Mother's Day Brunch Guide

Mother's Day brunch is no joke. You can't just skate by on breakfast-in-bed, assuming the charm of moderate effort will win the day and pamper your mom. As the biggest brunch holiday of the year, it's pretty important to get Mother's Day brunch right. Fortunately, seemingly every restaurant in town is offering some sort of Mother's Day brunch menu. But since that can be a little overwhelming, allow me to whittle it down for you to some of the best options for a variety of tastes and needs. 

Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House
(Eat this at Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House)

Tanta launches brunch on Mother's Day, just in time to dazzle your mom with offbeat South American-flavored brunch dishes. The Peruvian restaurant boasts exotic brunch fare such as chicharron waffles and Peruvian corn cakes topped with Japanese mushrooms, poached eggs, and huacatay sauce. There will also be pisco-splashed Bloody Marys and Peruvian passion fruit-infused mimosas. Sure to be a memorable experience for mom and co. 

La Madia is serving up a special family-style meal all day long on Mother's Day, packed with comforting family-friendly items such as pizzas, pastas, chicken Milanese, Chianti-braised short ribs, and mini doughnuts. Available from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., the menu costs $39 for adults and $19.50 for kids 12 and younger. Visit La Madia's website for reservations. 

For brunch with an ample dose of elegance, take mom to Cafe des Architectes. The ritzy French restaurant is offering a three-courser from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Mother's Day, with options for each course. Dishes include blueberry short stack pancakes, bacon-Gruyere quiche, and spring pea veloute for appetizers; roasted duck breast, Alaskan halibut, and braised lamb shank for entrees; and almond bostock and strawberry tarts for dessert. The cost is $69 per person. 

One of the quintessential settings for a classy, beautiful Mother's Day brunch is North Pond. The Lincoln Park Mecca is once again offering one of the best can't-miss Mother's Day brunch menus in town, featuring an array of seasonal dishes in a three-course prix fixe. Starters include chilled lobster with vanilla, spinach, grape, and spring carrots; and buttermilk fried chicken with citrus vanilla French toast, English peas, and maple bacon. Entrees include tempura soft-shell crab with grilled lettuce, green goddess dressing, pineapple, and radishes; and grilled pork loin chop with glazed morel mushrooms, green asparagus, rosemary, and apricot. And desserts include ginger financier cake with ricotta cheesecake mousse and rhubarb batons; and tart cherry "pie" with pistachio sponge, chevre cream, cherry sorbet, and puff pastry lattice. There's also a kids' menu. The cost is $85 per person and the menu is available from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Make reservations here. 

Guess what? Mom's disappointed in you for never taking her to France. After all, she raised you. No big deal. Save a little face this holiday by brunching with her at Paris Club Bistro & Bar. It's the closest you'll get to Parisian brunch without the airfare, served from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 

North Pond
(North Pond. Dreamy)

Or if your mom prefers Italy, whisk her away to RPM Italian. Wine, cocktails, and classic Italian flavors take shape starting at 11:00 a.m., making it the perfect destination for all your Italy dream needs. 

Both locations of Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House are premiere destinations for Mother's Day dining, because what could be more lavish and indulgent than a spread of pristinely fresh seafood? Not a whole lot. While the Gold Coast location is a surefire bet for winning your mom's love, the Naperville location carries on its annual Mother's Day brunch tradition, complete with carving station, shellfish bar, omelette station, a buffet line, and a kids' table. Reservations are recommended for both locations and can be made by calling 866-442-7664.

Does glazed apple fritters and scrambled eggs made with Prime Angus ground beef sound like success and virtue to you? Then get mom to LUXBAR. These and other special dishes and drinks are on deck for Mother's Day brunch, ideally enjoyed on the glorious patio (weather permitting... sigh). Reservations can be made by calling 312-642-3400.

In addition to the regular brunch menus, Tavern on Rush will also be serving up a number of special a la carte brunch dishes for Mother's Day, making it a nice and accessible option amidst all the Mother's Day prix fixe hoopla. Options include bone-in ham steak and eggs, banana-, hazelnut-, and chocolate-stuffed French toast, and bacon and cheddar bread pudding. There will also be Mother's Day dinner specials later in the day.

Here's another epic brunch to take note of: the five-course Mother's Day brunch at Tru. When one of Chicago's most esteemed fine dining restaurants does brunch, you take notice. And you take mom there. Served at the bargain price of $85 per person and $58 per child (with juice pairings aww), expect lots of pomp, circumstance, glamor, and caviar. For reservations, call 312-202-0001 ext. 230. 

In true Graham Elliot style, Mother's Day brunch at Graham Elliot Bistro promises to be a whimsically memorable affair. Case in point: "chicken noodle" with agnolotti, black truffle, and celery flavors; and veal blanquette with baby vegetables, forest mushrooms, and bechamel. 

In need of some dessert to round out your Mother's Day brunching? Swing by Magnolia Bakery to pick up some Mother's Day confections, available beginning May 9. Sweet treats include the "Sweet Sayings Cupcake," a devil's food cake filled with white chocolate, topped with dark chocolate ganache, and a sweet inscription for moms. There will also be Mother's Day edible image cupcakes and flower cupcakes bedecked with edible floral designs.  

- Matt Kirouac