Emu-nize yourself for Easter brunch

Lifestyle and LeisureEasterBrunchDining and DrinkingHolidaysCookingWicker Park

Does Easter morning usually find you out among the crowds, hunting for the perfect egg--er, eggs Benedict? This year, don't be caught without a clue. Hop over to one of these brunch spots, where you'll find some of the freshest plates in town.

Eggs-otic locale
Been waiting for a special occasion to dig into Deleece's new menu? Now you've got one. In addition to its regular menu--which features crowd-pleasers like steak and eggs with truffled hollandaise sauce ($13), and savory spinach and artichoke Benedict ($8)--the Southport standby is showing a bit of a wild streak. Look for emu eggs and other exotic surprises. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday. Reservations accepted.

Classic comfort
When your relatives hit town Thursday for the holiday weekend, hand them a map and point them straight to the Crowne Plaza Metro, but be sure to tell them you'll see them again Sunday morning. Dine, the West Loop hotel's comfort food spot, is cooking up an Easter feast ($29.95) big enough for the whole family. On the buffet: omelet and carving stations, French toast, pancakes and lots of seasonal fruit. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Reservations recommended.

Every which huevos
Too hard-core for hard-boiled? Logan Square's latest Latin sensation, Fonda del Mar, serves its eggs almost any way you like--other than boiled and dyed. Spicy specialties like huevos con chorizo and huevos a la Mexicana (both $7) are a good bet, but gastronomical globetrotters won't want to miss to the Yucatan-inspired Huevos Motulenos, a crispy tortilla topped with fried eggs and piled high with plantains, black beans, ham, peas and queso fresco ($8). 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Reservations accepted.

Wake and bake
Hashbrown lovin' hipsters, rejoice! Bin Wine Cafe isn't just for the late-night wine- and-cheese set. Early risers can indulge in items like crock-baked eggs with wild mushrooms, spinach, garlic cream and gruyere ($9). If this Wicker Park spinoff is too laid-back for your crew, try the more traditional holiday buffet ($36) at Bin 36's original River North location. The lineup includes made-to-order omelets, waffles, prime rib, honey-citrus glazed ham, artisanal cheeses and more. Bin Wine Cafe: 10 a.m.-2 pm. Sunday. Reservations accepted. Bin 36: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Reservations required.

South Side hospitality
It's an annual dilemma: Everyone's in town for Easter and craving home cooking, but your morning repertoire is limited to coffee and cold pizza. What's a host to do? Take them to Blu 47 for a high-end spread with down-home flavor. The Bronzeville restaurant and lounge is loading up the buffet ($29.95) with brunch basics--bacon, eggs and sausage aplenty--along with Southern delights like grits, gumbo and catfish with creole remoulade. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; last seating 4 p.m. Sunday. Reservations required.

Steak and eggs, hold the eggs
Traditional Easter fare just isn't your thing: Pastel eggs lost their thrill when you stopped believing in the bunny, and you just can't get excited about marshmallow cream. For you, Easter brunch has but one redeeming flavor: prime rib. You'll be right at home at River North's Brazzaz, and you won't you even have to spend your morning hanging around the carving station. The meat (all 16 cuts of it) comes to you, churrascaria-style. Of course, if you want to load up on sushi, wild mushroom risotto, or any of the 40 or so other accompaniments, you'll have hit to the salad bar ($39). 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday. Reservations recommended.

M. Kathleen Pratt is a metromix special contributor.

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