Most moms are so unequivocally selfless, that when asked what they want to do for Mother’s Day, they’ll say that being with you—anywhere with you—is enough. Don’t believe it. If there was ever a person worth rolling out the red carpet for, it’s your mom, so instead of going to the kind of place that would so much as deign to serve a burger (not that there’s generally anything wrong with that) go for broke by booking a table at one of Brooklyn’s ritziest restaurants instead. *
River Café: Save for the River Café, Brooklyn restaurants don’t really do the fine dining, white tablecloth bit, exemplified by Manhattan palaces like Daniel, Jean-Georges, and Le Bernardin. So when you’re looking for amuse bouches, caviar supplements, tinkling piano music and $1,200 bottles of Cristal Rosé Brut, this orchid-scented, waterfront-adjacent institution is definitely your place.
1 Water Street, DUMBO
Saul Restaurant: Although it was one of the first Brooklyn restaurants to earn a Michelin star, Saul probably wouldn’t have made our list if it was still on Smith Street. But now that it’s elegantly ensconced in the Brooklyn Museum’s glorious Beaux-Arts building, it’s taken the concept of food as art to a whole new level, crafting dishes that perfectly complement the priceless paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that surround them.
200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights
Dover: Frequently referred to as Battersby 2.0, Dover ups the ante with 50 seats (twice the size of its progenitor), an outdoor patio, and an actual kitchen. And while Battersby continues to be known for its rather humble—if inarguably delicious—kale salad, Dover’s got a bit of a bougie streak, offering items like the $35 caviar pie—a tin of paddlefish roe ladled atop chopped egg and an unctuous spread of cream cheese and sour cream.
412 Court Street, Carroll Gardens
Luksus: Considering chef Daniel Burns’ resume (he invented shiitake chips at Momofuku’s test kitchen, established the pastry program at Noma in Copenhagen, and did time at Heston Blumenthal’s three Michelin-starred Fat Duck in London), don’t expect your standard meat and three veg at this tiny, tucked away tasting room. Instead, you’re likely to find fried country ham and tapioca chips, dusted with powdered vinegar; squab (and squab hearts), swiped with salted plum puree and strewn with dehydrated beets; and malt cookies, topped with edible silverberry flowers and smeared with foie.
615 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint
Antica Pesa: Honestly, there’s better Italian food to be found around Williamsburg. But it’s hard to beat Antica Pesa’s la di da credentials—the original location, in Trastevere Rome, is a hub for globetrotting celebs such as Matt Damon and Robert De Niro, and its Brooklyn home (tricked out with a white marble bar, leather settees and a roaring fireplace), has attracted much the same crowd, including Madonna, the Olsen twins and Ivanka Trump, picking at $19 plates of prosciutto and mozzarella wrapped in filo, and $30 bowls of lobster risotto; both gluten free.
115 Berry Street, Williamsburg
*Sadly, Blanca, Take Root, Semilla and Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare don’t serve on Sundays. Not that you’ve have had a snowball’s chance of snagging a reservation anyway.