Easter isn’t just a holiday for chocolate bunnies and egg hunts — it’s also a great day to dine out. Top restaurants are serving up special brunch and dinner menus that highlight fresh ingredients of the season. If you find yourself in San Francisco on March 31, make a reservation at one of the following establishments.
The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant offers an Easter brunch menu from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It’s not just any old brunch, though: Spruce executive chef Mark Sullivan and his team are whipping up a deliciously complex, three-course tasting menu. Start with the restaurant’s signature coffee cake and take your pick of the first and second courses. First-course choices include cauliflower soup with fennel-pollen crème fraîche or egg raviolo with ricotta and rapini, while second-course dishes include pain perdu (a more custard-like French toast) with maple-pecan butter or eggs Benedict with short ribs and béarnaise sauce. Complete your meal with white chocolate mousse with rhubarb and strawberries.
Because the owners are a married couple, the upscale-yet-cozy dining room of this restaurant feels a lot like a relative’s house. Chef Jeff Banker is in charge of the kitchen, while his wife, Lori Baker, is behind the restaurant’s memorable pastries. Join the brunch fun on Easter Sunday for eggs baked in a cast-iron skillet with chickpea stew, baby artichokes and feta or devour buttermilk biscuits with red-eye sausage gravy. Finish with one of the eatery’s famous sticky or cinnamon buns. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and the adjoining bakery is open until 5 p.m.
For a special Easter dinner, make a reservation at the Marina District’s beloved Italian restaurant A16. Chef Christopher Thompson is celebrating with a Sunday Farm Supper, a menu using locally raised products with Southern Italian flair — Sonoma County Poultry’s popular liberty duck is one of the highlights. Jim Reichardt, a fourth-generation farmer and the founder of Sonoma County Poultry, will be on hand to discuss his techniques and ingredients with guests. A16 is open for dinner from 4 to 9 p.m.
Chef Michael Rotondo will serve a market-driven, three-course tasting featuring sustainable meat, poultry and seafood options. To start, select from a variety of amuse-bouches, including deviled eggs and smoked salmon tartlets. Offerings on the starter and entrée courses are seasonal and scrumptious: quail with morel mushrooms and green garlic; spring lamb with English pea gremolata; and steamed halibut with grilled asparagus and oyster hollandaise, to name a few. The Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant’s menu will be available from noon to 8 p.m.
Photos courtesy of Parallel 37, A16, Spruce and Baker and Banker