One of the interesting things about the holidays is that the traditions surrounding them can be so enjoyable, and oftentimes so delicious, that even the most staunch atheist can feel hesitant to completely abandon them. Even those who still identify with a particular religion can often forgo the rituals, services, and prayers associated with certain holidays but will definitely embrace the gift exchanges, parties, and most definitely the food. I’m certain that not everyone has been making sacrifices for Lent. Many Catholics have probably forgotten that Palm Sunday was this past weekend, many more will be observing Holy Week as just another week, and there are probably quite a few who don’t plan on going to church this coming Sunday. Nevertheless, many self-identifying Christians will probably be making plans to enjoy an Easter meal this weekend. Along with the warmer weather our northern compatriots hope to experience, our recent “spring forward” to which many of us are still adjusting also marks an unofficial start to “the brunch season.” Sure, we enjoy leisurely al fresco brunches all the time in South Florida, but brunch never seems as mandatory as it does during one of the Spring’s most brunch-friendly holidays, Easter. In case you have yet to make plans for this weekend, here are a few of Joonbug’s suggestions for restaurants serving up Easter brunch in South Florida:
Bongos Cuban Café
There are fewer “Miami” ways to celebrate Easter than with a dash of Cuban sazón, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s restaurant is definitely a great way to sample some of that flavor. For $35 per person, brunch-goers can enjoy a buffet that includes breakfast and salad stations, a traditional Cuban station, and a station that promises “Cuban delights.” Try Cuban Eggs Benedict on toasted Cuban bread with Serrano ham or the restaurant’s award-winning “lechon campeon” made in the traditional caja china. In addition to the Miami Arena location, there is also a location in Hollywood, as well as the Estefans’ SoBe restaurant, Larios on the Beach, which will also be having its own Easter brunch
For a much more creative Latin brunch experience, make sure to visit Toro Toro at the Intercontinental Miami (read review here), where diners can enjoy a prix-fixe brunch with endless cocktails and champagne for $49 per person (sans liquor is only $39 per person). Small plates include the restaurant’s signature Smoked Swordfish Dip, a Japanese-Peruvian Ceviche, Rabbit Meatballs with scrambled eggs, and a Smoked Salmon Arepa Benedict with caviar. Labeling itself as a rodizio-style steakhouse, the meal then progresses to an array of steaks, sausages, and other grilled meats.
Italian cuisine is welcome almost any time of the year, but “Pasqua” is a particularly good time to enjoy some cucina italiana...especially if it’s at one of SoBe’s best places to get a bowl of pasta (read review here). On Sunday, diners can enjoy a 3-course prix-fixe menu for $55. Springtime favorites will include an English Pea Soup with whipped ricotta, Grilled Lamb Chops, Wild Mushroom Risotto, and an “Easter Quiche” made with vidalia onions, broccoli rabe, and asparagus.
For those who want a more orgiastic Italian brunch experience, Scarpetta in the Fontainebleau Resort will be offering a brunch buffet with endless bloody marys, bellinis, and mimosas for $75 per person. Exquisite antipasti, assorted frittatas and crostinis, roasted lamb, a selection of Scarpetta’s famous pastas, and delicious desserts are all on the menu to enjoy.
Also at the Fontainebleau, this more American-style restaurant will be offering a sumptuous and extensive buffet for $59 per person that will include a breakfast station, salads, prime rib and baked ham, rotisserie chicken and lamb, a sautée station, risottos, wood-fired pizzas, sushi, and seafood from Blade (the resort’s amazingly good sushi bar), charcuterie, desserts, and confections. In typical Fontainebleau fashion, this brunch promises to spare no culinary extravagance.
Devon Seafood + Steak
Enjoy a bargain-priced brunch buffet at Kendall’s newest venue for upscale American seafood and steaks for only $32 per person. Featuring carving stations, omelets, fresh seafood, Belgian waffles, and desserts, it promises to be a deliciously satisfying way to spend a leisurely brunch. For those who like to sleep in a little on Sunday, Devon will also be offering a 3 course prix-fixe dinner for $38 per person that will include lobster bisque, filet mignon, seared sea scallops, and chocolate lava cake, among other delicious offerings.
Joey’s Italian Cafe
There are few locales that are as happening as Wynwood, and for those who crave an Italian-inspired Easter meal, Joey’s has just the recipe. Italian-born chef, Ivo Mazzon, will be offering several à la carte specials such as a potato leek soup, fish croquettes, Gnocchi with roasted goose in a fennel-infused sauce, whole polenta-crusted snapper, Sliced Duck Breast in sweet and sour apple sauce with cauliflower au gratin, and a classic Italian Easter bread with vanilla gelato.
Chef Andrew Carmellini’s Miami outpost of his acclaimed NYC restaurant will be offering a 3 course prix-fixe brunch for $80 per person that includes such offerings as a classic Corvina Ceviche with celery and fresno chile, homemade granola parfait, and warm potato latkes to start. Entrées include The Dutch Burger, Cheese Ravioli with artichoke, olive, and zucchini in a spicy tomato sauce, and Roast Chicken with wild rice and quinoa.
Quattro Gastronomia Italiana
One of the most elegant Italian restaurants in Miami Beach, Quattro, will be offerings some equally elegant “Pasqua” à la carte dishes this Sunday that showcase the twin chefs’ northern Italian heritage. Tuna Carpaccio with white sturgeon caviar, Foie Gras Pâté with winter Italian black truffle and asparagus salad are some of the appetizer offerings. Entrées will consist of such dishes as Roast Lamb Osso Bucco with rosemary fingerling potatoes and rainbow carrots. The specials will be available for both lunch and dinner.
The iconic Delano Hotel is the setting for an Italian-inspired Easter brunch buffet. For $65 per person, diners can enjoy fresh Blinis with American caviar and smoke salmon, hand-sliced prosciutto and artisan charcuterie, made-to-order eggs and omelets, lamb chops, pan-roasted snapper, and many other dishes. To add to the already whimsical ambiance of the Delano, the hotel’s orchard will be the playground for a bunch of freely roaming rabbits.
db Bistro Moderne
Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant (read review here) will be offering a 3 course prix-fixe brunch for $55 per person that includes a Snail Casserole with potato croquettes, ricotta pancake, Homemade Fettuccini with spring vegetable fricassée and jamon serrano, and the famous db Burger filled with braised short rib and foie gras. Pastry Chef Jérôme Maure’s incomparable desserts will also be on the menu, including a dessert of poached rhubarb with lavender, sable Breton, rhubarb sauterne, and sorbet.
SoBe is so glad to have a location of this NYC favorite that features some of the most delicious, heartfelt Italian fare on the beach (read review here). The restaurant has chosen Easter Sunday to debut its weekly brunch featuring à la carte egg white frittatas, lemon ricotta pancakes, and Lobster Mac & Cheese with black truffles. Guests can enjoy $25 bottomless bellinis, too.
Located at The James Royal Palm, this restaurant has been described by a Florida native as an upscale “Florida Cracker” restaurant. This Sunday, diners can enjoy a $45 per person buffet featuring roasted lamb, house-smoked honey ham, and a DIY donut station. Wash it all down with $20 unlimited mimosas and bellinis.
Broward & Palm Beaches
Sea breezes and a unique Easter cocktail await diners this Sunday at W Fort Lauderdale’s Steak 954, located just steps from the ocean. Enjoy specials like a butter poached Maine Lobster, organic Scottish Salmon, and Australian Kobe Cheesesteak in addition to the restaurant’s signature steaks, all while sipping on a unique tipple of pisco, Combier, mint leaves, half and half, ginger ale, a pinch of nutmeg, and a port floater.
This classic American-style steakhouse (read review here), with locations in Hallandale and Palm Beach Gardens, will be offering a 3 course prix-fixe menu this Sunday for $44.95 per person. Enjoy a classic wedge salad to start and then progress to a Chateaubriand with roasted shallot and thyme demi-glace served with whipped potatoes. Or enjoy a Pan-Seared Steelhead trout in a mango-green chili beurre blanc with coconut jasmine rice and topped with lump crab and corn salsa. Desserts include Texas pecan cake and a mandarin orange cake.
In addition to their regular acclaimed menu, the Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale locations of Chef Angelo Elia’s favorite Italian eatery will be serving Italian Easter specialties, such as a marinated, wood-roasted baby goat, Easter lamb, an Easter pie stuffed with salumi and cheeses, and an Easter lasagna made with mortadella, ricotta and lamb ragù. A Pastiera Napoletana—a traditional Neapolitan Easter cake—rounds out the meal.
With a breathtaking view of the Atlantic, one of Fort Lauderdale beach’s chicest hotels will be hosting a lavish Easter buffet in their penthouse ballroom featuring international cheeses, salads, seafood, and many bruch favorites for $66 per person.
Da Campo Osteria
It seems as if Fort Lauderdale dining is all about the waterfront views, and this Italian restaurant located in the Il Lugano Hotel is no different. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, guests can enjoy an Internationally-inspired Easter brunch this Sunday with Thai chili and coconut crusted salmon, chicken picatta and cheese ravioli, a raw bar, and American breakfast classics for $37 per person.
Blue Moon Fish Co.
Another place offering Intracoastal views, this Lauderdale-By-The-Sea standby is offering an extensive Easter brunch buffet for $49.95 per person that includes a cosmopolitan selection of salads, a phenomenal assortment of cold seafood, elegant entrées, a diverse array of carved meats, and decadent desserts.