EASTER EATS: Where to brunch, eggzactly?
Every spring the calls come. "Where should we go for Easter brunch?" After Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, it's just about the toughest reservation to come by. Here's a selection of Easter options on Sunday, many of them in Tampa Bay hotels.
Located in the Hotel Zamora on St. Pete Beach, new executive chef Nicolas Lebas will offer a prix-fixe three-course brunch menu from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring items from eggplant beignets to rainbow trout with serrano ham. $55. Its 360° Rooftop Lounge also hosts a 1 p.m. egg hunt (one hunter will win a room stay). 3701 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 456-8660.
The restaurant at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel hosts an a la carte brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring seafood (grilled oysters and jumbo poached shrimp cocktail served with a Bloody Mary cocktail sauce), prime rib, pork belly ramen and Moroccan lamb kefta as well as waffles, Krispy Kreme doughnut French toast and eggs Benedict; dishes $9 to $26. Reservations strongly recommended. 4200 Jim Walter Blvd., Tampa. (813) 313-3235.
The Don CeSar:
A tradition at Florida's iconic Pink Palace, the Don offers two holiday brunches on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fancier one is in the King Charles Ballroom for $69.95 for adults (includes champagne and self-parking), $34.95 for children, and the more casual is at the Sea Porch, $59.95 for adults (includes champagne and self-parking), $34.95 for children. At either venue, enjoy omelets to order, local greens, maple mustard glazed ham, slow-roasted beef sirloin, roasted leg of lamb and a table of assorted decadent desserts, with a special kids' buffet. 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. (727) 363-5077.
Bay Harbor Hotel:
Guests with kids are encouraged to come at 10 a.m. to win one of 100 free goody bags filled with gifts. There will be bouncy houses, an Easter egg hunt with more than 600 prize-filled eggs, face-painting, photo ops, water sports rental, video games, family-style games, live music, and a brunch buffet served 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; $34.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids. The menu will feature snow crab legs, prime rib, a chocolate fondue fountain, build-your-own omelet station, and a seafood bar with oysters, snow crab, shrimp cocktail and sushi. 7700 W Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa. (813) 281-8900.
Here's a not-so-steak-centric three-course Easter brunch from one of Tampa's swanky steakhouses, offered Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $44.95 for adults and $18.95 for children. The regular menu is available all day, but this special option includes lobster bisque, burrata salad, signature eggs Benedict, California-style steak and eggs and cinnamon apple brioche French toast. It's extra, but probably a good idea to check out the bacon and blue cheese bloody mary, $8.95. 4322 W Boy Scout Blvd., Tampa. (813) 874-9463.
Upstairs at Locale Market, the buffet runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $49 adults, $25 children, $20 bottomless rose, $17 bottomless mimosas. Seafood station, omelets, lemon ricotta pancakes, and a carving station of lamb and house-smoked ham, salads and antipasti, and a dessert and candy bar (like kids need more candy on Sunday). Reservations recommended. On Monday FarmTable Kitchen offers a traditional seder dinner, 5:30 p.m. 179 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 523-6297.