Mother's Day is arriving fast--it's on Sunday, May 9, people! While the multicourse brunch at Nicollet Island Inn has been a Mother's Day standard for years, if you can't get a reservation, here are several other great options I'd recommend if you decide not to schlep your batterie de cuisine over to Mom's and act as her personal chef.
5. The Red Stag It might seem a little strange to hit up a supper club during daylight hours, but trust me, Red Stag holds up just as well, even when you haven't been hitting the PBR. They've got a great bloody Mary and all the requisite farm-fresh, locally-sourced egg-and-pancake dishes, but I see this visit as really just an excuse to throw back a bunch of those awesome smelt fries--so good!
4. Meritage Can't afford to whisk mom to Paris? Then take her to...St. Paul. Really, the chic, historic dining room has just the same brasserie charm. If the weather's nice, grab one of the umbrella-topped sidewalk seats and enjoy a Bellini or the lobster omelet. Be sure to make plans for a return visit on a Tuesday or Thursday to check out Meritage's new crepe stand in Hamm Plaza.
3. Spoonriver Spoonriver's all-window dining room is such a delight during the daytime, and Brenda Langton's all-natural fare won't leave you energy-sapped. If you're one of those people who worries that "healthy" and "hearty" don't go together, try the more lunch-appropriate quesadilla with smoked Wild Acres chicken and the local lamb burger.
2. Grand Cafe I'm pretty much always looking for a reason to visit this back-to-back Best Sunday Brunch winner. It's sunny outside? Grand Cafe. Raining outside? Grand Cafe. You get the idea. Mother's Day is just as good a reason as any for the eggs en coquette or brioche French toast with orange caramel sauce.
1. Lucia's Even with a menu so tiny, it's always tough to decide between the stellar Farmers' Salad, the scramble, or some lovely baked good that's just popped out of the oven. A few bites of Lucia's fresh, seasonal fare, and you'll realize why she's become a mono-monikered local food icon. She's in a class all her own--just like your mom.