An International Easter Feast

An International Easter Feast

 

Pinch Chinese’s crispy lamb with yogurt cumin (Courtesy Pinch Chinese)

 

We love Easter in NYC (the Fifth Avenue Parade, those fabulous Easter hats), but we do recognize that it is not just a Big Apple holiday. With Easter being celebrated all over the world, I thought it would be fun to look at four restaurants, offering cuisines from other countries, to see what they are highlighting for this Easter Sunday, plus one classic American restaurant thrown in for good measure.

Pinch Chinese is a sleek, narrow, modern restaurant in SoHo, with a focus on pan-Chinese eats. This Easter, the restaurant offers up a crispy leg of lamb ($58 feeds up to four people) with cumin yogurt. A starter of soup dumplings (the restaurant is known for its dumplings) and chef Charlie Chen’s Yang Zhou fried rice (Yang Zhou is a city on the north bank of the Yangtze River) will complete the pic of a festive meal. For beverages, go with one of the restaurant inventive cocktails, like Madame Zheng’s Hidden Treasure (rum, blanche armagnac, lychee liqueur, ginger syrup, orange bitters), or a selection from the resto’s fine wine list.

At Rice & Gold, the hip, industrial-chic space in the 50 Bowery Hotel, enjoy Easter brunch, Mexicana style! Arroz y Oro will feature tableside guacamole, chilaquiles (fried tortillas with chicken and refried beans in salsa), churros (sugary fried dough) and more. If you have your kids with you, even better: From noon to 1 pm, there will be a real pop-up petting zoo, wth lambs, goats bunnies and other friendly animals for brunch guests!

I first experienced the Greek-inspired Merakia on a rainy Friday night, after going to an Uptown movie theater with a friend. I was immediately wowed by its plush, ornate ambience: A stunning, chain-link chandelier, theatrical lights forming arcs, and trees created an exciting and romantic vibe. Naturally, the main event on (Greek) Easter Sunday here would be lamb: what else? Kokoretsi is chopped lamb on a skewer wrapped in lamb casing, and well-paired with the margiritsa, a filling soup made from lamb innards. End the meal on a sweet note with tsoureki with chocolate, which is a traditional Easter braided sweet bread flavored with Greek spices and garnsished with red-dyed eggs.

Tribeca Grill is offering a sumptuous, three-course prix fixe brunch that includes a choice of sourdough French toast, Eggs Benedict with North Country ham, fettucine with butchers ragu, and other fine choices. A children’s two-course menu is also available. 

Finally, Italians and food go together like—well, Italians and Easter! Big family, lots of food (and a few hearty family arguments thrown in for good measure!) and a bustling, friendly atmosphere can all be had at Carmine’s. On the menu for an Easter feast is a roasted rack of lamb with potatoes and oven-roasted vegetables (for just $89.95, you can feed up to six). Enjoy the complimentary buttery brioche Easter egg bread as a starter, but don’t fill up: there is a lotta food coming! Momma mia!

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