It takes more than a run-of-the-mill reservation to celebrate Bay Area moms, who know their favorite farmers’ markets and fine-dining spots well. But just like the endless ways there are to be a wonderful mom, there’s no single path to wine and dine them. From an elegant brunch buffet and afternoon tea to steak and cocktails and Pinot on a sunny porch, here are a few distinct dining experiences to treat her like a queen this Mother’s Day.
For the mom who likes to feel fancy: Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar at the Fairmont San Francisco
At the Fairmont, the crown jewel atop Nob Hill, soignee moms can settle in between the columns in the extravagant lounge. They’ll feast like royalty at Laurel Court Restaurant & Bar’s Mother’s Day Celebration. Because what shows love and respect more than an elegant buffet, complete with buttery sauces and a carving station? Priced at $139 for adults and $89 for children—not including service charge and tax—the Fairmont experience offers mom and her squad two seating times to choose from.
For the mom who paints the town: Zingari Ristorante & Jazz Room
Jazzy mamas who enjoy sipping martinis to the tune of live piano should slide into Zingari, an intimate Italian destination just off Union Square. At its Live Music & Dinner experience, the elegant restaurant offers seating in the piano room, where the full dinner menu, including grandma-style pappardelle with short ribs and wild boar osso bucco, is available. Note that there is a $10 live music ticket.
For the mom who loves the classics: The Rotunda at Neiman Marcus San Francisco
One can never go wrong with the time-tested combo of shopping and tea. Mercifully, Neiman Marcus has reopened the Rotunda, where classy moms can sit in the spectacular glass dome overlooking Union Square. Sip on fresh brews in fine china and sample the decadent Afternoon Tea service ($45), served Thursday through Sunday, starring finger sandwiches, pastries, jams, and petite sweets. If mom’s feeling indulgent, add a glass of rosé to the spread for an additional $19. The Rotunda can accommodate special dietary restrictions, provided you call 24 hours ahead of your visit.
For the mom who is all about the food: Palmetto
For the mom who prefers a serious steak, Palmetto, a tropically accented cocktail bar in Uptown Oakland, is undoubtedly the place. On a powder blue banquette under the glow of a neon pink sign, she can dig into the Sunday Supper Family Meal—four full courses, which rotate from week to week, but generally include seasonal veggies, a meaty main, and a sweet kicker like chocolate banana pie.
For the mom who wants to be outside: St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Earthy mamas who crave fresh air, a hike, and fine wine will want to stop at this Sonoma stunner. As part of its Estate Pairing, St. Francis pours out four different wines, including award-winning Chardonnays and Pinots, and serves them with snacks inspired by the seasons, such as chipotle-rubbed prawns and tahini brownies. To that, add vineyard and mountain views, and it’s a postcard-perfect panorama mom won’t soon forget.