Schenectady County

Brunch a popular Mother’s Day celebration

For Diane Rivers, Sunday was a day for Matthew and mimosas.
Angela Longo, of Glenville, enjoys a delicious brunch with her family at Ambition Bistro on Jay Street in Schenectady for Mother's Day on Sunday morning, May 8, 2016.
Angela Longo, of Glenville, enjoys a delicious brunch with her family at Ambition Bistro on Jay Street in Schenectady for Mother's Day on Sunday morning, May 8, 2016.

For Diane Rivers, Sunday was a day for Matthew and mimosas.

“Our tradition has been coming here for brunch and enjoying each other’s company,” said Rivers, of time spent with son Matthew Dembling at Ambition in Schenectady. “They have wonderful, free-flowing mimosas here. And it’s a reason to celebrate Mother’s Day — Matthew was born just before Mother’s Day.”

Restaurants around the Capital Region offered brunch specials for bunches of diners as sons, daughters, husbands and grandchildren saluted mothers and grandmothers. Kitchens also were busy in the evening, for the Mother’s Day dinner crowd.

Rotterdam resident Dembling, who was born May 9, 1990, liked the Ambition brunch plan. Others were also drinking mimosas, jiggers of champagne and chilled orange juice served in tall glasses. “It gives me an excuse to see my mother,” Dembling said.

Ambition manager Erin Eckler said the Jay Street restaurant served about 150 during the four-hour brunch. “It’s very, very popular,” she said. “I think people get excited about brunch and mimosas.”

Some were excited for group outings and family gatherings. Elisa Longo generally cooks at home in Colonie on Sundays, large Italian meals for a large Italian family. About 12 family members treated her at Ambition, and there were other mothers at the table.

“We do it every Sunday, so this is like any other Sunday, but it’s an extra special one,” said Angela Longo of Glenville.

“Today is special — I don’t have to cook,” Elisa said. “I love all of them, God blessed me with a beautiful family.”

Cheryl Russell of Schenectady and her sister-in-law, Mary Mlodzianowski of Rotterdam, shared an Ambition booth. Both had brunch, which included bunches of miniature carnations on the house. But Mlodzianowski’s daughters Amy and Jennifer live in Connecticut, and Russell’s son Justin Friello had to work — he’s a chef at Ambition.

“At least I get to see him for part of the day,” Russell said.

More Perreca’s on North Jay Street also was booming during late morning. Lobster eggs Benedict, blueberry cheesecake pancakes and pesto grilled shrimp were all on the menu.

“It’s our biggest day of the year,” said owner Maria Perreca Papa. “It’s always busy on Sundays, we do about double the amount for Mother’s Day. I literally have everybody I know helping me today.”

The Conti family was in, but Michele and Gabriel and daughters Giovanna and Rosaria are frequent visitors. Still, Mother’s Day was a special day for togetherness. “My girls are home from school, this is where we have gathered and made many memories,” Michele said.

Kaye Gregory, 92, was the guest of honor at a More Perreca’s table on the back patio. An assortment of family members toasted her good health and good deeds as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. “I have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren,” said Gregory, who lives in Rotterdam. “They’re all so good to me, they’re all supportive. There’s got to be a reason to reach old age, and this is it.”

“We’re just thankful to have her with us for all these years,” said daughter Trisha Savignano, also of Rotterdam.

The Stockade Inn on North Church Street also was crowded. Owner and general manager Jeffrey M. McDonald said Mother’s Day is one of the top five busiest days of the year. The Stockade Inn runs only a couple of brunch sessions a year, the other one on Easter Sunday. Easter is the bigger day.

“Mom takes care of everybody all year, this is a day for people to give back,” he said, explaining the brunch rush.

McDonald said the Stockade would seat 300 customers for the late morning and early afternoon dining hours.

Mary Serapilio of Rotterdam was part of a large party. She said Mother’s Day gatherings make her think of her own mother, and how her family used to visit restaurants.

Schenectady’s Portia Taylor celebrated the day with her daughter Stacy Taylor and son Keenan Taylor. Her sister Stephanie Ross of Latham completed the quartet. Brunch made the day a little different than any other Sunday.

“It makes the day feel more special,” Portia said. “We can sit down and relax and enjoy ourselves.”

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124, [email protected] or @jeffwilkin1 on Twitter.

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