Easter is coming on April 21, and – blame alliteration here – that makes us think of eggs. Are you ready to enjoy a delightful, relaxed weekend brunch? Here is a selection of some of the best restaurants in New England where you may do exactly that:
Farm Table at Kringle Candle, 220 South Street, Bernardston, MA — This restaurant is part of the property centered upon Kringle Candle, a vast candle store founded by the son of Yankee Candle Co.’s founder. Candles aside, the Farm House has a reputation for an excellent Sunday brunch. It is in a renovated 1800 farmhouse, and the brunch menu is comprised of local foods, with organic and gluten-free options. Lots of intriguing brunch menu items: roasted olives, fried oysters, cheese and charcuterie boards, pizzas, eggs of every description, including quiche, smoked salmon, beet and sweet potato hash. Hours: Brunch served Sundays, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Brunch menu. 413-648-5200. Map.
Prairie Whale, 178 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA — Fans describe Prairie Whale as a farm-to-tale, rustic/Brooklyn hipster-ish eatery where you can get generous helpings of really creative breakfast / brunch dishes in a warm environment, often seasoned by live, bluegrass-y tinged music. The restaurant is located in downtown Great Barrington, a great little town and should be on everyone’s southern-Berkshires drive tour. Brunch favorites include polenta with sausage, soft boiled eggs and arugula; rhubarb and cardamon scone; bagel with dill cream cheese, frisée, and radishes. In warm weather, join the people enjoying lawn games outdoors. Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday. All other days, 5-10 p.m. Also on weekends, open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 413-528-5050. Map.
The Front Room, 73 Congress Street, Portland, ME — This popular eatery is described as no-frills, which is great, because what matters is on the plate. It is located the the historic Munjoy Hill neighborhood of Portland, and it serves brunch every day. The brunch menu showcases many re-imagined American staples. This photos shows the pulled pork benedict, so you start to get the idea. Brunch may include Biscuits & Gravy and Savory Brioche French Toast and many other enticing flavors. Hours: Brunch is served every day, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Brunch menu. 207-773-3366. Map.
Pine at Hanover Inn, 2 East Wheelock St., Hanover, NH — Pine, located in Hanover Inn, near Dartmouth College, is one outcome of a major renovation of the inn in recent years. In a rustic but uncluttered setting, Pine serves American food, using seasonal ingredients from nearby farms. The large and inventive brunch menu includes “toasts,” sourdough bread grilled and topped with delightful combinations, like cheese, avocado, poached eggs, and pickled jalapeños; or short rib with Brussels sprouts, shallot, tomato, mint and pickled fennel. Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brunch menu. 603-646-8000. Map.
Lakehouse Grille in in Church Landing at Mill Falls, 281 Daniel Webster Hwy. (Route 3), Meredith, NH — This restaurant, which crowns any dining experience with glorious views of adjacent Lake Winnipeusakee, is a member of the NH-native Common Man family of restaurants, so that tells you right off the bat that you are being served by people who are about you. The Sunday jazz brunch is a winner, bringing vacationers and local people back week after week, year after year. The brunch buffet includes apple wood smoked bacon, smoked salmon, omelettes, a carving station, and pastries. People swear by the excellent Bloody Marys. Hours: Sunday brunch, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Lunch menu. 603-279-5221. Map.
Bella’s Café, 896 Whalley Avenue, New Haven, CT — Rose Foote, who founded Bella’s Café in 2000, comes from three generations of cooks. Guests of Bella’s often call it one of the best places to dine in New Haven. In a review, CBS Connecticut called Bella’s “the mecca of brunch.” Bella’s cooks are enthusiastic about producing inventive meals with a modern twist on traditional ingredients. Among its top sellers is the shrimp and grits (pictured here) and its wonderful biscuits. Brunch at Bella’s is always a joy, say the many customers who return over and over. Brunch menu. Hours: Open daily except Mondays; brunch is weekends, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Brunch menu. 203-387-7107. Map.
The Spread, 70 North Main Street in South Norwalk, CT; and 18 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich, CT — The Spread is the joint creation of four pals with decades of work in the food and beverage business. Its first location was SoNo – South Norwalk – and it fulfills the mission of the former industrial area with décor with a tongue-in-cheek industrial vibe. Executive Chef Carlos Baez oversees a Sunday brunch that is popular with local people, and heavily hydrated by mimosas. Diners praise the salmon and the eggs and grits, among other traditional, egg-based brunch favorites. A Greenwich location has opened, too. Sunday brunch hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Menu. South Norwalk: 203-939-1111; map. Greenwich: 203-900-1887; map. [Photo by John Videler]
Sneakers Bistro, 28 Main Street, Winooski, VT — Many diners consider Sneakers as the go-to-place for the best breakfast and brunch in the Burlington area. Especially well-loved at the fried chicken and waffles, with chicken that is lightly breaded and cooked to perfection and fluffy waffles with Vermont maple syrup. The eggs Benedict on homemade English muffins with artichoke is delicious. There’s an apple cider mimos (so Vermont!) and much more. The place is small and lines to get in can be long on weekends, so Sneakers recommends using the NoWait app. Hours: Daily, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Menu. 802-655-9081. Map.
Penny Cluse Café, 169 Cherry Street, Burlington, VT — This relaxed and down-home place is a local favorite. The menu show all the traditional breakfast stars – eggs all ways, pancakes, granola — along with a few that step outside the American palate, like Zydeco breakfast (black beans, andouille sausage), Mama Cruz’s Huevos Rancheros (corn tortillas with jack cheese, salsa ranchero and black beans) andAcross The Pond (pork sausage, smoky baked beans, griddled tomato and mushrooms). Local artwork hangs on the walls, and the service is friendly and quick. Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Menu. 802-651–8834. Map
The Tavern On Broadway, 16 Broadway, Newport, RI — The Tavern on Broadway is located in the historic district of party-loving Newport, in a renovated 200-year-old Colonial building. Chef Jae Florence’s farm-to-table philosophy developed during her childhood in Hawaii. Her cuisine is Asian inspired (some samples appear in the brunch menu), heavy on fresh fish and locally raised beef and produce. She understands the New England favorites such as fish and chips and lobster rolls. When you order an entree from the brunch menu you will receive a complimentary mimosa or bloody Mary. Hours: Sunday brunch is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Menu. 401-619 5675 Map.