Since I grew up in a not-very-religious family, Easter was always a bit puzzling to me. Hard-boiled eggs? Bunnies? Baskets? As a kid, I tend to remember it being sort of a sucky holiday. Christmas and birthdays ruled; Easter, not so much. Of course, once I got older and learned the biblical underpinnings, it made more sense—sort of. I'm still trying to figure out the eggs and rabbits.
Well, like most holidays—and rightly so—Easter has become another occasion to feast. I don't just mean colored eggs and fluorescent Peeps. More and more restaurants open for the special Sunday nowadays, and many offer festive menus, kids activities, live entertainment and the like. With a couple more days of planning to go, there's still time to pick from any of these tempting options, strap on your best bonnet and paint the town pastel.
I don't know if there's any precedent for it, but the idea of oysters on Easter sounds like a damn good one to me. Bambara (202 S. Main, SLC, 801-363-5454, bambara-slc.com) hosts its brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., plus a special Easter evening from 5:30-8 p.m. The brunch features an oyster bar, carving station, made-to-order omelets, pastries and desserts, in addition to specialty cocktails. I'd show up just for oysters and the duck confit hash.
At Caffé Niche (779 E. 300 South, SLC, 801-433-3380, caffeniche.com), Chef Andy Morrison's focus is on farm-fresh foods, and that is true of his holiday brunch, as well. From 8 a.m.-3 p.m., guests can enjoy specials like his crab-and-avocado strata, wild mushroom scramble, carrot cheesecake with housemade ginger syrup and candied walnuts, mimosas, bloody marys and more. For added Sunday fun, play Adrian's cocktail roulette: Adventurous guests select a spirit and are surprised with a custom-made, one-off cocktail.
The brunch buffet at Finca (327 W. 200 South, SLC, 801-487-0699, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., fincaslc.com) features classic breakfast items, as well as Spanish-inspired dishes such as tortilla Española, seafood and meat paella, French toast with local infused vanilla-orange honey, and lots more temptations including housemade desserts.
Over at The Gateway, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (20 S. 400 West, SLC, 801-355-3704, flemingssteakhouse.com) offers a set-priced ($44.95) three-course menu which includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert. Among the many delightful options are lobster bisque, housemade burrata salad, cinnamon-apple brioche French toast, California-style steak-and-eggs, Ora King salmon salad and crème brulée—not to mention featured cocktails like the bacon-and-blue cheese bloody mary.
Ogdenites might want to scoot over to Hearth (195 25th St., Ogden, 801-399-0088, hearth25.com) for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. brunch—especially if you're looking for a not-so-traditional option. The menu boasts beef tartare, burrata, pear-and-goat-cheese salad, espresso-rubbed elk and eggs, saffron salmon, Scotch eggs Benedict, bacon-Gruyère breakfast pie and desserts. Now that's my kind of feast.
To describe the Easter brunch buffet at J&G Grill (2300 Deer Valley Drive East, Park City, 435-940-5760, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., jggrilldeercrest.com) as lavish is a vast understatement. The St. Regis restaurant offers items such as char-grilled wagyu tri-tip, caprese eggs Benedict, smoked salmon rillettes, paté, lavender-scented French toast with blueberries, golden beet and orange salad with arugula and fresh ricotta, sautéed baby squash and mushrooms, and smoked cheddar potato gratin—just for starters. A kids' egg hunt takes place on the slopes from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Kimi Eklund is pulling out all the stops for her brunch at Kimi's Chop and Oyster House (2155 S. Highland Drive, SLC, 801-946-2079, kimishouse.com) with a smorgasbord of items ranging from Swedish caviar eggs, spicy shrimp ceviche and mini quiche muffins, to roasted prime rib, herb-crusted leg of lamb and poached salmon with herb crème. And that just barely scratches the surface of Eklund's holiday gifts.
Chef Dave Jones is also set to prepare a special four-course luncheon at Log Haven (6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Road, SLC, 801-272-8255, noon-5 p.m., log-haven.com). Menu choices include New York "Manhattan" cut steak, roast leg of lamb, fontina arancini, spring asparagus soup, baby pea risotto, lemon-pressed Tecumseh Farms chicken breast and grilled swordfish.
Weather permitting, Oasis Café (151 S. 500 East, SLC, 801-322-0404, oasiscafeslc.com) celebrates with a unique brunch out on their lovely courtyard patio from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., including items such as a prime rib carving station, cheese blintzes, crab cakes with mango salsa, a selection of salads, pastries and desserts, plus a chocolate fountain for the kids. Well, OK, adults can frolic in the fountain as well.
At Deer Valley's Stein Eriksen Lodge (7700 Stein Way, Park City, 435-645-6455, steinlodge.com), Easter activities abound this year. There's an egg hunt in the Lodge with candy, toys and special surprises; a petting zoo with an adorable lineup of baby animals on the lawn; and then brunch at the Glitretind restaurant from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. I probably don't need to go into the minutiae of Chef Zane Holmquist's bodacious creations at Stein's—they're literally world-renowned. And for Easter, it gets even better. 'Nuff said.
One of the lovelier spots to enjoy springtime brunch is at Mark Eaton's Tuscany (2832 E. 6200 South, SLC, 801-277-9919, tuscanyslc.com)—especially out on the gorgeous patio and courtyard. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., enjoy an omelet bar and waffle station for custom-made breakfast-y delights, plus honey-glazed ham, carved prime rib, a seafood bar, salads and housemade pastries.