You better hop to it with Easter making an early appearance this year (March 31), it's time to make reservations. Easter can take place as early as March 22 (but not again until 2285) and as late as April 25 (in 2038). Next year, Easter will be almost a month later than this year occuring on April 20, 2014.
All this Easter confusion does have a logical explanation. The date for Easter is determined by the moon--actually the Paschal Full Moon--which is the first full moon of spring. This year that date is March 27th at precisely 5:27a.m. according to the Farmers' Almanac. The reason behind the revolving dates for the Easter holiday is to approximate the sky at the time of the resurrection of Christ which is said to have occurred in 30 A.D.
For many Christians, Easter is a religious holiday celebrating the resurrection which is the foundation for their faith. For others it is a day of Easter Baskets, egg hunts, Easter Bunnies and Easter peeps. What both groups have in common is that they celebrate Easter with traditional foods. Although there are some regional differences, the most common traditional Easter fare includes: eggs symbolizing rebirth, lamb (the "Lamb of God), ham for luck, and Hot Cross Buns and other Easter breads and cakes symbolizing fertility.
Here is a sampling of events on tap for Easter 2013 in Chicago.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is serving up a special Easter breakfast with the Bunny followed by an egg hunt and hands-on craft activities on Saturday, March 30 from 9a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Farm-in-the-Zoo on Cannon Drive at Fullerton Parkway. Tickets are $45 for adults ($40 for adult Lincoln Park Zoo members), $30 for children ages 3-12 ($25 for child Lincoln Park Zoo members) with children 2 and under free. Please note: Tickets must be purchased by March 26 at the Lincoln Park Zoo website.
From fanciful French to rustic Italian; savory Spanish to classic American, kid-friendly, casual or elegant no matter what kind of brunch you are looking for come Easter Sunday, we've got you covered.
1. Easter Brunch at Café Ba-Ba-Reeba.
Lincoln Park mainstay Café Ba-Ba-Reeba (2024 N Halsted St) is offering their Easter Sunday brunch from 10a.m. to 3p.m. on Sunday, March 31. Menu items include sweet and savory pintxos (bite-sized tapas) like Deviled Eggs with Bacon, French Toast and Waffle-Battered Chicken Sticks, as well as a variety of brunch tapas, eggs, omelets and waffles. Be sure to ‘hop’ on over to the Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar as well, or order up a pitcher of their signature Sangria. All children will receive an Easter basket of treats. Reservations: 773 935 5000.
2. Easter Brunch at Mon Ami Gabi.
Mon Ami Gabi, the classic French bistro, is opening their doors early for Easter Brunch on Sunday, March 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Their Easter menu will include: classic Eggs Benedict, Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Crepes, Blueberry French Toast, Slow Roasted Virginia Ham and flavorful Herb Crusted Prime Rib of Beef. Guests can also order from the restaurant’s regular and children's menus. Children will receive a Mon Ami Gabi surprise Easter basket of treats. Mon Ami Gabi Chicago (2300 N. Lincoln Park West) 773 348 8886 or Mon Ami Gabi Oak Brook (260 Oakbrook Center) 630 472 1900.
3. Easter Brunch at RJ Grunts.
RJ Grunts (2056 Lincoln Park West) is offering their Easter Brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 31. Brunch specials include: Pecan Bread Pudding French Toast, Mini Belgian Waffles or fluffy Scrambled Eggs--and as always, RJ’s Bloody Marys. Call RJ Grunts at 773 929 5363 for more information or to make a reservation.
4. Easter Brunch at Paris Club.
Easter Sunday brunch at French bistro, Paris Club (59 W. Hubbard) is from noon to 3 p.m. Paris Club will be offering a host of specialty cocktails and brunch fare, in addition to regular Paris Club menu favorites. Please call the restaurant at 312 595 0800 for more information or to make a reservation.
5. Easter Brunch at RPM Italian.
From noon to 3 p.m. RPM Italian (52 W. Illinois) will be serving Easter brunch specials including Farm Fresh Asparagus with smoked ivory salmon, Soft Scrambled Eggs with fresh shaved ham and semolina bread and Pannetone French toast. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling RPM at 312-222-1888.
6. Easter Brunch at HUB 51.
HUB 51 (51 W. Hubbard) will be serving brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The buffet-style brunch, $30 per person; $15 for kids 12 and under, features Short Ribs Benedict, Buttermilk Pancakes, Seasonal Fruit and Thick-Cut bacon, and sweet treats including Mini-Martha’s Carrot Cakes, Mini-Brownies and Butterscotch Spoons. Call 312 828 0051 for reservations.
7. Easter Brunch at Joe’s Stone Crab.
Joe’s Stone Crab (60 E. Grand) weekend brunch will include House-Cured and Cold-Smoked Natural Norwegian Salmon, Crab Cakes Benedict, and Steak & Eggs. Reservations are highly recommended and can be placed by calling the restaurant at 312 379 5637.
8. Easter Brunch at Brasserie by LM.
This Easter Brunch with Nutella could be a real kid pleaser as Brasserie by LM unveils their revamped kid's breakfast and brunch menu featuring Wake Up Crepes served with Nutella Hazelnut Spread, Pancake Skyscrapers layered with Nutella Hazelnut Spread and fruit, Nutella-Hazelnut Spread-stuffed French Toast and more. This entire menu is $5 and includes a glass of milk. The grown-up menu options include Buttermilk Pancakes ($9) served with vanilla butter and huckleberry jam, Savory Quiche ($7) with mixed greens, the LM Benedict ($11) with jambon francais, tomato and sauce choron, the Croque Salmon ($11) with smoked salmon, herbs, bechamel and dijon mustard and more. A mimosa and entrée special will be available for $25. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 800 S. Michigan Avenue, 312 431 1788.
9. Easter Brunch at Carnivale.
Carnivale will open early for special hours and feature a la carte brunch from 11a.m. to 3p.m. on Easter Sunday. Menu highlights include Torrejas (French toast, sweet plantains, smoked bacon, maple syrup, with fresh fruit; $11), Arepa Eggs Benedict (Corn arepa, pork belly, raw cheddar, fried egg, aji limo sauce; $14), Grilled Lamb Chops (Purple potato, spring onions, snap peas, pistachio salsa verde; $24), Breakfast Cazuela (Spanish chorizo, marble potatoes, Iberico cheese, baked egg, pimenton; $12), and Corn Boudin (Three Sisters cornmeal, cheddar, shrimp salad with creamy rocoto sauce; $13). 702 W Fulton St. 312 850 5005.
10. Easter Brunch at Chicago q.
Chicago q's new Easter brunch menu will be available from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 31. In addition to the food, the restaurant will have an Easter bunny, face painting and an Easter egg hunt for guests plus each guest will receive complimentary homemade pink peeps. 1160 N. Dearborn St., 312 642 1160.
11. Easter Brunch at El's Kitchen & Bar.
The newly redesigned El's Kitchen & Bar in Lincoln Park will offer guests Easter brunch. On Sunday, March 31, restaurant goers can enjoy bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas (with purchase of brunch) for $15. El's Kitchen & Bar features an old school jukebox, rock n' roll albums covering the walls and in-house smoked BBQ brunch items. Signature items include El's Brisket Eggs Benedict (12-hour in-house smoked brisket with bbq sauce on Texas toast, topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, served with diced brown potatoes; $10), and Chicken & Waffles (Buttermilk fried chicken served over a homemade Belgian waffle; $10). 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1459 W. Webster Ave., 773 248 5210.
12. Easter Brunch at Quay.
The Easter Bunny will be on-site at Quay to greet guests and for photo ops from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Quay Restaurant & Bar will be offering a special $19.95 prix fixe menu all day Easter Sunday from 10 a.m. to close. 465 E. Illinois, 312 981 8400.
13. Easter Brunch at RIVA.
Guests are invited to bring the family to join RIVA Crab House on Navy Pier for Easter brunch and lakefront views. Chef Luigi Garcia will showcase a chef-attended omelet station, carving station, fresh oysters, an ambient display of shellfish, fresh fruit, a beautiful dessert display, and a variety of sides. Brunch will be served from 11a.m. - 3 p.m. The Easter Bunny will also be on-site for photos with children and families. Reservations are required. Sunday, March 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $45.95 adults; $18.95 children 12 & under; under 3 is free.
14. Easter Brunch at Carlucci Restaurant.
Carlucci's Easter Brunch features an a la carte menu with traditional and Italian dishes from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 31. Guests will also enjoy a Cotton Candy Machine, Face Painting, Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Bunny, and Magician to entertain children of all ages. 1801 Butterfield Road, Downers Grove, 630 512 0990.
15. Easter Brunch at Villa Nova.
This Easter Sunday, Villa Nova Restaurant in Villa Park will offer an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that will feature an omelet station, French toast, sausage, pancakes, Nutella crepes, penne alla vodka, eggplant parmigiana, smoked salmon, Italian sausage and more. For dessert, there will be a chocolate fountain with dipping options and other treats. A nationally renowned harpist and a balloon twister will be present to entertain guests of all ages. 237 W. St. Charles Road, Villa Park, 630 832 8430. Reservations are recommended.
An Easter Cruise.
The Spirit of Chicago Easter Cruise on Lake Michigan.
The Spirit of Chicago will celebrate Easter on Sunday, March 31 with a unique, festive brunch or Easter dinner. The menu will feature Thai BBQ Sirloin Beef, Caribbean Roasted Chicken and Penne Al Forno,. In addition, the cruise will offer interactive emcee entertainment, treats for children and a guest appearance from the Easter bunny. Brunch cruise: Board: 12 p.m., Cruise: 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Cost, starting at $54.90; Easter dinner cruise: Board: 3:30 p.m., Cruise: 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Starting at $69.90. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 866 273 2649 or at the Spirit of Chicago website.
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