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David Lissner
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15 top Chicago Easter brunches

A seafood bar features in Shaw's Easter brunch.

A seafood bar features in Shaw's Easter brunch.

Hop on out for brunch this Easter (Sunday, April 8). Here are a dozen of Chicago’s best.

  1. C-House, Streeterville.

    From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Chef Nicole Pederson offers a seasonal menu including such dishes as farro and poached eggs with speck, fiddlehead ferns, lemon and watercress, with toast ($12); house-made pork sausage eggs benedict with quick sauerkraut, apple relish and hollandaise on sourdough toast with breakfast potatoes ($14); cornmeal pancakes with lemon curd and rhubarb jam ($10); pork belly omelet with Vermont cheddar, escarole and salsify with breakfast potatoes ($12); cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing ($5); and mixed berry coffeecake with whipped creme fraiche ($5). Brunch cocktails for $10 each include the “Bunny Mary” (vodka and house-made bloody mary mix) and the “Spring Flower” (St. Germain Elderflower, vodka, lavender syrup and verjus blanc).

  2. deca Restaurant, Magnificent Mile.

    The Easter Bunny will greet and take pictures with children and families during brunch, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Chef Mark Payne’s holiday favorites include Honey glazed virginia ham, leg of mint creek spring lamb with Asian pesto and garlic ancho chili-crusted prime rib of beef, along with specialty stations including live sushi making and an asparagus station with a variety of dishes to showcase the spring vegetable. Brunch classics, such eggs benedict, omelets prepared to order, waffles with berries and stuffed french toast will also be available, as well as a variety of desserts. Cost is $129 for adults and $40 for children ages 5 to 12.

  3. Allium, Magnificent Mile.

    From 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Chef Kevin Hickey cooks up Easter entrees such as leg of spring lamb with mint pesto, braised veal cheeks with gnocchi and Maine lobster, blue crab and shrimp “shepherd’s pie.” Specialty dishes include grilled calamari and goat cheese-stuffed artichoke from the Greek Easter station, along with Asian specialties, such as fresh sushi and sashimi. Eggs benedict, omelets prepared to order and brioche french toast will also be available, and Pastry Chef Scott Gerken’s Easter desserts rangefrom carrot cake with coconut brittle and pineapple curd to strawberry almond chantilly parfaits and rhubarb macaroons with strawberry injection. The Easter Bunny will be on hand for picture-taking with the kids. Cost is $130 for adults and $55 for children ages 5 to 12.

  4. Restaurant Michael, Winnetka.

    Chef Michael Lachowicz will host Easter brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. His menu starts with such dishes as pan-roasted diver scallop over braised beef short rib with tarragon-scented spatzle ragout; house-cured smoked salmon on warm potato cake with chive and lemongrass creme fraiche; caramelized onion and bacon tarte flambe; early spring pea soup with snow peas and fresh Maryland crab; or tossed baby greens dressed with your choice of honey truffle or champagne herb vinaigrette; followed by French rolled omelet with a choice of smoked salmon, chives, tomato, grilled red onion and manchego cheese, served with bacon, potato cake and warm toasted brioche; traditional eggs benedict, hollandaise sauce and thin asparagus spears; roasted chateaubriand of beef tenderloin, potato gratin and sauce perigord; roasted saddle of Colorado lamb and truffle-scented potato croquettes over a ragout of candied fig, brussels sprouts and exotic mushrooms; or butter-poached Maine lobster tail and ravioli, Thai-cented lobster beurre blanc; capped off with a trio of warm and chilled profiteroles; bananas foster crepes with cajeta gelato; warm sage-scented blueberry almond gateau with brown sugar creme fraiche and toasted macadamia nut gelato. The three-course children 10 and under, $19.

  5. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse

    In River North, Harry Caray’s a la carte Easter specials include banana mango pancakes with candied walnuts and Tahitian vanilla bean syrup and crispy hash browns ($9.95); South Side and traditional eggs benedict ($10.95-11.95); chimichurri-marinated skirt steak and eggs ($17.95); blueberry Stoli house-cured salmon with toasted bagel, chive cream cheese, diced red onions, capers and hard boiled quail eggs with a blueberry Stoli-spiked blueberry yogurt smoothie ($10.95) and duck confit omelet ($14.95).

    Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier features Easter brunch specials such as sirloin steak and two eggs your way ($13), eggs benedict ($10) and french toast ($8) until 3 p.m. Outside the restaurant, the Pier’s Family Pavilion “Swings into Spring” with a soul orchestra, Mother Goose and her friends and photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny.

    In Rosemont from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Lombard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse offers lavish hampagne brunch buffets. Prices are $41.95 for adults (including champagne), $21.95 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free for children 5 and younger.

  6. Elate , River North.

    From 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Elate’s a la carte brunch menu lets you build your own omelet ($13) or order such options as a breakfast burrito ($13), banana custard french toast ($12), breakfast pizza ($13) or vegetarian black bean burger ($11). An optional cheese and dessert buffet is an extra $12. Elate’s extensive juice bar pours orange juice, grapefruit juice and lemonade ($4) and options such as the “Asian Rabbit,” a mix of carrot juice and ginger ($7), the “Sunrise,” a combination of pineapple, strawberry and lime juice ($9), and the “Chicago Cleaner” with apple, beet and lemon ($7). Alcoholic drinks from the bar include the cranberry-pear bellini ($9), signature coffee drinks, or bottomless mimosas ($20 with the purchase of an entree).

  7. Shaw’s Crab House, River North and Schaumburg.

    From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Chicago and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Schaumburg, brunch will feature a hot buffet line with classic breakfast fare, a make-your-own-omelet and waffle station with 13 available ingredients and a carving station with beef tenderloin and herb-roasted turkey, plus a cold seafood bar featuring sushi, oysters and much more. The buffet is $48 for adults; kids 12 and younger eat for free (limit 2 children per adult).

  8. Roka Akor, River North.

    From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Chef Ce Bian serves traditional Easter brunch items with Japanese-inspired twists, including house-cured salmon salad with ginger wasabi dressing ($15); salmon and tamago tartar ($8); unagi and tamago maki roll ($12); burnt tomato and grilled eggplant salad ($7); robata-grilled salmon teriyaki with broccolini ($25); robata-grilled confit duck legs with mango salad and ume ($28); barley miso baby chicken on sealed wood ($24); robata-grilled pork belly omelet ($15); grilled scallop with micro cress and xo sauce ($26); robata-grilled pork belly with golden beet-root and cucumber salad ($24); and Japanese red bean and mixed berries pancakes ($12).

  9. Benny’s Chop House, River North.

    Offered from noon to 9 p.m., Easter specials include Slagel Farm baked ham with Minnesota wild rice ($24.99); prime rib with rosemary garden potatoes ($34.99); Colorado lamb shank with pickled pearl onions ($29.99); bone-in Alaskan halibut with grilled ramps ($34.99); chocolate pudding cake with toffee ice cream ($9.99).

  10. Weber Grill Restaurant, River North, Lombard and Schaumburg.

    Served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a la carte Easter specials include “Firehouse Egg,” a croque-madame featuring house-smoked ham, gruyere, dijon mustard, sunny side up egg, served toasted & sandwich-style, hash browns ($11.50); iron skillet hash made from beef brisket, smoked pork, poblano and sweet peppers, onions, applewood smoked bacon, and potatoes, served with sunny-side-up eggs ($11.50); chocolate cherry pretzel bread french toast with fresh strawberries, mascarpone whipped cream ($10.50); and double-smoked bourbon-glazed ham benedict with grilled Roma tomato, hollandaise, toasted brioche, grilled asparagus and hash browns ($11.50).

  11. O’Donovan’s Pub and Restaurant, North Center.

    With seatings at 10 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., a buffet offers such items as mahi mahi with bell peppers, onions, garlic, capers, and Spanish olives, with a crushed tomato sauce; mini quiches; scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheddar cheese in potato baskets; made-to-order omelets and fried eggs, a waffle station, bacon and sausages, biscuits and gravy, French toast, carved ham and roast beef, fruit salad, Caesar salad, fried chicken, chocolate fondue fountain, assorted muffins and pastries, and more. Drink specials include: $1 off all Half Acre beer; $9 domestic pitchers; $5 Pinnacle bombs; $5 salty dogs; $5 jumbo screwdrivers; and sparkling wine bottles for just $15. Brunch for adults is $15.95 and for children 3 to 10 years old, $6.95.

  12. Barrio Urban Taqueria, Lakeview.

    From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning Easter Sunday and every Saturday and Sunday to follow, Barrio will offer both Mexican breakfast favorites and traditional American dishes., such as huevos con chorizo, scrambled eggs with mexican sausage, onions and peppers; chilaquiles, corn tortillas cut in quarters and lightly fried with green or red salsa, topped with queso fresco and crema; sopa de fiedo, Mexican chicken soup; french toast; pancakes; sausage and scrambled eggs with choice of toppings, s served with freshly pressed tortillas to create your own tacos and bottomless mimosas. The $25 price includes bottomless mimosas; for kids, $10 includes a glass of orange juice.

  13. Rio’s D’Sudamerica, Bucktown.

    A buffet, from noon to 3 p.m., includes Peruvian favorites such as papa a la huancaina, tamal Peruano, arroz con pollo, lomo saltado, seco de carne, cau cau de mondongo, aji de gallina, arroz con mariscos, carapulcra, frijoles and flan Peruano. The price is $23.

  14. The Gage, Loop.

    From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Chef Dirk Flanigan offers a la carte menu specials including local asparagus and morels with poached egg and brioche toast ($16); roasted onion tart with peas, bacon and cheddar, with a side of bitter greens ($14); smoked salmon on toast with eggs over easy and onion mashed potato ($15); roasted lamb chops with peas, wheat berries, radish, olive, cress and mustard ($30); and, from Pastry Chef Ji Yoon, dark chocolate ganache cake with blueberries, lemon and malt ice cream ($9).

  15. Signature Room at the 95th, Streeterville.

    Served from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., brunch options start with a buffet including a seafood station with chilled shrimp and freshly shucked to order oysters complemented by horseradish cocktail sauce, lemon and Tabasco. Additional starters include a charred cuttlefish and fennel salad; crab salad with ginger remoulade and pea tendrils; an artisan cheese display with fruit chutneys and assorted caviar; charcuterie with assorted mustards and pickled vegetables; truffle deviled eggs; grilled Japanese eggplant with preserved tomato relish; seasonal greens with herb vinaigrette; roasted Klug Farm asparagus with gribiche aioli; a fresh fruit selection; vanilla yogurt, granola and honey parfaits; and the restaurant’s famed shrimp bisque. A la carte entrees, served at the table accompanied by breakfast potato, sausage, bacon and seasonal vegetables, include lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote and honey butter; eggs Benedict created with organic eggs with Neuske’s Canadian bacon and classic hollandaise; and an omelet with Klug Farm asparagus, morel mushrooms, fresh goat cheese and basil; Alaskan halibut with fresh peas, falafel, and preserved lemon aioli; grilled pork tenderloin medallions with cornmeal biscuits, greens, and wild mushroom gravy; lamb loin chop with orzo Bolognese and lemon jam; and a grilled New York strip with fingerling potatoes and ramp hash. Next comes a buffet of house-made desserts. The Easter Bunny will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., live piano music features, and all children take home a goodie bag. The price is $65, or $25 for children 4 to 12 years old.

Reservations are required for most Easter brunches.