By Tejal Rao
The force of holiday brunch-themed deals is powerful at this time of year, but resist. If you really want to enjoy time with your mother—or whoever it is is you hang with on Mother’s Day weekend—consider going out for a fantastic lunch or dinner on Saturday, when the food, atmosphere, and service will be significantly better. Here are some ideas.
The newest restaurant from the Carbone crew is fun, bright, and beautiful, as is the coastal Italian food served on colorful plates. Don’t miss the cecina (thin chickpea pancakes piled with tuna in chili oil, or some ginger-y dressed shrimp), the whole grilled porgy covered in fresh herbs, or the crudite platter with three excellent dips. Go at lunchtime when the dining room is full of sunshine, if you want to hear each other speak, and then head upstairs for a stroll along the High Line, or visit the new Whitney. Full review. Santina is at 820 Washington Street; (212) 254-3000 or santinanyc.com
Birds & Bubbles
Champagne and fried chicken go together so, so well. If you haven’t yet experienced the joys, make a reservation (or walk in, extremely early, for dinner) at Sarah Simmons’ restaurant. The chicken is delicious—rubbed in cayenne, drenched in buttermilk, and fried the old-fashioned way, in cast-iron skillets—especially when you’re clinking glasses of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. It’s one of the best fried chicken joints in New York. Birds & Bubbles is at 100B Forsyth Street; (646) 368-9240 or birdsandbubbles.com
The French crystal manufacturer has a new hotel in midtown that’s appropriately deluxe for the luxury brand. There’s a stunning bar—where naturally, you can drink whatever you like from Baccarat crystal. And if you ever took your mother to La Grenouille, there’s a chance that the elegant Frenchman Charles Masson, who now runs runs the dining room at Baccarat’s Chevalier restaurant, will recognize you both. Baccarat Hotel is at 20 W 53rd Street; (212) 790-8800 or baccarathotels.com