Mother’s Day 2016: Plan now, while you still have options

One thing all moms like? No, not kids! Food!

Moms are everywhere, and they’re like snowflakes–all different. They’re stepmoms, foster moms, soon-to-be-moms, mom-idols, and maternal authority figures. They’re keeping us on track and anticipating our needs and helping us learn how to be ourselves. And sometimes they’re none of those things! But no matter what kind of mom you’re celebrating this weekend, she probably eats food. As a mother, I can tell you, I positively love the stuff. So, if your Mom Unit is anything like me, hook her up with some dank food and she’ll be stoked.


Tired of the whole Planning Ahead thing? Spend quality time with your mom while waiting in line at places that seat on a first-come-first-served basis. That includes but is not limited to: Millie’s, Kuba Kuba, Kinsfolk, Secco, and The Black Sheep, any of which would happily supply you with a Waiting-in-Line Beverage while you stand around eye-balling those lucky sons-of-mothers already sitting at tables.


This year, you want to go classic. Don your finest brunchin’ duds and adventure hats for a Fancy Sunday Brunch Experience. You will most certainly need to reserve your table right meow if you haven’t already. Tons of places are booked solid and laughed at me when I called to confirm that yesterday. Amazingly, there are still a few reservations available at three special spots:

MAPLE & PINE is spending its first Mother’s Day in existence grandly with a three-course menu for $55 per person. The menu walks the line between brunch staples like quiche and eggs benedict and unexpected standouts like a lobster salad and a leg of lamb dish. Can’t make brunch happen? Come back at 5:00 PM and treat your mom to snacks and drinks on Quirk’s stunning rooftop. Watch the sun set and talk to her about when you were a little kid. I’m tearing up just thinking about it!

PIZZA TONIGHT bundled up a flight of floral-inspired mimosas and a gift-wrapped copy of 804ork, Vol. 2 for a steal at $30 per mom. That’s drinks AND a gift, or, as I like to call it, “two gifts!” Just add a pizza and a few of their wood-fired skillets to the table, and you’re all set with a very solid brunch situation.

METZGER has a few reservations remaining for brunch, at which time you can split a früstück brett for two–that’s a pretzel roll with a soft egg, some charcuterie, cheese, fruit, and mustard. Or if your preferred brunch time is already booked, consider treating your mom like the #YASSKWEEN she is with a Queen’s Plateau from Metzger’s Dinner menu. You’ll be staring down a tower of VA Oysters and clams, shrimp, caviar, scallop tartare, and several very cool accoutrements.


There are really two women who exude grace and sophistication: Audrey Hepburn and Your Mom. Bring them together for a morning of watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s over a big stack of Idle Hands pastries, an urn of Black Hand coffee, and a tub of MOM-osas served in RVA wine glasses, of course (or RI chmond-style in RVA pint glasses!) while streaming the classic film in your silkiest robes and fuzziest slippers. Costume jewelry optional but recommended.


Get up with the chickens and surprise your mom with one of two pre-fab breakfast-in-bed options, from Little House Green Grocery. The team at LHGG has packaged up two lovely breakfasts–a spring vegetable frittata or gooey chocolate chip pancakes–for easy assemblage that you can whip up before Mom’s finished dreaming of Tom Selleck or whomever…you know what, best to just not think about it too much. Before Mom wakes up.


If you can’t actually share a special meal with Mom on her day, at least equip her to enjoy some special meals without you. But there are so many cookbooks, you say! Which cookbooks, you ask! Chop Suey and the Fountain have some recommendations:

Chop Suey bookslinger Julie Glover suggests The Basque Book and warns that its first run in the store sold out quickly. “It’s a very loving, caring book about cooking,” Glover notes. She also recommends Tim Anderson’s Nanban: Japanese Soul Food for its attractive binding and unique approach to a concept southerners will recognize.

Is mom more of a drinker? Say no more. Help her find enlightenment with Zen & Tonic: Savory & Fresh Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker, and before you know it, she’ll be sipping extremely floral cocktails and advising you on the proper way to dry hibiscus leaves, but you won’t be able to complain about it because you’re the one who got her the book in the first place. And she’ll love you for it.

At Fountain Bookstore, owner Kelly Justice recommends a two-book combo combining Cara Mangini’s thorough and informative technique guide, The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
with The Love & Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking; a gorgeous, thoughtfully-organized vegetarian cookbook from the award-winning food blogger Jeanine Donofrio.

And, of course, at our online store, you can nab a copy of the oh-so-Richmond cookbook, 804ork Vol. 2: Back for Seconds.


It’s not all brunches. Lunch and dinner are also important Mother’s Day meals, and, with a little bit of planning in the days prior, you can set up a sweet, low-key Mother’s Day lunch or dinner picnic that comes together easily on the day of.

Grab a couple bottles of rosé from Barrel Thief, some pickles and chocolates from Stock Provisions, a couple wedges of cheese, some Olli salami, and a baguette from Ellwood Thompson’s. Now you need a charming picnic basket and blanket (sources: Yesterday’s Heroes, Blue Bones Vintage, The West End Antiques Mall) plus a small knife and cutting board, cups, napkins, and maybe plates if you’re the fancy type.

Voila: You’re ready to throw that blanket down and start picnicking without messing up a single kitchen because you’re just considerate like that. And Mom notices these things, believe me.

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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