Turn to area restaurants for a special meal on Mother's Day

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

For bistros, cafes and neighborhood eateries, one of the busiest Sundays of the spring season is Mother's Day. 

The desire to take Mom out and show her a good time without anyone having to cook or clean up is likely what makes dining out such an attractive option for the holiday. But we're social distancing this year, and all of the dining rooms in Michigan will still be closed on May 10. 

Three Cats Cafe in Clawson is offering Mother's Day brunch and dinner with the option to add a gift from Leon & Lulu.

Like on Easter this year, area restaurants are trying to attract business with carryout feasts, brunch to go, meal kits and more, many with added on treats for Mom like flowers, sweets and bubbly. 

Mike Roddy of Ann Arbor's Paesano Restaurant and Wine Bar calls Mother's Day "the biggest restaurant day on the planet." Massive dining holidays like this are giving some businesses a boost while sales are dismal because it's carryout only for now. 

Roddy's Easter and Passover carryout service was streamlined in an assembly line style, and guests were given time slots for pickup. They were able to get 1,000 meals and 200 bottles of wine out the door, and actually saw an increase versus the regular Easter brunch buffet they would normally do. He's hoping for a similar boom on Mother's Day. 

"It was the most amazing thing ... we had never done anything like that before," he said of the massive carryout operation. "It worked." 

He said in order to serve as many guests as possible, they're offering a smaller menu with choice of entree: Roman Mother's stuffed chicken, sliced pork tenderloin, pan-friend crab cakes or pasta primavera. Paesano — which has also been able to feed area hospital workers thanks to donations from gernous customers — will serve some of their Italian favorites, too, plus soups, salads and desserts, including popular tiramisu. Add a bottle of Italian red or white wine to your call-ahead carryout order for $17. 

Tiramisu from Paesano in Ann Arbor.

On the east side, Wave's Chill & Grill in St. Clair Shores banks heavily on buffet meals for holidays like Mother's Day, Easter and Thanksgiving. This year they expect to do only 35-40% of the business they did on Mother's Day last year. 

"These two holidays were normally a really great kick start to the typical busier spring and summer seasons," said Waves' marketing director Mike Rouse. "But we continue to hammer through by being innovative and adjusting our business model ... our regular guests and the surrounding community have really stepped up to support us during this time and we are very appreciative of them."

For the holiday, the Nautical Mile hot spot is offering a fixed-price meal for $27.95 per person that aims to bring the variety of a buffet to the home table. The price includes a choice of two entrees, salad, dessert, rolls and sides of fruit, vegetable, potato and pasta. 

For busier days like May 10, many restaurants are taking orders days in advance, so now is the time to connect with Mom's favorite spot, if it is open. Here are some ideas from area restaurants to help spark the perfect plan.

Grey Ghost: Chefs Joe Giacomino and John Vermiglio are crafting a carryout brunch that feeds four for $110. Add on flowers or a mimosa kit. Meals will be available to order for curbside carryout on the website. 47 Watson, Detroit. greyghostdetroit.com

The Whitney: The brunch box to-go includes favorites from the mansion's award-winning Sunday brunch, including scones, breakfast meats, potatoes, frittata, pastry and more. Order for pickup with reheating instructions, or get it delivered on May 9 in Metro Detroit. $125-$150, feeds 3-4 people. 4421 Woodward, Detroit. Visit exploretock.com/thewhitney to order. 

Ivy Kitchen + Cocktails: Treat Mom to brunch from Ivy Kitchen + Cocktails, which offers curbside service or delivery via Uber Eats. The brunch menu has features like chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, steak and eggs and avocado toast. 9215 E. Jefferson, Detroit. (313) 332-0607 or ivykc.com.

Table No. 2: Mother's Day brunch with home style potato salad, crab and spinach artichoke dip, fried chicken, salmon, barbecue pork loin and many other sides and fixings for $27.95 per person in increments of four people. Pick up on May 10 until 6 p.m. 18925 Livernois, Detroit. tablenumber2.com

Andiamo: To-go meals are oven ready and come with reheating instructions. Mother's Day brunch is $28.95 per person or an Italian dinner is $45.95 (4 person minimum). Order by May 5 for pickup on May 9 or 10. Visit andiamoitalia.com for locations and menus. 

Three Cats Cafe: Pamper Mom with a three-course brunch or dinner from chef Matt Prentice featuring entree choices like a wild mushroom and gruyere souffle, Maryland Jonah crab cakes, cedar-planked salmon and hand-made tagliatelle. Three-course bunches run $18-$27 and dinners are $25-$38. Tack on a bottle of wine or a gift box from Leon & Lulu for your pick up or delivery order (Visit https://leonandlulu.com/categories/sendpkg.) 116 W. 14 Mile, Clawson. (248) 900-CATS or threecatscafe.com/athome.

Hazel, Ravines and Downtown: Does Mom love lobster? After being closed since restaurant dining rooms were ordered shut, this Birmingham favorite is back with lobster rolls freshly made or sold in kits to assemble at home when you're ready. 1 Peabody, Birmingham. Starting Friday, you can order online at HRD.Kitchen or call (248) 671-1714. 

Stage Deli: Start Mom's day off right with bagel, lox, cream cheese assortment and other toppings, plus berry granola parfait and banana bread. $49.95 brunch that serves four. Add fresh flower bouquet for $35. 6873 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield. Visit theStageDeli.com or call (248) 855-6622. 

Joe Muer Seafood Bloomfield Hills: Dinner packages can be ordered in four-person increments ($60 per person plus tax and gratuity) and include crab-stuffed Atlantic flounder, Scottish salmon filet with black truffle risotto, braised short ribs, shrimp cocktail, deviled crab balls, salad and dessert. Add on sparkling wine for $25, or choose from the wine list which is discounted 25%. Order by 5 p.m. May 7 for pick up 1-5 p.m. May 9. 39475 Woodward, Bloomfield Hills. (248) 792-9609. 

Waves Chill and Grill: Make a meal out of your choice of two salads, and three desserts, your pick of two entrees from a list of five, plus a load of included sides for $27.95 per person. Pick up noon-3 p.m. May 10. 24223 Jefferson, St. Clair Shores. (586) 773-3840 or waveschillgrill.com.

Stella's Black Dog Tavern: The Mother's Day menu here features lobster ravioli, prime rib, chicken picatta and glazed baked ham for two, plus salads and sides. Add on a bottle of house wine for $10. Deadline for orders is 5 p.m. May 6 and pick up is May 9 or 10. 860 Fralick, Plymouth. (734) 207-9656. 

Paesano Restaurant and Wine Bar: Specials for Mom as well as Italian favorites, plus wine and desserts. 3411 Washtenaw, Ann Arbor. View menu at paesanoannarbor.com and order well in advance by calling (734) 971-0484. 

Blake's Tasting Room: If Mom is a hard cider fan, a meal from Blake's may be the way to go. Their prime rib dinners for four come with sides, a pie and a growler of hard cider, beer or bottle of wine — plus a plant for mom — for $149.99. Get a bigger meal for up to six people for $259.99. Order in advance and pick up on May 10. 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada. (586) 784-9463 or blakefarms.com. 

Zehnder’s: This Frankenmuth favorite returns with carryout service this week and has big plans for Mother’s Day. Get a feast for $149 that includes 10 pieces of baked chicken, 3 pounds of sliced prime rib, loaf of Zehnder’s round white bread, a shaker of Zehnder’s chicken seasoning, a whole apple pie and sides by the quart including au gratin potatoes, roasted carrots, noodles, cabbage salad. Order by 5 p.m. May 7 and pick up 11 a.m-5 p.m. May 10. 1365 S. Main, Frankenmuth. (989) 652-0450. 

Bavarian Inn: Order a chicken and pork tenderloin feast with all the fixings for $99 (feeds four) or get individual chicken dinners for $13.99. Order by May 6 for pick up at the Castle Shop Bakery on May 10. 1 Covered Bridge Lane, Frankenmuth. (989) 652-9941.