Easter is nearly upon us, and while manu associate this holiday with candy-filled baskets and marshmallow Peeps, there's more to Easter eating than candy aisle snacks. Here are several spots in Chicago cooking up tasty Easter menus to feast on this holiday.
Spring has sprung at Chicago Cut Steakhouse and The Local Chicago, two venerable sister spots serving up an Eastern brunch buffet like no other. With three seatings at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m., on Easter Sunday April 5, the menus are worth hopping out of bed for. Chicago Cut features a buffet brimming with oysters, sushi, smoked salmon, pastries, eggs Benedict, chicken sausage, baby carrots, bacon, scalloped potatoes, and much more, while The Local Chicago has brunch stations for prime rib, honey-glazed ham, omelets, and French toast, plus a dessert table and one for the kids. Chicago Cut costs $75 per adult and $25 per child, while The Local goes for $50 per adult and $25 per child.
Osteria Via Stato (620 N. State St.)
Celebrate Easter the Italian way at Osteria Via Stato, where Chef David DiGregorio is conducting an orchestra of springtime brunch flavors for the holiday. Guests can start things off at the omelet station before making their way around the dining room to peruse other dishes like ciabatta French toast, sausage and vegetable strata, and made-to-order ricotta doughnuts. There will also be an Easter candy table for the kids. The cost is $39.95 per person, half-price for children 10 and younger, and free for children five and under.
Roka Akor (456 N. Clark St.)
Think outside the bunny basket this year with a meal at Roka Akor. The contemporary Asian restaurant is opening early at noon on April 5 for a special four-course Easter tasting menu packed with items like beet-cured salmon with lemongrass vinaigrette; Wagyu beef tartare; baked shrimp cake; robata-grilled braised Wagyu beef short ribs; and Asian pear crepes with strawberry sorbet and honeycomb. There's also a Japanese-style Bloody Mary and mimosa bar, and at meal's end each guest gets an egg from Roka Akor's Easter basket, which contains prizes. The cost for the tasting menu is $55 per person, plus extra for the booze bar.
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd., Northrbook)
Prairie Grass Cafe knows brunch. Prairie Grass Cafe knows holidays. Year after year, the Northbrook staple proves its mettle as one of Chicagoland's most enduring holiday dining destinations, with Easter at the forefront. The comfortable, family-friendly destination is at it again this year with an unbeatable brunch buffet on April 5 that starts off with each guest getting a signature PGC Benedict with poached egg, spinach, and roasted tomato hollandaise. Then it's off to the illustrious buffet, home to pasta salad, smoked sturgeon, baked feta, sautéed tilapia, crab cakes, carved-to-order glazed ham, ancho-marinated skirt steak, roasted cauliflower, omelets a la minute, fresh waffles, and much more. The dessert buffet is just as awe-inducing, with fruit, pie, oat-strewn crumbles, cupcakes, and crepes. The restaurant will also be open for Easter supper later that evening, featuring specials like lamb shank, sautéed fluke, and carrot cake. The cost is $48 for adults and $18 for children 10 and younger.
Bistronomic (840 N. Wabash Ave.)
Another timeworn holiday standout is Bistronomic, a modern French mainstay that goes the extra mile by being open for each and every holiday, serving up specialized and festive menus for the occasion. This Easter, the French-accented menu by executive chef/owner Martial Noguier offers options for each of the three courses, with dishes like pancakes with rhubarb marmalade; caramelized spring onion and pea quiche; deviled eggs with smoked salmon; savory crepes with confit chicken; asparagus omelets; brioche French toast made with creme brûlée batter; and cherry-brioche bread pudding with pistachio and butterscotch. The cost for brunch, served from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., is $39 for adults and $19 for children 12 and younger. A bottomless mimosa package is available for an additional $15 per person.
Photos: The Local Chicago, Roka Akor, Prairie Grass Cafe