Our Mother’s Day has followed a pattern for many years, and it basically boils down to “Mama ain’t lifting a finger today, so figure it out.” Happily, that has always meant family time together over brunch or dinner, plus the Evanston History Center’s Annual Mother’s Day House Walk, a fabulous North Shore tradition. But times have changed, and needs must, right? So, on Sunday, May 10, we’ll be taking part in the 45th Annual Mother’s Day House “Walk-By” — this year, in honor of the centennial of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote, the tour highlights homes of Evanston women who held elected office, and those active in the suffrage movement — and ordering in from one of the fabulous restaurants below that have put together something special for the big day.
Please join us in supporting local restaurants, especially this weekend. Mother’s Day has long been a windfall for the industry, with over 25% of Americans (roughly 90 million) choosing to dine out in celebration of mom each year. Obviously, this year is a different story, but restaurants need to feel the love now more than ever. And, a word to the wise: please call and order DIRECTLY from the restaurant to avoid third-party delivery fees that drastically eat into restaurant profits… here is a local restaurateur whose Facebook post has gone viral in case you think we’re exaggerating.
302 N. Green St., Floor 3, 773-645-1400
Chef CJ Jacobson’s Mediterranean cuisine hits all the right notes, and even though Aba means father in Hebrew, Mom is the star today. The pick-up meal package includes their classic Hummus with Crudité and Housemade Bread, Village Salad, Grilled Beef Tenderloin and Chicken Kebabs, Lemon-Dill Basmati Ric and Double Chocolate Tarte. Add-ons run the gamut from a 6-pack of beer or bottle of wine to a seasonal flower arrangement. $25.95 plus tax per person, order by 5 pm on May 7 for pick up on Sunday, May 10 in afternoon.
664 W. Lake St., 312-600-0600
This West Loop eatery is known for its cool vibe, and here they’ve partnered with other 16” On Center favorites for a simply splendid brunch menu for Mom, including Saint Lou’s own Asparagus Toast with n’duja hollandaise and spring veggies, Dusek’s Spring Quiche with gruyere, mushrooms, and creamed ramps. Greek yogurt parfaits, bacon, and smashed potatoes join the party, plus Coffee Cake from newcomer Good Ambler. Add on MONEYGUN’s Bellinis and MOMosas, or Frosé to Go cocktails, or maybe a lovely bouquet from Hyde Park’s Cornell Florist. Pre-order by Saturday, May 9 for curbside pickup on Sunday, May 10 at Saint Lou’s Assembly. $56, serves 4.
1840 W. North Ave., 312-757-4444
Looking to recreate that brunch buffet experience? Look no further. Take the Etta Family Meal and Brunch It Up for Mom. You’ll get Fire-Baked Focaccia, the Etta Chopped Salad, Spring Lamb Gnocchetti with ricotta and pesto, Fire-Roasted Filet Mignon with asparagus and aioli, Chilled Old Bay Gulf Shrimp with Charred Lemon and sauces, Maple & Black Pepper Glazed Bacon, Breakfast Potatoes, Fire-Roasted Eggs, an Aya Pastry Basket and Chocolate Cake with Coffee Mousse and Candied Hazelnuts. $85, serves 2 to 3; pre-ordering encouraged.
671 N. St. Clair St., Chicago, 312-642-0001
This old-school Mother’s Day brunch is perfect to serve mom in bed! Scrambled Eggs, Brown-Sugar Bacon, Maple Chicken Sausage, Baked Apple French Toast, Wild-Berry Parfait, fresh-squeezed OJ, and Intelligentsia Coffee will hit the spot. Plus, they’re partnering with Flowers for Dreams if you want to add a floral centerpiece, and every bouquet sold will benefit a local charity. $23.95 per person; place orders by 2 pm Saturday, May 9 for pick up morning of Sunday, May 10.
1401 S. Michigan Ave., 312-786-1401
Go big AND go home with this “Brunch for a Queen!” The Prix Fixe menu includes choice of entrée (Beef Wellington, $65; Herb-Encrusted Pork Loin, $50), salad (Knife & Fork Caesar or Mixed Berry with Farro and Goat Cheese), two veggie side dishes, and dessert (Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie or Signature Chocolate Cake). À la carte add-ons include Lox and Bagel Platter ($24), 9” Garden or Croque Madame Quiche ($24/$26), Petit Fours ($25/box), and a bottle of Domaine St. Michelle sparkling rosé ($30). Pre-order by Thursday, May 7 at 2 pm.
141 W. Erie St., 312-736-1778
You’ll need to sign up for their mailing list to get the weekly skinny, but you can also pick up the phone and call if you’re interested in Erling Wu-Bower’s Mother’s Day Brunch Kit (includes ½ dozen Slagel Farm eggs, 12 oz. Neuske’s bacon, 4 freshly baked muffins, fresh-squeezed OJ, and a small bouquet of tulips for a happy start to her morning ($45, feeds 3 – 4, pick up on Saturday, May 9). Prefer Mother’s Day dinner? How about Wood-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with asparagus and spicy zhoug, a Little Gem Salad with Dill-Feta Vinaigrette, Roasted Cauliflower with Lentil Tabbouleh, and Coconut Shortbread Cookies? That will run you $80, feeds 3 – 4, pick up on Sunday, May 10.
980 N. Michigan Ave., 312-280-2750
Choose between a Take & Bake Family Lasagna ($65, serves 6, vegetarian version available) or Family Spaghetti & Meatballs ($45, serves 4), pair it with Rosemary Focaccia ($10) and a Family Kale Salad ($25, serves 4), and you’re good to go. For Mom’s special day, add on the Happy Cabbage Mother’s Day Gift Basket ($150), filled with a bottles of Spiaggia’s Signature Olive Oil and a Sparkling Rosé, handmade suede Moroccan slippers, and a Tarragon-Tomato candle by Apotheke. Mama like.
2124 Northbrook Ct., Northbrook, 847-677-3350
Chef Mychael Bonner has whipped up a special Mother’s Day package offering Double-Dip Shrimp Cocktail with cocktail and remoulade sauces, Tomato Bruschetta with Buffalo Mozzarella, Braised Prime Beef Short Rib, fresh ciabatta bread, and Triple-Chocolate Chip Cookies. Heating instructions included; pickup only. Order by Wednesday, May 6 at 7 pm for pickup Saturday, May 9 or Sunday, May 10. For an additional $10 plus tax, per person, take-home Mimosa kits are also on offer! $30 plus tax, per person, with a two-person minimum per order.
694 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe, 847-835-8100
They’ve got Mom covered with a delectable family meal for four people. Choose between Seared Faroe Island Salmon with Gulf Shrimp, White Wine and Lemon, or Roasted Prime Beef Tenderloin with Spring Chimichurri. Either way, it will come with family-style portions of Roasted Spring Radishes, Publican Quality Bread and sweet butter, Spring Salad with Herb Vinaigrette, Roasted New Potato Colcannon, and Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries and Mint for a sweet finish. You can add on a bouquet of flowers ($60) and a Mimosa Kit ($38) to make it extra special. Mom’s Menu available Sunday, May 10 from 11 am – 6 pm; pre-ordering recommended. $120 plus tax, serves 4.
624 Davis St., Evanston, 847-866-6969
Sandy Chen and her team know just what mom — and you — want: a family-style Chinese meal packed with favorites, featuring four appetizers (Edamame, Crabmeat Won Tons, Shrimp Dumplings, Spicy Chicken Wings) and four entrées (Walnut Shrimp, Mongolian Beef, Chicken Vegetables, Vegetable Fried Rice) and Chocolate Lava Cake for all. $80, serves 4; please order by Saturday, May 9 for pickup Sunday, May 10.
655 Forest Ave., Lake Forest, 847-234-8800
The team at The Market House has it all sussed out for you: a special three-course meal for Mother’s Day, with some irresistible add-ons. For your meal, choose between a first course of Chilled Avocado Soup with Crab Garnish, Crab Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette, or Butter Lettuce Salad with Herbed Crème Fraîche dressing. For your entrée, opt between Chilled Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Grilled Veggies and Horseradish Sauce or Grilled Faroe Island Salmon with Asparagus, Warm Farro Salad, and Dill Buerre Blanc, all served with Lake Forest’s Gerhard Bakery rolls; dessert is a Mother’s Day cupcake from Gerhard’s. Add flowers from M on the Square ($50), candle and lotion for Mom from Valentina ($62), or extra cupcakes ($4 each) and you’re all set! $40 plus tax per person; kid’s menu $16 per person, order by Friday, May 8 at noon for pickup from 11 am to 7 pm Mother’s Day.
How to help:
In addition to supporting these local restaurants, consider supporting one of these local nonprofits that urgently need support during the pandemic.
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Julie Chernoff, Better’s dining editor since its inception in 2007, graduated from Yale University with a degree in English — which she speaks fluently — and added a professional chef’s degree from the California Culinary Academy. She has worked for Boz Scaggs, Rick Bayless, and Wolfgang Puck (not all at the same time); and counts Northlight Theatre and Les Dames d’Escoffier International as two of her favorite nonprofits. She currently serves on the national board of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, an advocacy group addressing hunger issues in the U.S. and Israel for the nearly 46 million people — veterans, children, seniors, tribal nations, and more — who go to bed hungry every night.