Ask a mom what she wants for Mother’s Day and chances are she’ll say something sweet and saccarine such as “Just your love” or “Draw me a pretty picture.”
But, in reality, many moms do want something: a day off. They want one day out of the year when they don’t have to be responsible for anyone else. When they don’t have to make decisions. One day when someone else does the cooking. Or, at the very least, they want someone else to make the reservations.
So, if the mom in your family fits this description, you have two choices: Start cooking or start dialing. If you’re cooking, more power to you. If, however, you’re dialing, the only question that remains is: Which restaurant should I call?
That all depends on mom.
If she’s into fancy food in a fancy place, try The Dining Room on the 12th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. Or if mom is into great views of the city, it’s tough to top The Signature Room at the 9th, the terrific restaurant at the John Hancock Center. Note that both restaurants are fairly pricey.
If mom is a traditionalist, you might choose to visit Mother’s Day Restaurant in North Riverside. (But, beware, calling for reservations will do you no good here. They don’t take ’em. Plan to wait. This is not a good option if mom is impatient.) For the gastronomically adventurous mom, there’s Pollo Campero, which serves Guatemalan fare at its northwest side location.
And, if she’s a fan of Marshall Field’s, the Walnut Room at the State Street store is the spot. By next Mother’s Day, the store will have been renamed Macy’s.
Bailey Restaurant & Bar
10 N. Cumberland Ave.
Park Ridge, (847) 698-1230
Good American and Southwestern entrees with generous side portions and desserts, all at reasonable prices. Great for a family get-together on Mother’s Day. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
The Dining Room
160 E. Pearson St., Chicago
For a day of royalty, treat mom to the fabulous brunch on the 12th floor. It includes a popular sushi station and huge dessert buffet as well as attentive service and an extensive wine collection. Elegant attire required. Jackets recommended. Reservations strongly recommended. Hours: Call for hours. Brunch: $87 per person.
Mother’s Day Restaurant
8815 W. Cermak Rd.
This venue packs a heavy crowd on its namesake holiday. Once you’re seated, order an appetizer—there could be a wait. Each mom gets a carnation. The homey restaurant can accommodate very large groups. No reservations. Hours: 6 a.m.-midnight.
At the Brickyard
2730 N. Narragansett Ave. Chicago
For the lighter budget, this is something new: tasty Guatemalan fast food. Fried chicken is the specialty. Make sure to try the Campero beans. There’s also a good selection of complimentary salsas. Hours: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Prairie Grass Café
601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook
This café prides itself on a menu that’s mostly organic. Its two chefs came from lengthy careers at the Ritz-Carlton kitchens. Order brunch or from the menu; the chef’s mom makes the popular pies. Free parking in the lot. Reservations accepted. Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sheraton Chicago Hotel
301 E. North Water St. Chicago
The café offers a breakfast buffet and bistro-style cuisine. Reservations recommended. Hours: Call for hours.
The Signature Room
at the 95th
John Hancock Center
875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Treat mom to some of the best views of the city. Choose the fabulous brunch earlier in the day or opt for contemporary dinner fare with twinkling night views. Call for reservations. Hours: Brunch, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner, 5-10 p.m. Brunch: $42 per adult, $20 per child.
Teibel’s Family Restaurant
U.S. Highway 30 and Highway 41
Mother’s Day is one of the busiest days for this family operation, which has been around since 1929. House specialties include fried chicken and boned and buttered lake perch. Free parking. First-come, first-served seating. Prepare for a long wait. Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Walnut Room
111 N. State St., Chicago
This is the last Mother’s Day you can take mom to the Walnut Room under the Marshall Field’s banner. Opened in 1907, it’s one of Chicago’s oldest restaurants and is located on the seventh floor of the grand department store. Sit by the 17-foot marble fountain and enjoy one of the traditional chicken pot pies for lunch or dinner. Kids’ menu available. Call for reservations. Hours: Brunch, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Restaurant open until 7 p.m.
151 N. Oak Park Ave.
This Oak Park bistro features another marvelous brunch, complete with fondue. On Sundays the restaurant opens up in back to accommodate more seating. Call for reservations. Hours: Brunch, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Restaurant open until 10 p.m.