Source: Nathan Rawlinson/The Modern via Bloomberg

Forget Brunch, Here’s Where to Eat for Mother’s Day in New York

Whether your mom's a classy broad or down home and easy going, these 10 places will make the perfect lunch or dinner. Just don’t forget the Champagne

The force of holiday brunch-themed deals is powerful at this time of year, but resist. If you really want to enjoy time with your mother—or whoever it is is you hang with on Mother’s Day weekend—consider going out for a fantastic lunch or dinner on Saturday, when the food, atmosphere, and service will be significantly better. Here are some ideas.


Beautiful food and Italian resort vibes at Santina.

Photographer: Evan Sung/Bloomberg Business


The newest restaurant from the Carbone crew is fun, bright, and beautiful, as is the coastal Italian food served on colorful plates. Don’t miss the cecina (thin chickpea pancakes piled with tuna in chili oil, or some ginger-y dressed shrimp), the whole grilled porgy covered in fresh herbs, or the crudite platter with three excellent dips. Go at lunchtime when the dining room is full of sunshine, if you want to hear each other speak, and then head upstairs for a stroll along the High Line, or visit the new Whitney. Full review. Santina is at 820 Washington Street; (212) 254-3000 or


Fried chicken goes great with Champagne at Birds & Bubbles.

Source: Birds & Bubbles via Bloomberg

Birds & Bubbles

Champagne and fried chicken go together so, so well. If you haven’t yet experienced the joys, make a reservation (or walk in, extremely early, for dinner) at Sarah Simmons’ restaurant. The chicken is delicious—rubbed in cayenne, drenched in buttermilk, and fried the old-fashioned way, in cast-iron skillets—especially when you’re clinking glasses of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. It's one of the best fried chicken joints in New York. Birds & Bubbles is at 100B Forsyth Street; (646) 368-9240 or


Look for Charles Masson at the new Baccarat Hotel.

Source: Baccarat via Bloomberg

Baccarat Hotel 

The French crystal manufacturer has a new hotel in midtown that’s appropriately deluxe for the luxury brand. There’s a stunning bar—where naturally, you can drink whatever you like from Baccarat crystal. And if you ever took your mother to La Grenouille, there’s a chance that the elegant Frenchman Charles Masson, who now runs runs the dining room at Baccarat's Chevalier restaurant, will recognize you both. Baccarat Hotel is at 20 W 53rd Street; (212) 790-8800 or


Some of the best bread and butter in the city is at Semilla.

Source: Melissa Hom/Semilla via Bloomberg


Make a dinner reservation for this cool-tasting counter run by young, fearless cooks Jose Ramirez-Ruiz and Pamela Yung, and you’ll be in for about 10 stunning courses, along with some of the most delicious bread and butter available in New York. This is brainy, beautiful, vegetable-focused food at the forefront of modern fine dining. Just go with a sense of adventure—there are no choices once you arrive. Full reviewSemilla is at No. 5, 160 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; (718) 782-3474 or 

Birthday cake and boozy desserts at Butter & Scotch.
Birthday cake and boozy desserts at Butter & Scotch.
Source: Butter & Scotch via Bloomberg

Butter & Scotch

Booze, desserts, and boozy desserts. If you’re feeling nostalgic, head to this sweet Brooklyn bakery and bar, run by Keavy Blueher and Allison Kave, for liquor-spiked ice cream floats. (May we suggest the Rock & Rye made with coffee ice cream and a blend of rye whiskey and rock candy syrup?) There’s a short list of savory snacks if you can’t go all sweet, but do make sure you get the s’mores pie. It’s got a slightly gooey, bruleed marshmallow top, and it’s fantastic. Butter & Scotch is at 818 Franklin Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn; (347) 350-8899 or


A rustic Italian feast at Via Carota.

Photographer: Evan Sung/Bloomberg Business

Via Carota

If your mom doesn’t like to make a big thing of it, go early for an aperitif and plenty of simple Italian-style vegetables and salads at the delicious, no-frills Isodi-Buvette collaboration. The place is a little crowded and wobbly, but that’s part of its charm. Note, the “swizzerina” is as satisfying as a fully dressed burger, though it’s nothing but chopped strip steak, garlic, and rosemary—that’s the magic of Via Carota. Full reviewVia Carota is at 51 Grove Street;


Civilized dining on the Upper East Side at Eli's Table.

Photographer: Zack DeZon/Bloomberg Business

Eli's Table 

The Upper East Side market from Eli Zabar recently renovated its street-level restaurant, and this is the perfect place for simple, well-executed classics such as a dozen fresh oysters, roast chicken with ramps, and a slice of gorgeous banana cream pie. (The dark, crisp crust is made from puff pastry.) The prices are a little high, but the room has a great, comfortable energy and extremely polished service that lets you relax. Full reviewEli's Table is at 1413 3rd Avenue; (212) 717-9798 or


The stunning beet risotto at Little Park.

Photographer: Evan Sung/Bloomberg Business

Little Park

This pretty, modern space in the Smyth hotel is buzzing at lunch and dinner time. Min Kong is Andrew Carmellini’s chef de cuisine here, turning out wildly interesting, beautiful vegetables dishes that often make you do a double take, alongside reasonably exciting hanger steaks (which might just trick you into enjoying some ancient grains). Go for the bright pink, velvety beet risotto or the mussels with heirloom beans and bacon, and don’t miss the beer ice cream sundae on the dessert menu. Full review. Little Park is at 85 W Broadway; (212) 220-4110 or


The lounge at The Modern. Reserve the dining room for a more deluxe meal.

Source: Ellen Silverman/The Modern via Bloomberg

The Modern

The dining room is grand and elegant, a classic lunch destination with great, properly polished service that immediately feels like a special occasion. Right now is a particularly good time to go, as there are all sorts of springtime specials involving morels, white asparagus, ramps, and peas. Naturally, the foie gras is paired with rhubarb. Full reviewThe Modern is at 9 W 53rd Street; (212) 333-1220 or


Do the Cal-Ital thing at Upland. Seen here: scallop ceviche.

Photographer: Virginia Rollison/Bloomberg Business


The dining room seems sprawling and massive but once you’ve settled in, you’ll feel the Cal-Ital vibes. Go here for a sunny, leisurely lunch (make sure it includes a bowl of chicken liver pasta, and the five-lettuce Caesar salad) or a more atmospheric, noisy dinner. Justin Smillie is known for that beautifully crusted beef rib dish, similar to the one he used to serve at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria. It’s delicious and totally worth ordering, but chances are you’ll have leftovers. Full reviewUpland is at 345 Park Avenue South; (212) 686-1006 or 

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