Sunday Brunch can be fun and filling or pretentious and painfully prolonged, and never more so than at Easter where guests from infants to grandparents and everyone in between must be accommodated and entertained. Fortunately there are many places in Connecticut that understand the trials and tribulations of such an occasion, and go out of their way to attract and make comfortable brunch-goers of all ages. Some of these even offer special treats for the kiddies, not to mention an appearance by a six-foot-tall actor in a rabbit costume.
The Riverhouse At Goodspeed Station
55 Bridge Road
Haddam, CT 06438
Anyone can book a table at a nice restaurant for Sunday brunch, but on Easter, guests for once won’t need prom dresses, bridal gowns or tuxes to tread the carpeted steps of the grand staircase or amble about the elegant ballroom of The Riverhouse. Normally available only for weddings, big parties and other large-scale events, this majesticbanquet facility is open to the public for Easter. Set on a ridge overlooking the Connecticut River in Haddam, Riverhouse is all about the ambiance and the view, both of which are only enhanced by the bloody marys and mimosas which are de rigueur for any Sunday brunch, let alone one where the chefs are preparing a traditional Easter menu.
218 Kent Road (Route 7)
New Milford, CT 06776
Adrienne Sussman does more than just own and cook at the New Milford restaurant that bears her name; she also lives there. This Easter, she quite literally will welcome diners into her home for brunch, just as she did last year. “I used to do an Easter dinner,” the chef explained breathlessly, ”but people didn’t want to spend that much money so I switched it to brunch.” That brunch begins like every other Sunday brunch at Adrienne, with a basket of homemade breakfast breads, muffins and scones, a selection of fresh fruit and the choice of beverage, including mimosas, bloody marys, champagne or juice. This year’s menu entrees include French toast stuffed with roasted apples, seafood crepes, potato-crusted salmon, grilled spring lamb and her special “New England Eggs Benedict,” which involves a black pepper cheddar scone with Canadian bacon, poached egg and hollandaise. Adrienne’s restaurant and home is a lovely old manor house where this veteran of the Arizona Biltmore, The Waldorf-Astoria’s Peacock Alley and the New Orleans’ Commander’s Palace creates her uniquely New England seasonal menus.
1 Nod Road
Avon, CT 06001
Avon Old Farms is about as Connecticut as Connecticut gets, and the Belle Terrace banquet center is a good blending of the old and the new. Grandparents and in-laws will appreciate the elegance while the youngest members of the party flock to the dessert and French toast stations (and their parents sigh with a complimentary mimosa). The menu is quite varied, with chefs in attendance at numerous stations – including one where hash and poached eggs are prepared to order.
393 Farmington Ave.
Plainville, CT 06062
Children often hate being dragged out to Sunday brunch, especially on Easter with visions of chocolate bunnies dancing in their heads. But at Confetti in Plainville, the atmosphere is so bright and cheery that kids will at least feel like they are somewhere friendly and welcoming. The food is also very good, with Belgian waffles and massive ice cream sundaes to keep the young and young at heart happy, while teens and adults graze a groaning buffet table packed with Easter ham, eggs benedict, prime rib and more delights.
The Mattabesett Canoe Club
80 Harbor Drive
Middletown, CT 06457
Advertised as kid friendly (with little ones under six eating free and their pre-teen older siblings dining for half the adult price of $32), the Canoe Club will offer traditional Easter breakfast items as well as a raw bar and carving station.
Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.