by Liz Miller
Of all the greeting-card company holidays manufactured over the years, Mother's Day remains one we're perennially endeared toward...cause let's face it, moms deserves their own holiday.
Make Mom's day with a meal at any of these eight St. Louis restaurants, which offer outstanding brunch selections in some of the city's most exciting neighborhoods.
Half & Half (8135 Maryland Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-0719) There's one obligatory St. Louis brunch spot that Mom is sure to love: Mike Randolph's Half & Half. Sure, the wait might be a little longer than elsewhere, but here, the breakfast, lunch and brunch options more than make up for it. The menu ranges from riffs on classic favorites to more experimental before-3 p.m.-fare, including mouthwatering mains such as salmon hash, eggs Benedict, brioche French toast, blueberry pancakes, and much more. If lunch sounds better to Mom, suggest the grilled salmon BLT, house-made burger topped with bacon and an egg or the fried egg sandwich. Whatever your order, be sure to also peruse the coffee and cocktail menus, too, for fresh, hand-crafted drinks to accompany your meal. This year for Mother's Day, owner Mike Randolph says the restaurant is planning "Mother-friendly" meals, inducing a special French toast dish.
Café Madeleine (4256 Magnolia Avenue; 314-575-5658) Maybe Mom's noticed the tables and chairs dotting the grounds around the Piper Palm House on the north side of Tower Grove Park. If not, there's no time like the present. Here French-inspired dishes side alongside soups and tempting pastries, including the café's signature dessert, a traditional French madeleine. Mom's earned a relaxing and classic Sunday brunch, and at Café Madeleine that's what you get and more: fresh juices, white tablecloths, sharply dressed waiters, European newspapers and traditional brunch bites. And as an added bonus, after you and Mom are finished noshing on eggs and potatoes, lox and bagels, meats, veggies and fruits, you can allow your meal to settle while strolling around our city's lovely Victorian park or while sitting in a horse-drawn carriage circling Tower Grove Park.
Bixby's (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-361-7313) Positioned in a stunning, modern space above the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, Bixby's offers all the elements of a successful brunch experience: a seasonal buffet of food options for the adventurous eater, an al a carte menu for the decisive diner and booze for everyone -- no seriously, the bar selection at Bixby's is serious business, including wine, bloody marys, mimosas, champagne cocktails, blood orange margaritas and a full bar. The buffet at Bixby's isn't too shabby, either: Just some of the options include house-smoked salmon, sausages, a variety of chilled salads, hot entrees, pastries and desserts. If a la carte is more Mom's speed, she can choose from entree options such as a made-to-order omelet, bread pudding, quiche, Belgian waffles or the eggs Benedict special of the day. An added bonus to brunching at Bixby's is after everyone's had their full, a stroll around lovely Forest Park is made that much easier.
Nadoz Café (3701 Lindell Boulevard; 314-446-6800) Brought to us from the fine folks at Steven Becker Fine Dining, Nadoz Café serves delicious European-style treats seven days a week, but on Sundays the Coronado location delivers a special gift to St. Louisans: brunch. Guests can choose treasures from the regular menu, including waffles and omelets, or feast on the buffet. All the perennial brunch faves make appearances, such as bacon, sausage and eggs Benedict. And what goes better with brunch than booze? If Mom protests too much, simply remind her it's a special occasion, because at Nadoz, brunchgoers can imbibe mimosas drinks from the vodka bar. If brunch leaves you too full for dessert, be sure to take one home for later. Everything at Nadoz tastes great from the éclairs to the tarts to the cookies.
Eau Bistro (212 North Kingshighway; 314-454-9000) On the one hand, the brunch found in the Chase Park Plaza features an upscale setting and an exceptional omelet station. On the other, unlimited mimosas. Back to that first hand, which is holding fresh seafood, smoked meats and decadent house-made desserts, sure to delight Mom on her own special holiday. And back to that second hand: It's throwing back unlimited bloody marys. At Eau Bistro, the two hands come together for the finest brunch to be found in our fair city. The buffet, which isn't cheap, provides a top-dollar return on your investment, with selections that include Belgian waffles, caviar, a carving station of sliced meats and an array of pastries. Top off your meal with a choice from the dessert section, which offers up a sweeping variety small plates with different cakes, pies and tarts. Sure, you might be shelling out more than you usually do for Sunday brunch. But c'mon, cheapskate, Mom is worth every penny.
Rooster (1104 Locust Street; 314-241-8118) Rooster, culinary multitasker Dave Bailey's beloved creperie, offers a profusion of possibilities for your crepe-composing delectation, mixing and matching from a variety of fillings (cheeses, vegetables, meats, sauces). If you prefer a more protein-based approach, any crepe can be prepared as an omelet instead. Or you can opt for pancakes or any number of other breakfasty/lunchy/brunchy treats. If you or Mom want the full crexperience, save room for dessert. While we aspire to that level of self-discipline, we've never actually achieved it -- we always get sidetracked by Rooster's mimosa menu, and hopefully Mom will, too.
Home Wine Kitchen (7322 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-802-7676) Sunday brunch is a sacred meal to treat Mom to on Mother's Day -- that divine in-between time when you can choose breakfast or lunch items, or both. Why not eat at a restaurant that gives the meal, and Mom, due respect? At Home Wine Kitchen chef Cassy Vires cooks up classic brunch choices with an upscale twist. Here, pancakes aren't just pancakes. These pancakes include lemon, ricotta and vanilla. Feel like some French toast? At Home it's bread-pudding French toast with figs, tea, coffee, brown sugar and maple. Other delicious dishes include biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, chicken and waffles, and duck hash, which features duck confit, horseradish, peppers and a fried egg. We can't think of many better ways to begin Mother's Day.
Local Harvest Cafe & Catering (3137 Morganford Road; 314-772-8815) Maybe Mom is vegetarian, vegan or has specific dietary needs -- or maybe she just loves delicious food. At Local Harvest Cafe and Catering they have all that covered. Brunch menu items at Local Harvest range from savory -- such as biscuits and gravy, local slinger, vegan chorizo burrito -- to sweet -- think regular or vegan stuffed French toast, Dutch baby pancakes or organic yogurt parfait. In addition to breakfast and brunch options with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Local Harvest plates lunch specials including house-smoked brisket, Cuban sandwiches and veggie burgers. Much like its mindful food menu, the restaurant also mixes fresh cocktails during brunch, such as traditional mimosas, as well as specialty drinks the "Shrub," with cranberry shrub, local vodka, lime and tonic; the "Gin Bloody," with house-pickled tomato, local gin, house-made hot sauce, house-made bloody mix, horseradish and lime; and the "Respect the Carrot," with carrot juice, orange juice, St. Germain and locally made rum.