Located in the Crowne Plaza with excellent views overlooking Times Square, this casually comfortable hotel restaurant offers both a fixed-price menu and an Easter buffet. It’s a quick walk from the Easter parade or Easter mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, and you’re a block from TKTS, where you can pick up half-priced, day of Broadway matinee tickets after brunch. The buffet should include plated dishes like a breakfast quesadilla ($13) and caramelized banana-stuffed French toast ($15.50). Easter Bunny cookies and cupcakes round out the meal ($10). The fixed-price dinner runs about $45 for three courses, and may include balsamic glazed lamb chops, lemongrass marinated chicken or a spring carrot bisque.
Related: 2011 Easter Parade Photo Gallery
A Voce Columbus
While A Voce’s Madison Avenue location will be closed this Easter, the elegant Time Warner local will host host stellar brunch and dinner events (the end of Lent is a great cause for feasting in Italy). At the Columbus spot, enjoy Chef Missy Robbins’s masterful Italian meals, accompanied by stunning views across Central Park. As an example, last year’s fixed-price, two course menu (about $50) included a wide variety of appetizers (like beef carpaccio, wild boar bolognese and gargenilli smashed peas) and entrees (like orzo mantecato, grilled leg of lamb, and uova strapazzate soft-scrambled eggs).
Related: New York’s Best Brunch Spots
For a down-home, casual Southern meal, check out this West Village newcomer. Sunday brunch is a fun, rowdy affair, with R&B music and coast-influenced fare. Expect special dishes for Easter, in addition to Lowcountry standards like the addictive Carolina Shrimp and Grits ($18) and Eggs Benedict with Benton’s ham, collard greens and Swiss cheese ($14). Wash everything down with a John Daly cocktail made with Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon, lemonade and soda.
The stylish new Soho location of this upscale Turkish eatery joins its more buttoned-down Midtown brother in serving Easter brunch and dinner, and with good reason. Turkey played a pivotal role in early Christianity, from being the birthplace of the Apostle Paul to serving as the location for the creation of the Nicene Creed in A.D. 325 that defined the modern religion. In addition to dishes like Pera-style French Toast with pistachio jam ($14) and addictive Kofte beef sliders ($15), expect Mediterranean Easter menus at both brunch and dinner, with specialties like Avgolemono chicken soup, asparagus risotto, and an oven-roasted whole lamb, carved to order.
The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates Easter April 15 this year, so finish your taxes and head over to this recently renovated and updated restaurant, often considered the best Greek restaurant in Manhattan. The Livanos family (which owns the restaurant) and Chef Jim Botsacos embrace their Hellenic heritage with a $65, five-course prix-fixe menu, featuring Glykadakia (sautéed sweetbreads), Magiritsa lamb soup and Arnaki sto Fourno (slow roasted Vermont baby lamb). Each guest also receives Greek easter eggs and homemade Tsoureki (Easter bread) for good luck. Bonus: On Saturday, April 14, you can also enjoy a special “Breaking of the Fast” dinner ($65 per person). Opa!
Jones Wood Foundry
This year-old British themed gastropub has quickly become a neighborhood destination, due both to excellent Cotswald-inspired country fare and its relative affordability. Located in a late 19th century building in a section of the UES once dubbed Jones Wood, this seemingly endless collection of homey rooms and large communal tables eventually leads to a hidden garden. The holiday brunch menu doesn’t stray far from its regular offerings like the Green Market Egg White Frittata with asparagus and spring peas ($24). Special for Easter, diners can make reservations (unlike most weekends), and chef/partner Jason Hicks is adding a lamb roast for both brunch and dinner.
Robert Haynes-Peterson is an editor and freelance writer living in New York. He is certified by the American Sommelier Association through its 24-week Vinification and Viticulture program, and the government of Mexico through its Master Mezcalier program (continuing). His work can be found at Examiner.com.