Easter is only a few days away, and while we look forward to beautiful services, parades of hats, and (hopefully) sunny weather, what we really crave is the requisite button-busting Easter brunch. Whether you've given up sweets, savory delicacies, and lavish meals out for Lent or not, a delicious Easter brunch is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday. New York City is home to some of the most lavish hotels in the world, which are in turn home to some of tastiest restaurants in the world, which -- in turn -- host some of the most extravagant Easter brunch buffets, menus, and spreads in the world. Sounds like a win, win, win to us! So without further adieu, here are the five best restaurants for Easter brunch in New York City, all of which are conveniently located in Manhattan's top luxury hotels.
Norma's is one of the most popular -- and decadent -- brunch spots in the city, and it will be no different (in the best way possible) for Easter. Located in Le Parker Meridien just a few blocks south of Central Park, Norma's is conveniently within walking distance of the Easter parade, which meanders up Fifth Avenue, so diners can fill up on Chocolate Decadence French Toast, Norma's Eggs Benedict (which substitutes fluffy pancakes for English muffins), Foie Gras Brioche French Toast, or -- for the truly extravagant -- the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata, which -- costing a whopping $1,000 -- comes topped with ten ounces of caviar. "Frugal" diners can opt for just one ounce of caviar for a mere $100.
Serving both the Waldorf Towers (occupying the top floors of the building) and its slightly less luxurious sister property, The Waldorf Astoria, Peacock Alley recently debuted a gorgeous dining room and a decadent menu after being closed for extensive renovations. At $95/adult and $65/child, the restaurant's Sunday brunch buffet includes a raw bar, carving stations, a variety of smoked fish, mimosas and champagne, and a selection of over 100 desserts, all of which flank a massive chocolate fondue fountain. Easter is the perfect time to enjoy this lavish spread, as Peacock Alley suspends Sunday brunch service for the summer months.
Particularly well-located for those attending Easter services at St. Patrick's Cathedral (which sits directly across from the hotel), Villard Michel Richard not only boasts one of the most lavish menus in New York City, but also one of the most gorgeous dining rooms; the space features beautifully maintained details -- such as coffered ceilings and gilded crown moulding -- from the building's origin as a 19th-century private mansion. Costing $115/person, the Easter brunch on offer is certainly expensive -- but also quite expansive. With multiple courses, the spread includes everything from salads, sashimi, and oysters to start, to cod, crab cakes, and rack of lamb for entree-sized portions, served along traditional sides like potato scalloped gratin and haricots verts. There is also a cheese station and a decadent dessert table.
The Plaza is also a New York City icon, known not only for its storied history and Central Park location, but its luxurious rooms and lavish dining establishments. While The Palm Court is perhaps best known for its afternoon tea, it offers an equally standout brunch and, for Easter, the restaurant features a three-course prix-fixe menu at $95/person. Diners can choose from a chilled spring soup, an asparagus salad, or a tuna nicoise salad to start, followed by either mushroom ravioli, sea scallops, rack of lamb, or duck breast for an entree (more traditional brunch items like waffles and eggs benedict are also available). And of course, there will be a massive dessert table to round off the decadent meal.
The Michelin-starred Cafe Boulud is considered one of the best fine-dining restaurants in New York City, and continually makes the list of top spots for Easter brunch. This year, the Daniel Boulud eatery (helmed by executive chef Gavin Kaysen) offers a three-course prix-fixe menu, with a decidedly brunch-inspired theme. While diners can opt for main courses such as pici pasta and wild king salmon, most entrees feature eggs: there's a Maine peekytoe crab benedict, a Vermont egg omelet, and a wild mushroom quiche. The dessert options may be the most mouthwatering, with treats like molten chocolate cake and a lemon tart. Easter brunch costs $95/adult and $45/child under 12.