Side Orders: Restaurant recommendations for Mother's Day

Forks and plate

Mother's Day is the one day out of the year that this important woman in your life should be able to take a break from the kitchen and let you serve her. And while every mother loves breakfast in bed, a nice lunch or dinner out should also be on this special day's menu.

Here are a few suggestions on places to take mom out and celebrate her day in the Chattanooga area. Wherever you take Mom this Mother's Day, May 12, don't disappoint and wait till the last minute to make reservations. To get the best seats and the best time of day, whether it be lunch or dinner, call early.

photo Anne Braly

» The Read House: 107 W. M.L. King Blvd. The grand Silver Ballroom will be the setting for the first Mother's Day buffet to be held since the historic hotel's reopening last fall. The extensive menu will include a number of salads; a carving station with oven-roasted turkey and prime rib; entrees, such as Read House fried chicken, rosemary-crusted pork loin and pan-seared salmon; lots of side dishes; a cold seafood station swimming with jumbo shrimp and crab claws; breakfast pastries; eggs and omelets prepared to order; assorted cheeses; and desserts to satisfy Mom's sweet tooth, such as bread pudding with caramel sauce. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Price: $43 per person. Reservations: 423-266-4121.

» Back Inn Cafe: 412 E. Second St. The cafe on the bluff overlooking the Tennessee River will serve an array of a la carte items from its new spring menu, with entrees ranging in price from $17 to $36, along with seasonally inspired entrees created by chef Regina Johnson. Weather permitting, you can dine on the patio. Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Information: 423-265-5033, ext. 4.

» Easy Bistro & Bar: 203 Broad St. Sit under the magnificent ceiling and enjoy brunch at Easy. And on Mother's Day, in addition to its usual brunch offerings - shrimp and grits; a bacon omelet; steak and eggs; and other scrumptious items - there will be house-made saffron gnocchetti pasta with lobster-saffron cream and pickled ramps ($23) and tuna tartare with citrus emulsion and caviar ($16). Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Reservations: 423-266-1121 or

» Bald Headed Bistro: 201 Keith St., Cleveland. Sunday brunch at Bald Headed Bistro is a fairly new offering, so on Mom's Day, it will be packed. But along with the regular brunch, a couple of new items will be added: smoked prime rib with au jus and horseradish sauce ($24) and lobster Benedict with hollandaise sauce on a biscuit with poached eggs, tarragon and asparagus ($21). Hours: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Reservations: 423-472-6000.

» Acropolis Grill: 2213 Hamilton Place Blvd. Known for its many delicious Greek specialties, Acropolis expands its menu on Mother's Day. This year, it will include fried green tomatoes topped with prosciutto ham and herbed goat cheese ($9); pan-fried pork chops with Riverview Farm grits ($17); pan-seared sea bass with fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus ($23); Springer Mountain chicken over roasted vegetable orzo ($15) and Black Angus flank steak served over red potato gratin and steamed broccolini ($18). Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Reservations: 423-899-5341.

» The Chattanoogan: 1201 Broad St. Mother's Day at The Chattanoogan will be a delicious affair starting with a tremendous salad bar offering seafood selections, breads, vegetables and traditional salad fixings before moving on to the main dishes, such as quiche, eggs Benedict, pan-seared salmon, an omelet station and a carving station with pepper-crusted beef tenderloin. The finale is the dessert table filled with sweets to tempt Mom's palate, including chocolate mousse tarts, Andes mint cheesecakes and strawberry shortcake. Price: $39 adults, $19 ages 5-12, free for children under 5. Reservations: 423-424-3700.

» Bonefish Grill: 2115 Gunbarrel Road. Bonefish will be offering its popular brunch on Mother's Day, which includes endless hand-crafted bellinis ($11.50), mimosas ($11.50), Bloody Marys ($13.90) or blackberry sangria ($11.50), beginning at 10 a.m. Dishes include Crab Cake Rancheros ($12.90); avocado toast ($8.90); tuna steak and eggs ($13.90); Bang Bang Shrimp Benedict ($10.70); and creme brulee French toast ($11.50). Hours 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Reservations: 423-892-3175.

» Smokey Bones: 2225 Gunbarrel Road. This popular barbecue eatery will be putting a twist on its menu for Mother's Day with its Southern Brunch that includes five courses ($20), starting with Southern buttermilk biscuits with honey butter, a choice of St. Louis or baby back ribs or Southern Eggs Meaty Skillet; a choice of a large Belgian waffle or a full skillet of cornbread; and finishing with a Waffle Sundae or warm fresh doughnuts. Guests can also sip on bourbon brunch cocktails, Bloody Marys and mimosas or champagne for an additional cost ($5 per glass, $15 bottomless). Every mother that dines on Mother's Day will receive a bounce-back coupon for $10 off $25 to come back in to dine. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Prices start at $20. Reservations: 423-893-7850.

» Cafe on the Corner: 826 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain. Mother's Day on the mountain will be a delicious affair with a special menu featuring lamb chops with sides ($20.95); eggs Benedict filet with roasted red pepper hollandaise and new potato hash ($15.95); and a plate of fried chicken with sides ($18.95) among other dishes. Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations: 423-825-5005.

» The Edwin Hotel: 102 Walnut St. Chattanooga's newest hotel overlooking the Tennessee River will host its first delicious Mother's Day buffet in its primary restaurant, Whitebird. In honor of this special day, the buffet will feature dishes from all of the chefs' mothers. In addition to myriad salad choices, there will be chef-carved lamb with okra-tomato stew from chef Khaled Albanna's mom; house-smoked turkey; crusted trout with Hoppin' John from chef Nick Goeller's mom; egg dishes; plenty of side dishes, such as pimento cheese grits and chef Kevin Korman and his mother's signature potato salad; assorted breads, including sausage bread from chef Jeremy Crow's mother; and a station filled with tempting desserts, such as chef Mitchell Stanford's mom's pumpkin roll. Hours: Price: $45 adults, $20 children. Reservations: 423-713-5900.

» The Westin: 801 Pine St. Mother's Day at The Westin will be a delicious affair with a buffet filled with something for all palates, from freshly baked pastries and salads, to main-course options including an omelet station, French toast, salmon, beef tenderloin and piccata Benedict - pan-seared chicken and spinach on an English muffin drizzled with caper hollandaise sauce. Desserts include cream brulee cheesecake and banana bread pudding. Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Price: $32 adults, $16 children 4-10, no charge for children under 4. Reservations: 423-803-5942.

» Cumberland Mountain State Park: 24 Office Drive, Crossville, Tennessee. If you want to take Mom on a nice Sunday drive, Cumberland Mountain State Park is serving a Mother's Day buffet at its Homestead Harvest Restaurant. The menu includes roast beef, turkey, ham and all the fixings, plus several varieties of dessert. Cost is $16.95 for adults, $8.95 children 6-12 (drink, tax and gratuity not included). Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. CDT. 931-484-7186.

The restaurant at Fall Creek Falls State Park has always been a popular destination for a Mother's Day outing and meal, but the inn and conference center remain closed for rebuild.


The 144th Kentucky Derby will run on Saturday, and millions will be sipping mint juleps made with Kentucky bourbon, but a new spirit may be making its way into some julep cups this year as Vermont-based Barr Hill introduces Tom Cat Gin, a gin aged for six months in American white-oak barrels to produce a liquor that marries the best qualities of gin and bourbon whiskey. It even looks like bourbon with its beautiful golden hue rather than clear as are other gins. Tom Cat is available locally at Vine & Barrel in Hixson. And here's how you make a gin mint julep. I love mint juleps, so was skeptical of tasting one with gin, but now have found a new way to make them.

Tom Cat Mint Julep

2 1/2 ounces Tom Cat Gin

1 ounce simple syrup

Fresh mint

Muddle fresh mint and simple syrup in the bottom of a julep cup. Add crushed ice, then pour the Tom Cat Gin over top, and stir. Garnish with fresh mint.

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