A dozen roses for mom are nice, but how about a dozen dining picks for Mother’s Day around South Florida? No mother should cook on her special day, no matter how delicious her food or how much she says she wants to be in the kitchen. That means a restaurant trip — and reservations — are in order.
Mother’s Day, celebrated this year on Sunday, May 13, is a grin-and-bear-it holiday for restaurant diners and staffs. Many top restaurants are already fully booked, particularly for brunch. It can get crowded and crazy. Relax, sip a cocktail and remember the hard work and sacrifices that moms make to deserve this day. Here are 12 spots in South Florida that should make any mother happy. Availability remained when I wrote this, and it is always advisable to make reservations at restaurants that accept them.
The Balcony, 1309 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 754-200-6344, TheBalconyLasOlas.com — If Mom likes the latest thing, this New Orleans-style eatery, which opened this month on Fort Lauderdale’s fashionable main shopping and dining drag, might be the spot for her. The Balcony does not yet accept reservations, so last-minute scramblers will be able to partake in the restaurant’s Sunday Jazz brunch on Mother’s Day (10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.) and dinner all night until 2 a.m. Brunch features a jazz band, $5 Bloody Marys and mimosas, and dishes such as coconut-crusted French toast, smoked gumbo, fried-green-tomato benedict and seafood platters.
Beach House Pompano, 270 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach, 954-607-6530, BeachHousePompano.com — This new arrival (March) from Ohio-based Brimstone Restaurant Group, near the redeveloped Pompano Beach pier, is the talk of the town for its stunning oceanfront views. The restaurant does not take reservations on weekends, and Mother’s Day is no exception, which is good news for procrastinators but could mean long waits. Appetizers and drinks are served on the rooftop, and the ground-level dining room has a seafood-focused menu.
Etaru, 111 S. Surf Road, Hallandale Beach, 954-271-3222, EtaruRestaurant.us — A gorgeous and secluded beachfront restaurant that is hidden behind the Hyde Resort, Etaru will offer a high-end Asian brunch featuring robatayaki-grilled items and unlimited pours of Whispering Angel wine. Limited availability later in the afternoon remains for the 12:30-4 p.m. brunch, which is priced at $125 per person, not including tax and tip.
Sea Watch on the Ocean, 6002 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-781-2200, SeaWatchOnTheOcean.com — This venerable seafood institution, nestled amid sand dunes on the northern end of Fort Lauderdale beach, has been spruced up after a reboot and is sure to impress. It will be open noon-9 p.m. on Mother’s Day with a special menu. Reservations are accepted, but larger parties (nine or higher) need to make arrangements with a manager.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
The Breakers, 1 S. County Road, Palm Beach, 1-877-724-3188, TheBreakers.com — President Trump and the seasonal socialites have cleared out, but you can live it up Palm-Beach style at the elegant Breakers. Some availability remains for Mother’s Day brunch in the Venetian Ballroom, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering Alaskan king crab legs, sushi, domestic caviar, pastas, fish, lamb chops, tenderloin, imported cheeses, pates and breakfast items. Cost is $150 for adults, $60 for children under 12, plus tax and tip.
Cafe Boulud, 301 Australian Blvd., Palm Beach, 561-655-6060, CafeBoulud.com/PalmBeach — Celebrated French chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant at the Brazilian Court Hotel will offer a springtime brunch buffet with French flavor from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mother’s Day, and availability remains throughout the day. Dishes will include smoked salmon benedict, swordfish Nicoise salad, brioche French toast with berry jam and sweet-tea-brined fried chicken. The cost is $105 for adults, $45 for children under 12, plus tax and tip.
Ouzo Bay, 201 Plaza Real at Mizner Park, Boca Raton, 561-757-0082, OuzoBay.com — This upscale Greek restaurant will put a Mediterranean spin on Mother’s Day brunch (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) and dinner (4-10 p.m.). Mothers can purchase a mimosa for a penny with a brunch entree. Options will include baked eggs saganaki with tomato sauce and crispy pita, or salmon gravlax with dill hollandaise.
32 East, 32 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, 561-276-7868, 32East.com — This Mother’s Day will be bittersweet ,because it also is closing night after 22 years for one of South Florida’s top restaurants. Owner Butch Johnson says limited availability remains for the final night of service (5-10 p.m.), but that he’ll “always try to squeeze in” a table for longtime customers who want to bid adieu, or first-timers who want to experience the restaurant’s top-notch food, wine and service. The space will soon be converted to a Delray Beach outpost of Louie Bossi’s Ristorante.
Joe’s Stone Crab, 11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-673-0365, JoesStoneCrab.com — This 100-plus-year-old institution in South Beach does not take reservations, and the line starts forming before its customary noon opening for Mother's Day. Is the classic cracked stone crab, hash browns, creamed spinach and Key lime pie worth the wait? I say it is, particularly for special occasions. And Mother’s Day, when Joe's serves from noon until 10 p.m., is a perfect time to go, because the wait for stone crabs will really be long after May 15. That is the date the harvesting season ends, whereupon fresh crabs will not be available again until Oct. 15.
Le Sirenuse, 9101 Collins Ave., Surfside, 786-482-2280, SirenuseMiami.com — An Italian brunch buffet featuring surprise items prepared by chef Antonio Mermolia is fully booked, but this elegant and beautiful dining room in the restored Surf Club at the Four Seasons resort still has availability for Mother’s Day dinner. Servers wearing jackets, bow ties and gloves bear silver trays with silver domes to transport diners to an experience that is a blend of formal European with a touch of playful Miami from the 1940s and 1950s, when the world’s elite (including Winston Churchill) would vacation here. A meal at Le Sirenuse is slightly less expensive than airfare to Italy, but Mom will surely remember it.
Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, 305-361-3818, TheRustyPelican.com — For those who haven’t taken a trip to Key Biscayne in a while, it may be time to check out the renovated Rusty Pelican, a classic, touristy spot with glorious views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami. Availability remains for a Mother’s Day brunch buffet (10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.), which will include eggs and omelets, carving station and seafood and raw bar items including sushi and stone crab. The cost is $89 for adults and $35 for children under 12, not including drinks, tax or tip.
Three, 50 NW 24th St., Miami, 305-748-4540, ThreeWynwood.com — Legendary chef Norman Van Aken returned to South Florida in late 2017 with this triple jewel of a culinary complex (dining room, rooftop bar, cooking school) in trendy and vibrant Wynwood. Three is a grown-up place where moms will feel at home, and Van Aken’s crew puts out plates that are as creative and exciting as ever. Three is open only for brunch on Sunday (11 a.m.-4 p.m.), and a Mother’s Day menu will feature raw tuna in two textures with soba noodles, beef tournados with wild morel mushrooms and frozen guava parfait with buttermilk sherbet.