cousins and an uncle from around the city and threw a fish fry on a weeknight, no less.
The menu: Fresh mullet fillets, Gulf oysters and shrimp and onion rings went into the fryer. They were served with cole slaw and big pot of cheese grits, some creamed corn, a simple green salad and for dessert, my mother’s orange cake and a strawberry whipped cream cake. Good eats, any way you look at it.
Uncle Cecil Harrelson, was wistful once he saw the orange cake I’d baked. “I haven’t seen one of these since mama died,” he said. That was more than 30 years ago.
My grandmother, Annie Laura Kilpatrick Harrelson, was a pretty good cook and loved her sweets – this simple cake was in her repertoire, though I never remember having it at her house. Uncle Cecil’s remark gave me insight into where my mother got the recipe, after all these years.
My kitchen DNA is Southern – and trendy
I was so thrilled about that. And that I got to eat like a Southerner again, with my very Southern family. Though I can’t handle all that fried food any more (and paid the price), it was that unspoken connection to this food, with these accents, that say “roots” to me, a girl raised as a Southerner in a land of Yankees and assorted imports that is this quilt called South Florida.
But today, my heritage foods are once again “trendy.” This happened before, in the ’70s, and they called it “Soul Food.”
Now, chefs are twiddling with these foods and putting out versions of panko-crumbed fried chicken, fried green tomato BLTs, or cheese grits made with smoked Gouda – and charging me $9 a bowl for something that used to cost me 50 cents (albeit with cheddar) in a favorite diner and less than 15 cents when I made them at home.
This is much amusement for my cousins, who lament that you can’t find an all-you-can-eat mullet feast locally any more, and when you do, it costs an arm and a leg. I couldn’t bring myself to tell them that the large shrimp they were eating would have cost me nearly twice as much as the $8 a pound I happily paid for them at Joe Patti’s – and may not have been locally caught, either.
All this was brought home when I read an essay by Ken Fitzgerald, a writer from Appalachia, who explained the trend to “local” and “sustainable” in restaurants as home cooking to many of us – sort of. For anyone who has a specific food DNA, do read “Redneck, White Tablecloth” on the Okra magazine – from the Southern Foodways Alliance group. I couldn’t put it any better.
For this great read, go here – and sign up for Okra if you’re a Southerner who loves our traditions, old and new.
And for the Gouda grits recipe, here you go. It’s a variation on one from Southern Living.
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits
- 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese – see note
- 1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter
Bring broth, whipping cream, salt and 4 cups water to a boil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over high heat; whisk in grits. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until thick.
Remove from heat, and stir in Gouda, buttermilk and butter.
Keep hot; serve with fried fish or bacon and eggs or a spinach quiche.
Makes 12 servings.
Note: Smoked Gouda gives the grits a unique flavor.
Tags: Old Florida · Southern Roots Run Deep
February 3rd, 2013 · 3 Comments
This year, it’s the Ravens and 49ers. I don’t have a dog even close to this fight, so I’ll stick to the food. Here are some tried and true crowd-pleasers.
Great balls of meat (or meat substitutes)
Let’s start with meatballs – those little things are too often overlooked as a simple party food, easy to make and take in a slow cooker, and easy to eat on a skewer. Make them the size for one bite each. So much you can do, flavorwise, with these things. I tapped a bunch of cooks/chefs to tell me what they put in theirs.
Taking a cue from my late mother, do the 1960′s favorite party version using equal parts grape jelly and Heinz bottled chili sauce. My mom made them along with bourbon-mini-hot dogs (ala tipsy dogs) – also good (see recipe below). A former co-worker, Mike Smith, uses a spicy barbecue sauce and the grape jelly. (Not sure why apple or some other flavor isn’t used, but grape is the resounding choice.)
Another former co-worker and great cook, Christopher Huhn, likes a smoky barbecue sauce – he prefers the Sonny’s brand from Sam’s Club. This he mixes with cranberry sauce (equal parts) and cooks the meatball in the mixture.
Friend Jessica Zabel, who usually is more seafood oriented, uses bottled Asian sweet and sour sauce instead of the grape jelly – and does a 50/50 with chili sauce. (Spice things up with Sriracha sauce -that garlic-chili sauce with a Rooster on the bottle.) Another terrific home cook, Arthur Algonas of Delray Beach uses frozen meatballs and makes a dark brown roux, then brings it to a gravy with garlic, finely chopped onion, mushrooms and beef stock.
A lot of cooks start with frozen turkey or ground beef meatballs out of a bag. Really? How hard is it to mix your own, then roll them out?! You could have friends over and make a zillion – then freeze the balls in quart bags – way too easy. And vegetarians or gluten-free diners can use ingredients that fit their diets, with rice or seitan or other ingredients. For traditionalists, hear this: Don’t rely on an Italian mama’s name on a bag to ensure tender, tasty meatballs. Jim Furci, a sometimes event chef and caterer, shows his Italian heritage with meatballs made from ground veal, pork and beef, with oregano, garlic and freshly grated Parmesan. He simmers them in his own marinara.
Frank’s Red Hot is the sauce of choice for the Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip. /photo courtesy Franksredhot.com
Chicken Wing Dip
I have written before about the Chicken Wing Dip given to me by yet another former co-worker at The Palm Beach Post. Tory Malmer is one of the newsroom’s best cooks, and shared with me her recipe for a dip that was a huge hit with every party planner I knew. Go here to see the story about it and get the recipe.
Stadium meat and cheese platters
These slay me! Some creative cooks got the idea to shape their antipasto or sandwich trays like football stadiums. A lot of caterers are now making and selling these meat stadiums – and unless I were hosting a game (read my lips – nearly never) I’d likely buy one. This isn’t something I’d waste my time making. It’s more for visual impact – but might be fun to try just once. They’re hugely varied – check out that website to see many more.
Bacon-wrapped anything is a winner
I have been making what Jim Furci calls “meat candy” – bacon wrapped dates – for parties and friends. Susan Spencer-Wendel – yet another former co-worker and now author of Until I Say Goodbye (get your order in for this inspiring book now!) was my guinea pig for these and asked for them again. They’re so simple: dried, pitted dates, wrapped in a half-slice of bacon are set on a baking sheet sprayed with baking spray (I cover the sheet with foil and spray it). Bake at 400 degrees in the center of the oven till bacon is done – 20 or so minutes, watching to prevent burning.
You can gild the lily by stuffing the dates with cheese or nuts or a combination. Use a chestnut, almond or cashew for crunch, then feta or goat cheese for the filling. Or, roll the bacon-wrapped date in brown sugar mixed with cayenne for a bite. The sweet-salty mix is, as Furci describes, like meat candy. (You can also use dried figs, apricots or prunes in place of the chewy dates.)
Tipsy Dogs – bourbon mini hot dogs
Here’s mom’s recipe for bourbon mini-hot dogs.
Nellie’s Bourbon Mini-Hot Dogs
2 packages mini-weiners (or 1 pound hot dogs of your choice, cut into 2-inch pieces)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup bourbon
1 cup ketchup (or chili sauce)
Apple juice for thinning liquid
If using regular hot dogs, slice. In a medium saucepan or small slow cooker, stir together brown sugar, bourbon and chili. Heat over medium heat until steaming – do not boil. Add hot dogs and reduce heat to low. Cook 2 hours (see note), watching to prevent scorching. If too thick, add 1/4 cup apple juice or water as desired. Mixture will cook down and thicken.
Note: These are done in 40 minutes, but the longer they cook, the better they taste. Some cooks cook them overnight on low in the slow cooker, adding 1-1/2 cups bourbon. The alcohol cooks completely out of this dish.
Serve on toothpicks. Makes 12-18 servings.
More party food ideas on JanNorris.com
I’ve posted tons of great party recipes on my site – noodle around under the Party Foods category and find things like guacamole, Mozzarella caprese pops, pulled pork tacos and more. There are a wealth of deviled egg ideas, too, courtesy of my buddy Debbie Moose, who wrote the cookbook on the popular things.
Party hearty and tastefully – but remember not to drink and drive! Get home safe, football fans!
Tags: Party Foods · Play With Your Food · Recipes