Easter Sunday is next Sunday, April 21, and one of the most popular things a family can enjoy is to go out for brunch. A host of restaurants and hotels are presenting bodacious offerings to entice even the fussiest eater. Here are a few.
The Gideon Putnam (Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs; 518 226-4719) offers a buffet, which includes a pasta station, carving board, pastries, salads and traditional breakfast that generations of guests have come to expect. But the chefs have tweaked the offerings to adapt to new trends.
“At least enough to meet any dietary restrictions,” said Ken Tschiederi, the hotel’s director of operations. “There is more vegan and as much gluten-free as possible. They’ll go to great lengths to handle anyone’s requests.”
Because at least 800 people are expected, the kitchen with a staff of 15 will be “all hands on deck,” he said. The Easter Bunny may also put in an appearance.
At the Glen Sanders Mansion (Scotia; 518 374-7262), the 750 to 800 guests, many of them frequent customers each year, will get to make their own omelettes, enjoy a salmon station, various salads, breakfast offerings, desserts including ice cream, and meats from pork and lamb to chicken and turkey with numerous veggies. There’s also a kids’ buffet.
“We’ve been doing Easter brunch at least for 23 years,” said Kristen Seitz of the corporate office. “Because it’s a buffet, we expect people to eat more. The food is very high quality that they’re serving.”
A bit cozier space for people will be at The Stockade Inn (1 North Church St., Schenectady; 518 346-3400) as owner Jeff McDonald expects only about 400 guests. The Inn has been giving these brunches since 2003.
“We get a lot of regulars,” he said. “It will be a traditional menu.”
That includes breads, salads, an omelet station, carving station, a smoked salmon display, and meats from chicken and ham to lamb, some fish, veggies and desserts. McDonald said the kitchen can handle any dietary restrictions as long as the chef knows in advance.
If the family is up for a short trip, check out The Otesaga (60 Lake St., Cooperstown; 607 547-9931). The hotel is celebrating its 110th year and Robert Faller, the director of sales, said Easter brunches have been held for most of those years. In the 23 years he’s been on staff, he said he’s seen the brunch get better every year. About 800 people are expected.
“The chef is personally impressed with the local ingredients,” Faller said. “The fresh fish is unbelievable. There are six to seven carving stations. The Viennese table is all homemade.”
There are gluten-free entres, breads, desserts, 35 different salads, and even a kids table that includes hot dogs, pizza, and tater tots.
“There are plenty of choices,” Faller said
Chad Douglass, the hotel’s food and beverage manager, said he’s noticed that the tables are more decorated and overall quality is up each year.
“A hot-button issue we’ve noticed is that people want more local and made from scratch,” he said. “So we cure our own meats.”
The Easter Bunny might drop by here, too.
Take a jaunt north to The Sagamore (Bolton Landing; 518 644-9400) and visit the hotel’s “La Bella Vita” restaurant to enjoy made to order omelettes, a pasta station, a seafood display of oysters or shrimp, a carving station, desserts and breakfast bar with Belgian waffles or French toast.
A little closer to home is the Inn at Erlowest (3178 Lakeshore Drive, Lake George; 518 668-5928) to not only enjoy walking through an 1898 Queen Anne-designed mansion, but enjoy eating with a view of the lake. You can also enjoy a more intimate setting as only about 120 people are expected.
“We’re also doing a buffet for the first time in several years,” said Alexis Coleman, director of sales. “Years past it was a pre-fixed meal. We want to see what people think.”
The menu includes fruits, mixed salads, cheese/antipasto, seafood, mushroom tortellini, build your own omelette station, carving station, and desserts.
Something a little different is offered at The American Hotel (192 Main St., Sharon Springs; 518 284-2105). Instead of a brunch, they’re offering a four-course Easter dinner from their ala carte regular menu. The dinner is very popular, so reservations are required. About 110 people are expected.
A sampling of Easter Sunday brunch favorites
AMERICAN HOTEL: seating 1 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; $55 - $78.
GIDEON PUTNAM: seating 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; $54.95; $27.95 (6-12); free (5 and under)
GLEN SANDERS: seating 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; $47; $21; free (5 and under)
INN AT ERLOWEST: seating 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; $65; $35 (12 and under)
THE OTESAGA: seating 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; $44.95; $22.95 (12 and under)
THE SAGAMORE: seating 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; $55; $28 (6-12); $10 (5 and under)
STOCKADE INN: seating 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; $39.95; $19.95 (11-5); $5.95 (4 and under)
Taxes and gratuities not included.