"Every day is Kid's Day!" Mom would no doubt reply when you wondered where your designated holiday was. And now that you're big, you know she was right. Hopefully you're able to spoil your mother on a regular basis, but the second Sunday in May is the day that businesses set aside to be especially kind to moms, too.
Now, I really don't know how brunch became so entwined with Mother's Day, but it is. So while there are probably a number of spots to take your mother if she wants to chase a dry-aged ribeye with a bottle of Brunello and a fat slab of Brooklyn blackout cake, these Mother's Day ideas are mostly confined to not quite breakfast, not quite lunch. That should leave you adequate time to grill the lady a steak for lupper.
And remember to make reservations! There are many, many moms out there...
Tucked away in a little warehouse complex on Baird Road in Penfield — just follow the "Café" sign and you'll be good — Mooseberry Café is a cozy blend of homespun and offbeat, serving all-day breakfast as well as soups, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, coffee, and sweets. The annual Mother's Day Afternoon Tea happens on Saturday, May 11, noon-2 p.m., where guests will enjoy Mooseberry Café's housemade organic pastries and chocolates, along with freshly brewed teas from Tea-Licious and finger sandwiches, while the café's sister business, Mooseberry Soap Co., does a sugar-scrub demo and provides the guests of honor with a handmade bar of Her Majesty's Mother's Day soap. Advance tickets are $25 ($7 for children under 12; includes bag lunch and fun soap), but maybe bring some extra cash to treat Mom — or yourself — to something from Mooseberry's line of natural beauty products. (2555 Baird Road, Penfield, 348-9022, mooseberrycafe.com)
Voula's Greek Sweets is closed on Sundays, so weekend brunch goes down on Saturdays, which means that moms who are into Greek cuisine, vegetarian fare, or just yummy food can hit this cheerful eatery on Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., for Mother's Day. In addition to Voula's increasingly popular brunch menu, which features simple but inspired egg dishes, fruit, yogurt, and housemade spreads with warm flatbread, Easter bread French toast will be offered, and of course there's that irresistible display of Greek pastries, plus Voula herself handing out flowers and cookie bags to all mothers. (439 Monroe Ave., 242-0935, Voula's Greek Sweets on Facebook)
Naples' acclaimed Brown Hound Bistro is throwing its annual Mother's Day brunch on Sunday, May 12, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., with offerings like rhubarb crunch pancakes; asparagus, wild leek and goat cheese quiche; and smoked salmon benedict. Plus Mom gets to walk out of there with a potted plant from Brown Hound's neighbor, Gannett Hill Gardens. And, hey, as long as you're in Naples, bring home a little something from Monica's Pies on Route 21 for after dinner. Or for dinner; who's gonna know? (6459 State Route 64, Naples, 374-9771, brownhoundbistro.com)
Lettuce B. Frank Bistro incorporates its "farm-to-foil" ethos into a special brunch menu on Sunday, May 12, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., serving up things like carrot-cake silver dollar pancakes with cream cheese frosting, an array of sliders both meatless and meatful, and something called the Compost Plate. It's rosemary sweet potato homefries, broccoli and veggie bacon salad, and a vegan carrot slider in a whole-wheat flatbread bowl. Want a fried egg on that? Sure, you do. It's Mother's Day! (957 S. Clinton Ave., 708-9515, lettucebfrank.com)
For Fraîche Bistro & Dessert Bar's first Mother's Day on Sunday, May 12, moms will receive a complimentary mimosa, which she might enjoy while perusing Fraîche's brunch menu, available 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Special entrées will accompany Fraîche favorites like housemade mini pastries, torta rustica, sour cream and blueberry pancakes, and a ratatouille omelette. (130 East Ave., 319-4313, fraiche-bistro.com)
Or you could make the picturesque trip to Skaneateles to indulge in a swanky Mother's Day brunch buffet at Mirbeau Inn & Spa. For $44 ($18 for ages 6-16, free for the under-5 set) you get a stunning spread that includes carving stations with filet mignon and stuffed pork loin, warm dishes like risotto and roasted vegetables, chilled salads and seafood, plus kid-friendly grub and decadent desserts. Choose from five seating times between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, but keep in mind that the Bloody Mary Bar doesn't kick off till noon. (851 W. Genesee St., Skaneateles, 877-647-2328, mirbeau.com)
OK; maybe your mother doesn't want to spend her special day stuffing her pretty face. Perhaps she'd dig a trip to Casa Larga Vineyards on Sunday, May 12, where from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. award-winning local wines will be paired with nibbles from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates and Waterloo's Muranda Cheese Company. For $7 per person, guests select either the chocolate or cheese tasting, which seems like an enviable dilemma. (2287 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, 223-4210, casalarga.com)
Lastly, I've been hearing excellent buzz on the Sunday brunch available from noon until 6 p.m. at John's Tex-Mex, where the menu expands a bit to include a Southern vibe in addition to its usual South of the Border feel. Now, the offerings can change from week to week, but along with burrito bowls and different huevos preparations, there might be fried chicken, plantain-stuffed french toast, and Southern breakfast poutine with sausage gravy. Check the restaurant's Facebook page for the latest. (489 South Ave., 232-5830, johnstexmex.com)
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.