Mother’s Day is this Sunday (May 13), people, and the last thing you want to do is end up at a drugstore finding a last-minute gift. Now is the time to figure out where you’re going to take Mom for a memorable meal.
Here are a few options to show her you care over a delicious dinner or brunch.
Ma gets her pick of gyozas (pork or chili-shrimp teppan or lettuce-wrapped crispy-chicken taco) as just one part of the celebratory dinner ($60 for two) at Gyoza Bar (622 West Pender Street). The meal also includes a “bao board” with maple-garlic chicken or soy-garlic tenderloin-beef skewers, Korean spiced pork rib, or miso-baked “scallop dynamite” and more. For dessert—drum roll, please—a platter with mochi ice cream (frozen treats consisting of ice cream wrapped in various flavours of rice dough) and green-tea cheesecake.
At Minami (1118 Mainland Street), the Mother’s Day Premium Zen lunch ($45) features eight seasonal kobachi (“small bowl”) items, such as Fraser Valley miso-dongpo (sweet, soy-braised) pork belly with togarashi chicharron (spice blend), and miso-sakekasu (sake lees) king salmon with marinated Japanese eggplant, as well as aburi (flame-seared) sushi and green-tea opera cake for dessert. Dinner centres on chef Seigo Nakamura’s premium sashimi platter ($40 per person).
You can’t go wrong with Italian food. Be one of the first in town to visit the newly opened Sopra Sotto Pizzeria (1510 Commercial Drive) in the heart of Little Italy. Choose from tagliatelle with truffle, sausage, and mixed mushrooms (it sounds so much more divine in Italian: “tagliatelle con funghi, salsiccia, e tartuffo”) or penne with prawns and zucchini as part of a three-course meal ($35) that ends with tiramisu or torta della nonna (lemon custard with almonds and pine nuts in shortbread crust).
Cibo Trattoria (900 Seymour Street) is offering its regular menu for brunch and dinner as well as an evening four-course prix fixe ($65). For the latter, pick a primi: prosciutto-and-mascarpone ravioli made with beet dough and served with nettle-and-almond pesto and Parmesan fondue (yes, please) or preserved-lemon tagliatelle with dried tomato, arugula, chili, garlic, and olive oil. Secondi choices are bison tenderloin with braised kale, crispy-roasted mushroom polenta with asparagus salad, and pan-seared halibut with spring-pea risotto.
The Pie’s The Limit
There’s nothing wrong with pizza for Mother’s Day, given the quality of pies you can find in Vancouver. The tiny, cozy Corduroy Pie Company (758 West 16th Avenue) nails it with crazy-good combos like bacon and Brussels sprouts with capers and roasted onions or cured pork, roasted butternut squash, and parsley-walnut pesto with parmesan and goat cheese. (Plus, beer on tap).
Mom really gets a break over dinner at Rocky Mountain Flatbread (4186 Main Street and 1876 West 1st Avenue): the kids get to go off and make their own pies, rolling the dough and all, so she can sip wine and have an actual conversation with her partner. That’s from 5 to 7 p.m.; the rest of the day, she gets a free, warm double-chocolate brownie with her meal.
If you’re willing and able to splurge, upscale dining is the ultimate way to spoil the woman who rules. Brunch and dinner both come in extravagant East-meets-West buffet form at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (845 Burrard Street) in the Sutton Place Hotel ($80 for adults, $35 for kids). Look for mimosa trolley service and seafood selections such as smoked steelhead trout and albacore tataki during the day; evening options include stations with carved prime striploin, roasted leg of lamb, and porchetta, as well as others serving up clam chowder, West Coast paella, and smoked sablefish.
At the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, YEW Seafood + Bar (791 West Georgia Street) sets up several wow-calibre carving stations for its Mother’s Day brunch ($99 for adults, $50 for children aged six to 12, $25 for those under five): beef Wellington, salt-baked salmon, porchetta with fennel slaw, and chorizo-and–B.C. clam pasta. Then there are raw-seafood and oyster bars, prawn hash, and cheese and charcuterie boards with honeycomb, house-made pickles, Mediterranean olives, pecan bread, and more, all alongside traditional dishes like salmon Benny and French toast.
Retro desserts include Grandma’s old-fashioned chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake, caramelized apple pie, trifle, pecan-caramel tart, and bananas Foster with house-made ice creams.
There’s an unwritten rule about dining out: never order chicken, since it’s so easy to prepare at home yourself. There are always exceptions.
Juke Fried Chicken (182 Keefer Street) is brunching it up all weekend with its signature southern-style fried chicken and waffles—two pieces of each—along with mimosas and a prettily packaged take-home bottle of Juke hot sauce ($27).
At H2 Rotisserie and Bar (1601 Bayshore Drive) at the Westin Bayshore Hotel, a whole Maple Hill Farms rotisserie chicken (free-range and with no hormones or antibiotics) is served family-style with pan gravy and artisanal challah buns along with a choice of sides, like panko-crusted onion rings or roasted Brussels sprouts ($42). (H2 is also serving brunch, with rotisserie-chicken and prime-rib carveries, build-your-own-Buddha bowls, crepe and chocolate-fondue stations, a tableside mimosa cart, and more; $70 for adults, $25 for children five to 11, and free for little ones.)
If you’re hosting your chicken-loving mama for a family dinner at home, pick up at whole bird ($16) at Granville Island’s L’Epicerie Rotisserie and Gourmet Shop. Just like the ones you see in so many Paris arrondissements, these tender standouts drip with flavour.