Brunch is pretty much the default Mother’s Day meal. Perhaps it’s because it allows us to be in, out, and on with the rest of our day in just a few hours (save the interminable wait for a table, of course) although a less cynical theory would be that mama just loves her bellinis. Either way, if you plan on jumping on the brunch wagon this Sunday, just know that all late afternoon eggs and elaborately garnished bloody marys are not created equal. Which is why we suggest going the extra mile this Mother’s Day, by attempting a reservation at spots like the esteemed Tanoreen (run by a mother/daughter duo no less) or Bed-Stuy newcomer, Eva Jean’s, a haven of artisanal sausage and deluxe toad in a hole.
Tilda All Day: Brunch is actually a weeklong affair at Tilda All Day, whose aim was to make the leisurely meal readily available to Brooklyn’s mimosa-deprived industry workers. But you’ll still find them slinging eggs—paired with potato, crème fraiche and fish roe—and pouring easy-drinking aperitifs (such as the Perle with Lillet and dry vermouth) on Saturdays and Sundays; along with tantalizing pre-dinner bites like gently warmed oysters with butter; radicchio salad with figs and piave cheese; and gravlax cured with coriander and coconut.
930 Fulton St., Clinton Hill
Terra Firma: Taking the place of Brooklyn Fire Proof East Café (although you can still tour mom through their ground floor art gallery) Terra Firma does the bottomless mimosa and bloody mary bit for $15 for 1.5 hours, accompanied by house-smoked meats and robust southern eats from a Nashville-based chef; including shrimp and grits with bacon balsamic collard greens, fried bologna smeared with dijon on toast, mac and cheese crowned with chorizo croutons, and an avocado benedict paired with plancha potatoes and puff pastry.
119 Ingraham Street, Bushwick
Smorgasburg: Instead of committing yourself to a hemmed-in two-top at some congested bistro, why not graze your way through Prospect Park at the seasonal, Sunday home of Smorgasburg instead? Especially since a number of their newest vendors share a seeming obsession with eggs, like the accordingly named Brunch Street, serving balls of French toast, orbs of syrup-smothered sausage, and delicate quail eggs on a stick; Red Table Catering, proffering homemade English muffin sandwiches, bloated with boiled eggs, creamed chard, ricotta and confit tomatoes; and Jianbing Co., specializing in the Shanghai street breakfast of mung bean flour crepes, washed with egg and wrapped around hoisin-lime beef, honey-ginger tofu, or slivered potatoes with bacon.
Prospect Park, Park Slope
Tanoreen: Recently nominated for a James Beard award for Best Chef, Rawia Bishara holds court in the kitchen while daughter Jumanna runs front of house at Tanoreen; it’s regularly heralded as the top middle eastern eatery in all of NYC. Which means you’ll find late-morning fare that’s blessedly more exotic than pancakes and Belgian waffles; think foul muddamas—fava beans stewed with lemon, olive oil and garlic—as well as sumac and green za’atar-dusted flatbread strewn with pomegranate seeds, tangerine-topped cake embedded with pistachios, and individual frittatas bound with grated zucchini and halloumi cheese.
7523 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge
Eva Jean’s: Brooklyn Cured’s Scott Bridi helped curate the menu at this new breakfast-through-dinner spot in Bed-Stuy, whose expansive brunch offerings include house-baked donut puffs, pastrami on rye with poached eggs, toad in a hole with fontina and mushroom ragout, a baby leek salad with mustard vinaigrette and peanuts, and of course, the option to order borough-made chicken chorizo or sausage links on the side.
30 Kosciuszko Street, Bed-Stuy
Le Garage: From pain perdu with pineapple to steak and eggs paired with duck fat potatoes and croque monsieur comprised of ham, béchamel and gruyere, brunch options are unerringly elegant at this chic Bushwick boite. Just hope mom doesn’t get any funny ideas once she learns that it’s a mother-daughter venture as well; it’s run by acclaimed French chef Catherine Allswang, and her interior designer offspring, Rachel.
159 Central Avenue, Bushwick
Photo via Eva Jean’s Facebook