Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mom's Day, a Milestone & 'World Cocktail Week'


I've gotta give props to Sunda.

Their first-ever day for brunch service is Mother's Day. Mother's Day?! Ask anyone in the restaurant biz and they'll tell you that's the single busiest day of the year.

Nevertheless, Executive Chef Rodelio Aglibot's whipped up a number of classic Asian dishes—with serious contemporary swagger—that should impress even the most discerning mom.

You'll want to fill up on dim sum starters like oxtail pot stickers accompanied by white wasabi creme or the steamed bao buns (filled with pork belly or duck), but resist because there's so much more to come.

Hearty portions are meant to be shared. And if you love egg dishes, you've come to the right spot. Standouts include the Thai omelet (filled with shrimp, pork, fish cake, beans sprouts, watercress, chili); braised pork belly and poached eggs on crispy rice patties; and the Pancit Canton, made with crispy pork, lap cheong, shrimp, carrots, cabbage and egg noodles. Plus, those with a sweet tooth are sure to fall for the Tempura French Toast Batons topped with caramel glazed bananas.

Sunda's Pancit Canton of crispy pork, lap cheong, shrimp, carrots, cabbage and egg noodles (Photo: Pete Krehbiel)

Our favorite part of the brunch—and this shouldn't come as a surprise—is the cocktail selection. Choose from the Bloody Mary Bar ($7), where you'll get to build your drink from a number of traditional and Asian garnishes (kim chee, BBQ eel, shrimp), and Mimosa Kits (starts at $30) that come with a bottle of bubbly and fresh seasonal juices.

Brunch is served 10:30am-3pm Sundays. Entrees range $10-$14.

More cool Mother's Day deals, plus Heaven on Seven's 30th anniversary and World Cocktail Week . . .

LM Le Restaurant: The new stylish French resto offers a brunch buffet of faves, including homestyle croissants, smoked trout salad and charcuterie. You'll also get to choose one entree: brown butter crepes, Croque Monsieur with fries and vegetable risotto. 9am-3pm. $39 for adults; $19 for children under 12.

Macello: Moms receive a Prosecco Mimosa on the house. The $35 prix-fixe feast includes a choice of grilled shrimp over pasta; wood-smoked lamb chops, and mixed seafood over linguine. 5-9pm.

The original Heaven on Seven in the Loop celebrates 30 years in May with entree specials. (Photo: Heaven on Seven)

Park 52: Live jazz is on tap for Mother's Day at the popular Hyde Park spot best known for its shrimp and grits. They're doing all-day brunch, which features the grits as well as fried catfish, waffles, vegetarian options, and a carving station of roasted chicken, leg of lamb and roasted pork shoulder. 10am-7pm. A la carte.

Sable Kitchen & Bar: Not that you're cheap or anything, but this new contemporary eatery's allowing your mom to eat free with the price of an entree. That includes everything on the menu, which is all under $16. If your mom's a pork fan, she'll go nuts over the crispy pork belly BLT on toasted brioche, smoked ham-Gruyere quiche and Executive Chef Heather Terhune's spin on Pigs in a Blanket (sausage links wrapped in buttermilk pancakes).

Salute Wine Bar & Café: Speaking of deals, everyone gets half off on lunch and dinner on Mother's Day at the Gold Coast Italian restaurant. And with prices this low (nothing's over $15), you'll be able to spring for a nice bottle of wine. She'll love the beef and pork meatballs, ultra-thin crust smoked Prosciutto pizza and filet mignon carpaccio. Moms also receive a free Mimosa and rose.

The Sazerac is considered one of the oldest cocktails in the world.

***May also marks the 30th anniversary of the Loop location for Heaven on Seven. Diners will be able to celebrate all month as all entrees are $7.77. Go ahead and treat yourself to a nice lunch of jambalaya or red beans and rice with Andouille sausage.

***And World Cocktail Week runs May 6-13 to promote the appreciation of the art of the cocktail. It also commemorates the first definition of the term Cocktail in print in the 1806 edition of The Balance and Columbian Repository. Designated drinking establishments across the country are raising money to help pay for operating costs for the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans.

The Drawing Room celebrates by donating proceeds from sales of The Nooner, Easy Virtue and Last Word cocktails May 6-13.

And Drinks Over Dearborn hosts its second-annual benefit 9pm May 12. They're transforming the space into a tiki fantasyland, with Polynesian-inspired cocktails, a pig roast, fortune-telling witch doctor, hermit crab races (?!), hula lessons, limbo contests and live island music. $10 donation; RSVP required.

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