Treat the Parents

Above: Israeli Nachos: baked pita chips topped with feta, olives, tomato, cucumber, pickles and banana peppers. – Photograph by Gus Cantavero

It’s easy to make your parents happy. When they are celebrated, they just want to be with family and feel a little special. Flowers always work, but how about a great meal? And now that’s it’s finally warm, you can splurge at so many locations that have outdoor seating. Just make sure to check the restaurant’s websites and their social media for Mother’s and Father’s Day specials, and reserve early. Here are our recommendations from the menus.

If Mom’s not eating carbs and she loves a good Bloody Mary, go to…

Mom can be an armchair chef at this bright, contemporary and sophisticated restaurant on Bedford Street. She can start with the Colossal Shrimp Cocktail, four big beauties over ice. Lettuce wraps, seared swordfish, slaw and chopped peanuts and ginger sauce will make the rest of the family happy. The signature Naked Fish lets Mom choose the type of fish, cooking method, sauce and sides. We recommend the George’s Bank Scallops, pan-seared with mango-avocado salsa and haricots verts. Bloody Marys are a specialty here. With six on the menu, she can choose from the classic Original Bloody to the creative Pineapple Habanero.

If Dad loves steak, live jazz and fantastic water views, go to…

There’s affluence at Prime, which overlooks a harbor filled with recreational boats. The menu is high-end, with contemporary surf and turf. So why not start with sushi? The Green Lotus is an avocado-wrapped present, which reveals layers of spicy tuna, lump crab and Asian pear. The star of the menu is the porterhouse steak, dry-aged for twenty-one days, seared and cooked to Dad’s liking. He can have a side of Bernaise sauce, spinach gratin and whipped potatoes. The wine list features Californian and European vintages, and the staff can help him choose the right Cab. And since you’re splurging, why not have the French toast for dessert?

A rack of St. Louis ribs with a side of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que fries makes any Mother’s Day special. – Photograph by Andrew Sullivan

If Mom loves sharing barbecue in a kid-friendly setting with free parking, go to…

Also in Harbor Point, this fabled outlet is cavernous, relaxed and welcoming, where the whole brood can dig into a rack of St. Louis ribs that is slow-smoked and lightly glazed. Then, everyone’s got a decision to make: the Big Ass Pork plate, pork shoulder with cracklings and sides, or the Deluxe Brisket Plate. Additional sides you must share are the mac ‘n’ cheese, simmered greens with smoked turkey and cornbread. Bonus: Outdoor-patio seating is dog-friendly.

If Dad’s a beer geek, go to…

The beer list here is deep, evolving and curated to present the best in local, regional, American and international brews. Adding buzz to this contemporary American tavern is a menu that takes a craft approach to comfort food, using local, seasonal ingredients in dishes with global influences. In June, Dad can sip a light, crisp saison, choosing from local, regional or classic Belgian. Saisons, with their notes of citrus and spice, pair well with a star of Cask’s Saturday and Sunday buffet, the Breakfast Burger, a house-blend of short ribs, brisket and sirloin, grilled, topped with a sharp cheddar, smoked bacon, onion jam and a fried egg and avocado, all on an English muffin. Say no more. Dad’s in.

If Mom has a sweet tooth and wants to indulge it, go to…

New to Harbor Point, this outlet of the venerable Patisserie Salzburg of Rye, specializes in European-style tortes and tarts, multilayered wonders of light cakes, airy mousses, fresh fruit, whipped cream, jams and gelées. But this being May, when strawberries are in season, try the strawberry mousse torte, layers of moist vanilla cake, light strawberry mousse and strawberry gelée. If she loves chocolate, try the chocolate mocha torte, layers of deep-cocoa cake, mocha mousse and raspberry jam. There’s only thirty seats inside, and an outside patio, but you can take your cake across the street to the boardwalk and have a picnic. Patisserie Salzburg also serves European and Mediterranean dishes for lunch.

If Dad says he doesn’t want a fuss, and is craving a vegetarian feast, go to…

There’s no reason to miss meat at this cheerful, friendly Mediterranean spot in Bulls Head Plaza. It’s on the menu in kabobs and shawarma. Yet diner’s eyes are caught by fresh, bright, healthy dishes like Greek, Morrocan or Israeli salads, Israeli Nachos with a yogurt dipping sauce and vegetarian “chopped liver,” black-eyed peas, walnuts and hard-boiled eggs, showered with caramelized onions on crisp herbed pita triangles. Even hummus gets a special treatment here, served with pine nuts and other toppings. Desserts are worth saving room for. Chef Judy Roll specializes in American cakes, cookies and bars, including lemon bars, and chocolate devil’s food. The rich, creamy, sesame halvah ice cream is a specialty.

Peter Chang’s specialty Peking Duck is served with light pancakes, vegetables and sauces. – Photograph by Kyle Norton

If Mom wants to lounge comfortably and feast on Peking Duck, go to…

Since opening outside the mall last October, Peter Chang has earned a reputation for its Peking Duck, a ceremoniously presented platter of glistening, mahogany, crisp-skinned duck served with light, see-through pancakes, and bowls of vegetables and sauces. Waiters will show you how it’s done; they add slices of rich, roasted duck and crisp (de-fatted) skin to a bed of thin-sliced leeks and cucumbers, flavor them with contrasting sweet and savory sauces, and wrap it all up in the pancakes. Start the meal with a big puffy poori and dumplings for the table. The house-made wrappers are tender and light. Soup dumplings are served in a spoon of clear broth filled with ground pork. There are so many choices here, you may want to celebrate Dad here, too.

If Dad is a sports fan, along with the rest of the family, but no one can agree on what game to watch, go to…

Sports blossom in June: the Stanley Cup, NBA Finals, U.S. Golf Championship, NCAA softball, the Roland Garros French Open and this year, the Women’s FIFA World Cup. And for more than thirty years, Bobby V’s has been the city’s sports bar and restaurant. Since moving to larger digs on Atlantic Street, there’s a lot more seating at this busy, lively and loud ode to sports TV and baseball legend (and Stamford native) Bobby Valentine. TV screens, flashing colorful sports and action, are everywhere you look, and upstairs booths have private screens. The menu is all American bar food, wings, nachos and burgers. Pace yourselves: The portions are large and shareable.

Fortina’s Classic Margherita, with basil, mozzarella and Parmesian and signature charred crust.

If Mom or Dad don’t feel like going out, take the feast to them by picking up from…

Show up with a cooler full of cans from Half Full Brewery, including Bright Blonde pale ale and June seasonal Bee Englightened honey kolsch. Or pick up some growlers of fresh, seasonal beer at Lock City Brewing. Then send your sibling out for a Fortina Classic Margherita. Fortina also specializes in odes to New York pizzas—the San Gennaro topped with sweet sausage, peppers and onions, “The Original” Famous Rays with marinara, shredded mozzarella and oregano, and the Spicy Bobby Lupo with mozzarella, arabiatta sauce, chili honey, sesame, basil and ricotta.Add a pizzeria salad and you’re covered. A day you’ll aways remember.

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