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Noms for Moms

By Anne Mitchell · May 4th, 2011 · The Dish
May is all about Mom! They both start with M, right? If you are a mom, then you can say May is “all about me!” Taking your mama out for a Mother’s Day meal is a common way to celebrate, but with so many options, it can be hard to choose.

As always, I’m here to help.

If you’re the mom being honored Sunday and any of these options sounds particularly enticing, cut out this column, circle the parts you like with a super-bright neon highlighter and leave it in a conspicuous spot. It’s that kind of proactive strategy that can make wishes come true.

Mother’s Day brunch is especially popular. But instead of Bob Evans, why not find a great locally-owned/operated place to spoil Mom — and treat yourself, too.

Sister restaurants The View (513-751-8439) and Bella Luna (513-871-5862) both boast about their brunch buffets, which offer over 20 excellent choices. Bella Luna in Columbia-Tusculum takes an Italian approach, expanding on breakfast choices with pastas, a carving station and bread pudding for dessert. The View in Walnut Hills adds an omelette station, charcuterie and patio dining if the weather permits. Owner Harry Stephens assures that while his brunch dishes might not look fancy “like the hotels,” you will never leave hungry.

Take mama to town! There are great brunch options in the heart of the city, like Via Vite on Fountain Square (513-721-8483), where entrée choices include Roast Beef Fiorentina (with rosemary, sage and a spring mix) and Crepes Fiorentina, filled with fresh baby spinach and ricotta and topped with béchamel sauce.

Nada (513-721-6232) packs a brunch punch downtown, too.

Their French toast is topped with bananas in caramel and maple syrup and their savory options sound just as sumptuous. Thinking about an egg and potato burrito topped with braised pork in green chili sauce, washed down with a tequila sunrise. It’s like taking Mom on a resort stay-cation.

Say your mom’s more Jazz than Salsa? We’ve got you covered. The Jazz Brunch at downtown’s Washington Platform (513-421-0110) will have her twirling her parasol, with dishes like dirty rice and etouffee, spicy beef tips, juicy Southern fried chicken, seafood Alfredo penne pasta, steamed crab legs and a carving station with both ham and turkey.

Maybe you don’t want to go the brunch route. If your mother’s a true gourmet (and can wait a couple weeks), tell her your Mother’s Day gift will be a night at Hugo in Oakley (513-321-4846) for their James Beard Dinner. Chef Sean Daly will re-create the meal he and his crew served at the prestigious James Beard awards at Hugo. Only 50 seats are available, at $120 each, for the May 20 event. The six-course dinner includes wine pairings with each course, and the menu features New Bedford Diver Scallops, Carolina Wreck Fish, Crispy Veal Sweet Breads with creamed corn, country ham and goat cheese, Smoked Quail and Huguenot torte.

Handmade gifts are allegedly extra special, so my last suggestion is to stay in and make Mom a homemade brunch using as many local goodies as you can find. Make the table fancy and start by cutting up some fruit and cheese to nibble on — try the Kentucky Rose from Kenny’s Farmhouse or Barely Buzzed from Beehive Cheese (not local, but awesome). Both are available at Cork N Bottle.

Then get some nice thick bacon from Findlay Market to roast in the oven, and serve pure Maple Syrup from Red Sunflower Farm in Independence, Kentucky — it’s incredible — over thick slices of Brioche French toast made with Shadeau bread. Finish off with Cheese Crowns, which you can find at Graeters or at St. Lawrence Bakery in Price Hill.

Cheers, Mom. We love you.

CONTACT Heather Smith: hsmith@citybeat.com



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