8 Lovely Spots in SF to Enjoy a Celebratory Easter Meal

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Bluestem Brasserie

Easter is early this year—it’s this Sunday, March 27th. If you haven’t made plans yet, don’t fret, there are plenty of delicious brunch and dinner options for you to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a boozy bloody Mary breakfast or a traditional Easter lamb feast, there is something for everyone in this wonderful city we call home. Here are five haute spots for brunch and three delicious locations for dinner to celebrate Easter Sunday in style—no bonnets necessary.

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Diane Mina

Michael Mina’s Test Kitchen launched it’s new Indian concept, The Company, earlier this month and on Easter, the mega-restauranteur  is launching a brunch pop-up series. Inspired by his wife, Diane Mina’s, wildly successful bloody Mary bar at Michael Mina’s Tailgate, the brunch will feature Diane’s bloody Marys and chef Adam Sobel’s best breakfast food. Bloodys, Bagels, and Blues begins this Sunday, from 10:30 am to 3 pm, with plans to open on Saturdays in the near future. The brunch pop-up will run concurrently with The Company. Diane’s bloody Marys feature hand-milled heirloom tomatoes infused with a light dash broth, tomato juice, a secret elixir, and the classic additions like vodka, olives, lemon, and celery. Sobel’s brunch menu includes chicken liver pate on challah, local asparagus scramble, and jelly doughnuts.

Waterbar's bunny marshmallows on coconut grass.
Waterbar’s bunny marshmallows on coconut grass.

If you’re after an elegant atmosphere for Easter brunch, head to Waterbar on the Embarcadero for stunning Bayside views and the freshest seafood around. From 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, chef Parke Ulrich will be serving up special delicious-sounding menu items like sea scallop ceviche, warm asparagus salad with shoestring potatoes and a soft poached egg, smoked halibut croquette, open-faced salmon pastrami sandwich, and an American caviar scramble. For dessert, pastry chef Angela Salavtore has created two festive treats. There are the Waterbar homies, adorable marshmallow bunnies on coconut grass, or kataifi nests, a sweet treat comprised of shredded phyllo seasoned with cardamom sugar and served with a ricotta fritter, orange blossom sorbet and pistachio ice cream.

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Bluestem Brasserie is a hot spot for brunch downtown and Easter Sunday will be no different. New chef John Griffiths is whipping up decadent brunch favorites like Cajun Benedict, chicken and bacon waffles, cinnamon French toast, and smoked brisket hash. Also on the menu? Bluestem’s classic brunch burger with grass-fed ground beef, hash browns, breakfast sausage, bacon, housemade American cheese, fried egg, avocado, and spicy ketchup and a baker’s board of artisanal breakfast breads with seasonal spreads and accouterments. The great thing about Bluestem is they have a full bar and plenty of potent brunch cocktails including originals such as the Orange Gina, a mixture of mandarin vodka and lemon, tangerine juices, the Rude Awakening—a jalapeño, cucumber, lime juice, and tequila concoction, and signature classics like the bloody Mary or mimosa. Cheers!

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RN74, the French-inspired urban wine bar from Michael Mina and star sommelier, Rajat Parr, is not generally open for brunch. However, this Sunday, they are serving brunch from 10:30 am to 2 pm. The special menu, created by chef Lee Rafidi, is a luxurious homage to French breakfast favorites. There is cast-iron baked egg with caramelized maitake mushrooms, spinach, and country toast, a croissant eggs Benedict with dungeness crab and cider hollandaise, and soft-scrambled truffle egg with comte fondue, petite lettuces, and pommes anna. If you’re more in the mood for the lunch side of brunch, there’s plenty of deliciousness on hand. Think French onion soup, smoked trout rillette, and rabbit pate.

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If you’ve never been to one of 1300 on Fillmore’s Sunday gospel brunches, put on your pastel finery and head to the restaurant for an unparalleled experience. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the combination of good food and soulful music. Scrumptious Southern eats are on the menu and they include a pastry basket with honey butter and homemade hot pepper jelly, blue crab Benedict with buttermilk chive biscuits and tobacco hollandaise, their signature fried chicken, and orange marmalade-bourbon glazed ham with sweet potato gratin and blue lake beans. It’s a three course menu, so come hungry!

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Want to sleep in on Sunday morning and eat a simple breakfast at home? Great, then celebrate Easter with a memorable dinner at one of the four following restaurants. Cafe Claude, the first eatery from Franck LeClerc’s Au Bon Repas restaurant group, will be open on Easter night from 5:30 to 10:30 with traditional French fare on the agenda. Think moules, steak frites, coq au vin, oysters, artinsanal charcuterie, housemade pates, and a selection of French cheeses. If you’re craving eggs, order the Easter special, egg mouillette, which is simply a fancy French name for rich soft-boiled eggs with toast points.

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At the recently opened Spaghetti Bros. in the Marina, the chefs have put together a spring selection of specials. There’s an  elderflower liqueur and Crème de Violette cocktail called the Blue Bonnet, a ham plate with Parker house rolls, housemade pickles, and 7-minute Easter egg, pappardelle pasta with spring lamb sugo, English peas, parmesan, and black truffles, and a Boston berry cream pie for dessert. Why not just order all of those items and call it a day?

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At the Presidio Social Club, my favorite spot in the grassy old military base, chef Wes Shaw is smoking a leg of lamb for 12 whole hours. He’s serving it with asparagus and chimichurri sauce, which sounds divine. Start with the deviled eggs with caviar and a French 75. The warm goat cheese flan with English pea sauce is a sensational spring appetizer that is not to be missed. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with their light airy lemon meringue cake.

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