Big families have much to be thankful for. And, not surprisingly, much to contend with -- at least when it comes to finding a restaurant that can seat Mom and the whole gang on Mother's Day. Some requirements: A table that can hold parties larger than eight. An early meal, since the kids have school the next day. Also crucial: A menu offering good dollar value as well as appealing choices for the younger set.
All of these eateries welcome large groups. But, since your family may not be the only bunch going out for French toast, frittatas and fried calamari, make sure to reserve as far in advance as possible. -- JOAN REMINICK, email@example.com
JEWEL, Melville: A sprawling, contemporary showpiece serving New American cuisine.
THE MEAL: Three-course brunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Among first-course options are shrimp and veal meatballs and the soup "of the moment," followed by entree choices such as a wild mushroom omelet, lobster mac and cheese, and roasted salmon and steak frites. Comes with complimentary cocktail, basket of muffins, bagels and bread.
THE PRICE: Adults, $35; children younger than 12, $17.
Glittery Jewel stands out for size, setting and star chefs. It's the latest theatrical production under the byline of Long Island's roving restaurateur, Tom Schaudel. (Jan. 31, 2012)
JONATHAN'S RISTORANTE, Huntington: A well-appointed Italian favorite in downtown Huntington that can hold up to 10 at a table.
THE MEAL: Three-course fixed-price brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Appetizer choices include lentil soup and fried calamari, as well as baby artichokes alla Romana. To follow: French toast, shrimp scampi and pumpkin ravioli are among choices. End with brioche bread pudding, flourless chocolate cake or gelato.
THE PRICE: Adults $29 (or $36, which includes two mimosas or Bloody Marys); children younger than 10, $16.
The DeTolla family laughs over brunch at Jonathan's Ristorante in Huntington. (April 27, 2013)
GALLO, Patchogue: A colorful Colombian restaurant whose French doors are thrown open to the street in good weather. In honor of the occasion: flowers on every table.
THE MEAL Open from 11 a.m. An a la carte menu of reasonably priced Colombian specialties features the family-style option of whole chickens, at $10 each, plus some sides.
THE PRICE About $10 to $25 a person.
The Gallo Rotisserie Chicken Platter with a side of avocado is among the Mother's Day specials at Gallo in Patchogue. (July 26, 2012)
LA CASA CAFE, Northport: Recently remodeled Italian restaurant overlooking Crab Meadow Beach.
THE MEAL: Brunch buffet with seatings at 10 a.m. and noon. Among breakfast dishes are eggs Benedict, pancakes, French toast, sausage, bacon and scrambled eggs; there also will be a pasta, a fish and a beef dish, as well as assorted pastries and cakes. Included in the price is a Bloody Mary or mimosa for each adult.
THE PRICE: Adults, $25.95; children 12 and younger, $18.95.
La Casa Cafe in Northport serves Italian specialties.
STUDIO GRILLE, Selden: High ceilings and a modern, industrial look characterize this spacious New American restaurant hidden away in a shopping center.
THE MEAL: Three-course brunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Start with fresh fruit cocktail or vanilla yogurt, moving on to such choices as eggs Benedict, a steak and Brie sandwich, a Cobb salad or hanger steak. For dessert, crème brûlée or stuffed strawberries. Also included: A Bloody Mary or mimosa, coffee or tea, soft drinks.
THE PRICE: Adults, $27; children 12 and younger, $15
The dining room at Studio Grille in Selden has a urban, contemporary vibe. (Aug. 23, 2012)
THOM THOM, Wantagh: A tasteful contemporary spot with plenty of seating and a repertoire that covers New American and Asian territory.
THE MEAL: Brunch buffet, with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Hot chafing stations will hold such dishes as scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, smoked salmon and cream cheese frittata, filet mignon skewers and kung pao chicken. Carving stations feature roasted Black Angus New York strip and roasted turkey. Dessert platter and yogurt bar. Also included: a mimosa, sangria or Bloody Mary for adults.
THE PRICE: Adults, $29.95; children 6 to 12, $14.95.
Jae Bae, left, is the master sushi chef at the Thom Thom. (June 4, 2011)
CIAO BABY, Commack and Massapequa Park: Sprawling Rat Pack-themed dining spots known for outsized portions of robust Italian food.
THE MEAL: Brunch buffet, 10a.m. to 2 p.m. Carving station with honey-glazed ham; chafing dishes with macaroni and meatballs, stuffed rigatoni, chicken scarpariello, braised short ribs over mushroom risotto, various salads. Also scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, Cinnabon French toast, Belgian waffles. For dessert, Italian cookies and pastries. A kids' station, too. Bloody Marys and mimosas are $5.
THE PRICE: Adults, $30.95; kids, $15.50.
For Mother's Day, Ciao Baby restaurant in Commack is serving its blues berry salad, prepared with mixed field greens, granny smith apple, blueberries, goat cheese and candied walnuts. (Aug. 7, 2012)
SAGE BISTRO MODERNE, Woodbury (pictured), and APERITIF BISTRO LOUNGE WINE BAR, Rockville Centre: Both are stylish French-American bistros; the Rockville Centre spot recently expanded.
THE MEAL: Three-course fixed-price brunch served 11a.m. to 2 p.m. Begin with a mixed green salad or soup of the day followed by such options as a smoked salmon croissant, quiche Lorraine or eggs Benedict. Dessert from menu. Included is a Bloody Mary or mimosa.
THE PRICE: $29.95 adults; $13 kids.
Frank and Kathleen LaMacchia lunch at Aperitif, a French bistro in Rockville Centre that specializes in small dishes and wines. (Oct. 15, 2010)
A Sage Bistro Moderne specialty: escargots. (Oct. 17, 2009)
Filet mignon sliders are served with french fries and a dark and light beer flight at Aperitif, a French bistro in Rockville Centre that specializes in small dishes and wines. (Oct. 15, 2010)
TOAST & TAPAS NEIGHBORHOOD BISTRO, Syosset: A casual breakfast and lunch restaurant with several large tables.
THE MEAL: A three-course brunch served from 3 to 6 p.m. Soup or salad is followed by such entree choices as prime sirloin, free-range chicken and salmon paillard. Several dessert options. Comes with unlimited Bloody Marys and mimosas. Regular menu also offered.
THE PRICE: Adults, $30; separate children's menu, $9.
Toast & Tapas serves a pan-sauteed sweet potato cake topped with Canadian bacon, scrambled eggs and garnished with chive oil. (Dec. 20, 2012)
CHADWICK'S AMERICAN CHOP HOUSE & BAR: Warm brick and wood define three dining rooms; New American chophouse menu.
THE MEAL: Brunch buffet, 11a.m. to 2 p.m. Expect carving stations with a molasses-glazed turkey breast and a maple-lacquered ham. On the hot buffet: chicken scallopine, egg frittata and honey-mascarpone-stuffed cinnamon French toast, to name a few. Gelato and sorbet bar. $5 Bloody Marys, peach mimosas and raspberry Champagne cocktails.
THE PRICE: Adults, $34; children 5 to 12, $17; younger than 5 free (limit 2 free per table).
Organic egg fritata with sauteed spinach, roasted peppers and feta cheese is one of the specials at Chadwicks American Chop House and Bar in Rockville Centre for Mother's Day. (April 24, 2013)
MIM'S, Roslyn Heights and Syosset: Big, airy and spacious spots with a family vibe.
THE MEAL: Brunch buffet, seatings at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. There will be an omelet station as well as such dishes as chicken francaise, chilled Mediterranean shrimp salad, filet mignon tips au poivre, challah French toast, bagels with fresh preserves and assorted desserts. Included are coffee, tea, mimosas and Bloody Marys.
THE PRICE: Adults, $32.95; children under 12, $15.95.
Chilled Mediterranean shrimp salad with peppers, olives, seasonal spring greens and lemon olive oil at Mim's restaurant in Roslyn Heights is among the restaurant's specials for Mother's Day. (April 24, 2013)