You may be like us and not have done anything about Easter (or Passover as the case may be) until now. But you're probably not like us, in that you presumably don't have an inbox full of press releases with answers for that question. So we'll share our inbox with you; here are many of the best-sounding ones we received, divided into pretty traditional brunches and the like and more non-traditional ethnic ones.
If we had to pick one Easter feast strictly on authentic cultural coolness, it would be dinner at Taxim, where chef David Schneider roasts a whole lamb from Mint Creek Farm as the centerpiece of a five-course dinner of traditional Greek Easter dishes including kokoretsi (stuffed offal), magiritsa (lamb offal soup), tsoureki (braided bread) and hardboiled red eggs. It's $75; reservations required here.
Sunda will be roasting all day— pork, lamb and prime rib— in addition to its regular menus; they'll serve brunch from 10:30 to 3, and dinner from 5 to 11. Call 312-644-0500 for reservations.
Roka Akor will serve up traditional brunch items with Japanese twists, like red bean and mixed berry pancakes and Barley Miso Baby Chicken on sealed wood. Call 312-477-7652 for reservations.
Texas de Brazil lays out its salad bar with more than 60 different items, plus full meat-on-swords service, for $46.99 for adults/$23.50 for kids 6-12 and just $5 for kids under that. Call 312-670-1006 for reservations.
Here are some different twists on the brunch buffet: Rio's D'Sudamerica will have a Peruvian lunch buffet, Savor Saveur will bring back its Latin brunch beginning this Sunday, and Barrio Urban Taqueria will launch its new Mexican brunch buffet this weekend.
Steve's Deli will offer traditional Seder dinners Friday and Saturday— house made apple walnut charoset, matzo balls, gefilte fish, roast brisket of beef, roasted lemon chicken and chocolate banana cake. They also deliver with 24 hours notice; call 312-467-6868.
Toni Patisserie and Cafe has a new spring menu, full of pastries that would please on Sunday morning, but they also have both Easter and Passover specific items— for Easter check out their Chocolate Cream Egg filled with Belgian chocolate mousse; for Passover there's the wheat-free almond orange and chocolate cake.
If the weather's still pretty, you will have totally scored with a reservation at North Pond overlooking the park and the pond while you dine on Bruce Sherman's local cuisine. See the menu and make a reservation here.
Allium returns to the Four Season's hotel-posh roots for a megalicious Easter brunch buffet including leg of spring lamb, braised veal cheeks with gnocchi and Maine lobster, blue crab and shrimp "shepherd's pie" (that's one unusual shepherd), sushi and sashimi and more. It's a serious $130 for adults and $55 for children, but sounds like quite the spread; call 312-799-4900.
Check out a newly-coined Food & Wine best new chef by going to Balsan's Easter brunch, where chef Danny Grant is serving a three-course meal for $90 including pastries, charcuterie, entree, domestic cheeses and complimentary mimosas; or the Easter edition of their Sunday night family-style dinners, $50 per person from 5 pm to 10 pm. Call 312-646-1400 for reservations.
Sixteen is overdoing it Trump style: besides the beyond-lavish brunch by new chef Thomas Lents ($125 for adults and $35 for children), there will be an Easter egg hunt, photo shoots with the Easter Bunny, and a petting zoo of farm animals (unless the Donald fires them). Call 312-588-8030 for reservations.
Lettuce Entertain You has three pretty different brunches to check out: get your pintxos on at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, including Make Your Own Bloody Mary bar (call 773-935-5000); do it up in French brunch style at Mon Ami Gabi (call 773-348-8886); or dine in the traditional Easter presence of hippie chicks on the wall at R.J. Grunts (call 773-929-5363).
The Gage's chef Dirk Flanigan has some pretty sumptuous-sounding fresh-springy stuff from 11 to 3 planned, including local asparagus and morels with poached egg and brioche toast, roasted onion tart with peas, bacon and cheddar, and roasted lamb chops with peas, wheat berries, radish, olive, cress and mustard.
Deleece (new location by the Music Box) and Deleece Grill on Clark will have their regular menus plus some intrigiung specials: at Deleece, a lamb burger or an Easter ham hash; at Deleece Grill, a lobster lorraine quiche or brisket hash with poached eggs and chimmichurri.
Bin 36 will have a "grand buffet" whose centerpiece will be a house-cured ham from Swan Creek Farms, plus a design-your-own-omelet bar and more. It's $42 for adults, $22 for kids under 12, under 4 free.
Lockwood will be serving both roasted leg of lamb and a country Easter ham at its buffet from 11 to 4; it's $65, including unlimited sparkling champagne.
If you need an early spot, Nana will start offering its special Easter menu at 8 am, with dishes like citrus-smoked Lake Michigan whitefish, sweet potato doughnuts, and cara cara orange and lemon pound cake French toast.