It’s hard not to appreciate your mom. She’s been there since day one. She fed you, wiped random gook from your mouth, taught you right from wrong and politely pretended those god-awful Bob Ross paintings you did when you were 12 were true works of art. And let’s face it — you literally wouldn’t be here without her.
So, at the very least, it’s probably fair to say you owe this woman a meal once a year. And luckily, South Jersey is bursting with Mother’s Day dining options to choose from. Whether it’s brunch or dinner, high-end fancy or quirky and offbeat, we’ve got it. Here are our picks for some great spots to take Mom this Mother’s Day.
Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
Perhaps the most posh offering for Mother’s Day comes courtesy of Council Oak Steaks & Seafood at the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel Atlantic City. The $99 all-inclusive experience will be one of a kind as servers will lavish diners with a multi-course feast like if they were delivering a buffet brunch to your table. Servers will keep bringing course after course, and if you desire more, just ask.
Bottomless Bloody Marys, mimosas and bellinis are included in the price, and the array of food being doled out is just insane. Served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests will start with a bakery basket featuring blueberry crunch muffins, French croissants, chocolate walnut scones, cheesescake Danish and apple coffee cake from Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus DuBois, a former White House Pastry Chef.
Sliced fruits are followed by an array of smoked fish with petit bagels and all the trimmings. Then Executive Chef Quincy Logan and his team will impress with egg dishes made to order including lump crab eggs Benedict, omelets and deviled eggs; breakfast meats such as applewood-smoked bacon lardon, chicken-apple sausage and smoked ham; potatoes au gratin; french toast with custard casserole; roasted mushroom salad; shellfish including oysters and clams on the half shell, poached shrimp and jumbo lump crabmeat; entrees from the wood-fired grill include beef tenderloin, pesto-marinated lamb chops, roasted herb chicken breast; sides include grilled asparagus, eggplant with goat cheese, roasted tomatoes and spring onions; and DuBois’ sweet finale include dark chocolate and white chocolate-citrus dipping sauce for plunging cheesescake truffles, long stem strawberries, pineapple upside down cake, homemade marshmallow, Marzipan oranges, dried meringue kisses and a berry skewer.
There will also be ice carvings and roses for mom. Reservations are highly recommended by going to HardRockHotelAtlanticCity.com or Open Table.
A New York City legend transplanted to The Quarter at Tropicana Atlantic City, Carmine’s is famous for its family-style dining with big portions of mouth-watering Italian classics served in a classy, but never stuffy atmosphere. This year they will offer two Mother’s Day specials: a rack of lamb ($95) served with seasonal roasted vegetables in a red wine sauce; and the creamy and savory wild mushroom ravioli quatro formaggio ($37). For delivery and pick-up, Carmine’s is also offering a Mother’s Day to-go special which feeds five people and includes chicken parmigiana and penne vodka served with Caesar salad, garlic bread, and chocolate torte for $140. Tropicana Atlantic City is located at 2831 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to CarminesNYC.com.
Seaview, A Dolce Hotel
Gorgeous, classic and dripping with old school charm, Seaview offers an elegant prix-fixe brunch for mom from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in their grand main dining room. The five-course meal is $54.95 for adults and $29.95 for kids and starts with shrimp cocktail with lemons and cocktail sauce, fresh fruit and assorted mini muffins and danish. Second course consists of a spring leek and gruyere quiche with arugula and balsamic reduction. The next course includes a Mother’s Day salad with roasted beets, frisée and mache lettuce, plums, feta cheese and lemon-herb vinaigrette.
Entrées are served family style and include sliced petite filet with a caramelized pearl onion demi-glaze, citrus-brined pork loin with pickled vegetables, flounder roulades with lemon beurre blanc and chicken paillard with mushroom madeira sauce. For dessert, guests will enjoy assorted mini macaroons, mini cheesecakes, and chocolate truffles. Seaview is located at 401 S. New York Road in Galloway. Go to SeaviewDulcheHotel.com.
Atlantic City Country Club
There is something inherently relaxing about a country club, and Atlantic City Country Club certainly lives up to this reputation while simultaneously providing some of the tastiest cuisine around. This Mother’s Day they will offer both brunch and dinner buffets. Brunch will cost $35 for adults and $18 for kids 12 and under and will have two seatings: from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., or noon to 1 p.m., while dinner will run from 3 to 5 p.m. with a cost of $42 per adult and $18 for kids.
At brunch expect to encounter pastries, muffins, bagels, made-to-order omelets, a Belgian waffle station, a meat carving station with both herb-rubbed prime rib and oven-roasted turkey breast, and an array of entrees such as cinnamon-dusted french toast, cheese blintzes with fruit sauce and chicken with a basil blush sauce, among others.
The dinner buffet will feature the same carving stations as the brunch, as well as a pasta station and a long list of entrees such as roasted pork loin with rosemary gravy, mussels and clams in a lemon garlic herb broth, and baked macaroni and cheese. Assorted cakes will be served for dessert. Atlantic City Country Club is located at 1 Leo Fraser Drive in Northfield. Go to ACCountryClub.com.
If brunches at country clubs feel just a bit too traditional for you, Amada at Ocean Casino Resort has you covered. A gorgeous and top-tier restaurant from Iron Chef Jose Garces, Amada is easily one of the best choices for any meal, holiday or not. For Mother’s Day they are offering brunch which can be done a la carte or from their three-course, prix-fixe menu for $35. Prepare to be wowed by a wonderful selection of tapas and playfully inventive and fun dishes like sangria pancakes and crab benedict with chorizo which are sure to pair perfectly with whatever brunch cocktails you prefer. Ocean Casino Resort is located at 500 Boardwalk in Asbury Park. Go to TheOceanAC.com
The Flanders Hotel
An Ocean City landmark for nearly 100 years, The Flanders Hotel gives guests two forms of Mother’s Day dining just steps from the Boardwalk of our state’s best family resort. At 1 p.m. Saturday, May 8, they will hold a three-course Mother’s Day High Tea complete with scones, quiche, a variety of finger sandwiches and dessert.
And from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9, their Mother’s Day Buffet Brunch offers everything from french toast, bacon, sausage and made-to-order omelets to soups, salads, hot entrees and a carving station featuring roasted turkey with cranberry sauce and sage gravy and roasted strip loin of beef with a cabernet demi and horseradish cream for $39.95 per adult or $16.95 for kids ages 2 to 10. The Flanders Hotel is located at 719 E 11 Street, Ocean City. Go to TheFlandersHotel.com.
If your plan is for your Mother’s Day dining experience to appeal to the kids in the family as much as Mom herself, Rainforest Café is a winner. A fully immersive experience, this jungle-themed restaurant features audio-animatronics such as gorillas and giant elephants and although gimmicky and touristy, it’s hard not to have a good time here. From Friday to Sunday, May 7 through 9, Rainforest Café will offer a special three-course Mother’s Day menu for $35 per person. Guests can choose one soup or salad, entrée and dessert. The meal also comes with a glass or bottle of Chloe Rose. Rainforest Café is located at 2201 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to RainforestCafe.com.
A historic and beautiful space, Renault Winery is a go-to in South Jersey for special occasions like Mother’s Day. This year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9, they will offer an elegant brunch buffet inside their Chateau Ballroom that is sure to earn any mother’s seal of approval. Those dining will find an impressive spread, including various stations for things like omelets, eggs, pancakes and french toast, as well as various salads, charcuterie carving stations and entrees, such as braised lamb chop or mahi mahi. Renault Winery is located at 72 Bremen Ave. in Egg Harbor City. Go to RenaultWinery.com.
Mama gotta sweet tooth? Take her to Sugar Factory! This vivid and energetic restaurant inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is the epicenter for all things saccharine, and the dining experience, which should always end with a visit to the attached candy store, is one of the most fun you can have in Atlantic City. This year why not treat Mom to dinner and one of Sugar Factory’s exclusive Mother’s Day Boxes featuring an assortment of sweet favorites and lavender roses? Each box costs $39.99. Hard Rock is located at 1000 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to HardRockHotelAtlanticCity.com
A classic American style bar and restaurant, the Concord Café has been the “Cheers” of Avalon for more than 30 years, with a friendly everybody-knows-your-name vibe throughout. We can think of a lot of places to take Mom for Mother’s Day that might be perfectly serviceable, but we can’t think of any that will have Cap’n Crunch french toast on the menu besides the Concord Cafe. And frankly, we think that this childhood-channeling sugary cereal-based dish topped with bananas, whipped cream and an incredible homemade strawberry sauce is worth the trip all by itself. But if cartoon captains aren’t Mom’s thing, there are many other inventive and delicious options on Chef Justin Banabei’s menu, including smoked salmon avocado toast, Nutella waffles or the deep-fried breakfast burrito stuffed with scrambled eggs, ham, mozzarella cheese, rice and beans and topped with guacamole, pico de gallo and cilantro cream. Concord Café is located at 7800 Dune Drive in Avalon. Go to ConcordCafe.net.
Chelsea Five Gastropub
If breathtaking views of the ocean provided by floor-to-ceiling windows sound like Mom’s cup of tea, brunch at Chelsea Five Gastropub inside the Chelsea Tower at Tropicana Atlantic City may be the perfect call this Mother’s Day. At just $29 per person, it’s one of the best deals on our list, as this two-course meal features options like smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail, a fruit and yogurt parfait or a chicken Caesar salad for the first course, and a long list of entrees such as bananas foster french toast, Maine lobster Benedict and chicken and waffles for the second. The meal includes coffee, tea and juice, plus Bloody Marys and mimosas can be had for $6 each. Tropicana Atlantic City is located at 2831 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to Tropicana.net.