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Looking For Elegant Mother's Day Brunch in North Jersey

I'm looking for an elegant Mother's Day brunch suitable for taking an elderly grandmother out. Price is no object; I'm primarily looking for a place that's really nice and will impress her with good food as well as a nice atmosphere. Food should be reasonably mainstream - granny doesn't do spicy - so no Indian, Thai, Mexican, etc. The location should be within roughly a half hour's drive from the intersection of 3, 46, and the Parkway in Clifton; as long as it's not past 287, it's probably okay.

I've looked at the web menu for the regular buffet Sunday brunch at the Terrace at the Hilton in Short Hills, and it sounds like just the sort of thing I'm looking for - anybody been? I also see that Amanda's in Hoboken has received awards as the best Sunday brunch in Jersey, and it has a nice menu too (a la carte) - again, anybody been? I know she's been numerous times to the Manor and the Highlawn Pavilion, so those might not be my first choice, but I'll be keeping them in mind. I'm open to additional suggestions, so feel free to mention any place else you think would be suitable.

Also, if there are any "gotchas" involved, please mention them. (For example, I know in some cities, Sunday brunch books up many months in advance.)

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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  1. I've been to the Short Hills Hilton for brunch ....it was a great experience. The food was terrific, lots of great entrees and wonderful desserts, very attentive service as well. But the Sundays that we were there were NOT Mother's Day....I can only hope that they do an equally fine job on that holiday. The Hilton has a buffet style brunch. Amanda's was not, but it is a top-notch restaurant in every way. I also heard that Lorena's in Maplewood has a terrific brunch....just off the Parkway. I wouldn't overlook the brunch at The Manor.....grandmas love The Manor. It's so sweet that you are taking her out for Mother's Day....grandmas are very special.

    1 Reply
    1. re: maryanne06

      Rod's in Morristown consistently gets positive reviews. Out of the 30 minute window, but two places that serve and families and older crowds are...Madeleine's Petit Paris in Northvale and Restaurant X in Congers.

      http://www.rodssteak.com/sundaybrunch...

      http://www.madeleinespetitparis.com/

      http://xaviars.com/restx/index.html

    2. I dont think I would take my grandmother to Amandas on mother's day, it is a GREAT restaurant but with parking and getting her in unless she is extremely spry I would not think it would be very comfortable on mothers day as it can be really tight in the townhouse there.

      A place that gets overlooked often is the restaurant VU at the Hyatt in Jersey City, easy to get to and you park right at teh bottom of teh escalator, no stairs to walk through teh lobby to an incredible view of Manhattan and the Hudson River, it will be crowded but certianly not a mad house, it will be special for grandma and the food is pretty good.

      1. Well, granny says she'd rather not travel too terribly far, and isn't too thrilled with Short Hills or Jersey City, both about half an hour away. So it looks like we'll probably end up at either Highlawn Pavilion or the Manor, unless someone has any additional suggestions...? Preferably within 15 minutes of 3/46/GSP, an area which would include Montclair, Clifton, the 46 end of Wayne, etc.

        Thanks again for all the help!

        1. +1 for Lorena's / Maplewood. Quite elegant, and it blows away past-their-prime places like Manor or Highland Pav.

          1. Here I go sounding like a broken record again, but Amanda's in Hoboken would be an excellent choice. The food is superb, the ambience will impress your grandmother and it is just about a half hour's drive "of 3, 46, and the Parkway in Clifton." There is a Mother's Day brunch or dinner, both with seatings at assigned times. I'm sure they are not all booked yet, but the sooner you book the better.

            http://www.amandasrestaurant.com/even...

            1 Reply
            1. re: ttoommyy

              Perhaps I wasn't clear. After discussing the choices with granny, she says she doesn't want to ride half an hour to brunch, so I'm looking for places that are significantly closer, hopefully within 15 minutes. The recommendations of Amanda's and Lorena's were good ones, except that they are both a bit too far now. (In fact, I LOVE the menu at Lorena's and hope to go there on my own, either on this visit or another one.)

              If we can't find a suitably impressive brunch close by, we might consider an early dinner instead.