The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as the saying goes. On Mother's Day, New York City's best chefs celebrate maternal influence, turning apples into delicate slaws and rich tartes tatins, and transforming a host of other foods, just like Mom does. The four restaurants below are smart spots to celebrate your own mom over brunch.
TELEPAN Chef Bill Telepan is offering a festive three-course lunch for $55 in his cozy Upper West Side town house space. "My mom cooked every night at home for our family of six, even though she worked," says Telepan, who grew up in New Jersey. Among the offerings for the special lunch is arctic char with candied beets and horseradish. "The char dish evokes the beets and horseradish I grew up eating," Telepan adds. "My mom served us so many vegetables, and the beets were always my favorite because they were so sweet."
WHERE 72 W. 69th St.
INFO 212-580-4300, telepan-ny.com
HEARTH Hearth chef Marco Canora likes Mother's Day enough to make this year's holiday a first: Never in its 10-year history has the restaurant done brunch, until now. And his inaugural run includes such a la carte options as baked eggs with Tuscan kale and pork sausage ($14) and pork blade steak with sunny- side-up eggs ($24). "On some level, every single food item on my menu has been influenced by my mom," says Canora, who grew up in the Hudson Valley. He singles out one of his all-purpose broths, calling it "a supersized version of the rich, complex and yet perfectly clear broth that my mom has made for all of the big holiday feasts."
WHERE 403 E. 12th St.
INFO 646-602-1300, restauranthearth.com
GOTHAM BAR AND GRILL Alfred Portale is one of the pioneer chefs who still exerts a big influence on the restaurant scene -- but he still looks to memories of Mom for inspiration. "My mother was always cooking simple but flavorful Italian food," says the Buffalo native. "As a child, my favorite job in the kitchen was helping her to shape her homemade ravioli." His $60 fixed-price luncheon includes, fittingly, some ravioli made with goat cheese, and surrounded by a springtime medley of morel mushrooms and fava beans.
WHERE 12 E. 12th St.
INFO 212-620-4020, gothambarandgrill.com
SEASONAL RESTAURANT & WEINBAR It isn't too hard to discern the guiding hands of Austrian mothers at Seasonal. The Vienna childhoods of chefs Eduard Frauneder and Wolfgang Ban are all over dishes like the surprising strawberry gazpacho and gussied-up spaetzle that are part of the special three-course fixed-price meal ($62) for this holiday. "The spaetzle is inspired by my mother," Frauneder says. "This is a dressed-up version I think she would enjoy, thanks to the addition of fresh lobster, local spring vegetables and nettles."
WHERE 132 W. 58th St.
INFO 212-957-5550, seasonalnyc.com