Local restaurants offer lavish menus for Easter and regular Sunday meals

2012-03-28T00:00:00Z 2014-06-30T11:20:04Z Local restaurants offer lavish menus for Easter and regular Sunday mealsBy Eloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

Brunch is a favorite culinary pastime for people across the country.

Whether you've got a taste for gourmet items, down-home comfort food or casual recipes, food fans will find something to satisfy their appetites at a Sunday brunch.

In the region and throughout Chicagoland, diners crowd  restaurants and banquet halls to enjoy the nicety called brunch. And for Easter, on April 8, legions of food fans come out in even greater numbers to enjoy a lavish brunch with their families.

Some eateries offer brunch buffets with all the fixings while others highlight special brunch items off their menus. At many, there are even special activities and visits with the Easter Bunny.

It's said the word brunch, which is a combination of breakfast and lunch, was coined by author Guy Beringer in the late 1800s in England in his article "Brunch: A Plea."

In the article, Beringer said "Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week."

According to Stavros Strogilos, co-owner of Jelly Pancake House in Dyer and Merrillville, customers enjoy brunch for a number of reasons.

"It gives you the option of having the best of both worlds," Strogilos said. "It adds a little twist to normal meals."

At Jelly, customers can partake of brunch on Sundays and every day. Among items available off the menu are assorted egg dishes, pancakes, salads, skillets, sandwiches, wraps, rigatoni pasta, Black Angus meatloaf, crepes and more. Strogilos said the restaurant will be open on Easter.

"I happen to love brunch," said Joe Scalzo, owner of Ciao Bella Ristorante in Schererville. Scalzo said the restaurant will be having an eclectic Easter brunch buffet.

Offerings such as an omelet station, carving and pasta stations, artichoke and pesto encrusted salmon, stuffed chicken, sausage and peppers, chicken Vesuvio, assorted salads, fruits and desserts and many other dishes will star.

"Brunch is great. It's a leisure thing," Scalzo said, adding it offers flexibility in a meal.

For Thomas Lents, executive chef at Sixteen restaurant at Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, brunch is a good way to get people together.

"People are crazy for it," Lents said. "It's a great opportunity for people to come out as a family."

Lents will be cooking up special dishes for Easter brunch at Sixteen. A regular Sunday brunch menu is also offered at the restaurant every week.

Among items on Sixteen's menu will be herb slow-roasted prime rib; veal loin medallions; made-to order omelets and sushi; and seared halibut. The Easter Bunny, an egg hunt and other activities will also be featured.

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