MARCO ISLAND — Mother’s Day – the chance to show mom your appreciation for all those home-cooked meals she put on the table when you were growing up. You can spend hours in the kitchen on Sunday, overcook the roast, gash your fingers, while making a tremendous mess – and don’t forget, even though you cooked, you can’t have her do the dishes. It’s Mother’s Day, after all.
Okay, by now you’re thinking, ‘maybe we should go out and eat.’ Excellent choice. The eateries of Marco Island have thought this through, and are preparing special meals just for you – and her, of course. A representative sampling follows.
Do call ahead for reservations, if the establishment accepts them. You are not the only one attempting to score points by taking your mother out … er, that should read, wanting to thank her for a lifetime of unconditional love on her special day.
Verdi’s – An American Bistro, has plans to make mom feel special, but they are not sharing all of them ahead of time.
“Every mother will receive $25 gift card for a future visit. That’s our gift to the mothers,” said reservations manager Robyn Mortellito. “And there’s a special extra surprise, but that’s a secret.” Verdi’s will open at 3 p.m. instead of their usual 6, with Mother’s Day specials prepared by Chef Martin once he receives both the ingredients and the inspiration. In addition to the specials and regular menu, the restaurant’s small plates and gluten-free menu will also be available.
Sale e Pepe, at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, wants to tempt mothers and their escorts with a Mother’s Day Brunch. Served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., it features oak-roasted fresh smoked salmon, chicken scaloppini, pasta al forno, and a carving station with garlic-stuffed roast leg of lamb and glazed ham. The “free range eggs” station offers omelets, frittatas, and scrambled eggs made to order. All this and more, including a mimosa, coffee and juice, costs $39, with children under 5 free and $19 for children 5 – 12. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with happy hour from 4:30 – 6.
CJ’s on the Bay is going the brunch route, with a breakfast plus lunch buffet served from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“We’re carving prime rib, and featuring our famous chocolate fountain,” said Chef Laura Owen. With a complimentary mimosa or bloody mary, the price is $24.99 for adults, and $12.99 for kids under 12.
For an elegant meal at a bargain price, head over to Capt. Brien’s Seafood and Raw Bar. The classic land/sea combo, surf ’n’ turf, lobster tail plus filet mignon, is yours for just $19.95, available from 11 a.m. to close. They are accepting large parties, they say, presumably referring to the size of the group, and not the individuals making up the group.
For a few dollars more, you can be across the street on the beach eating your lobster. Sandcastles Restaurant at the Hilton offers a 1.5 lb. Maine lobster, with grilled tenderloin tips and mushroom sauce, plus sides, for $42. You can have the same lobster at their Paradise Café for $36, with a switch from fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus to chive mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
And if you really want to score points, treat mom to a day of beauty at the Hilton’s spa.
How about a cruise for Mother’s Day? Take the queen of your life out on the Marco Island Princess, offering both a brunch cruise and a dinner cruise. The “sleep late, Mom!” brunch cruise sails from high noon to 2 p.m., with a $39.95 price tag that does not include a $3.50 service charge or a $5 port charge, but does include a tour of the waters around Marco.
The “we’ll do the dishes, Mom!” dinner cruise runs from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m., and throws in sunset along with tenderloin of beef and shrimp skewers, for a base charge of $53.95.
At the Marco Polo, owner/manager Tom Naifeh said they are offering their regular menu, with selected chef’s features, “but we always make mothers feel special.” For starters, they will pick you up in a limousine, free, from anywhere on the island.
Lisa Meurgue of Bistro Soleil is doing something special – for her. They’re closed for the day.
“I’m a mom. This is my special celebration,” she said. Who could argue with that?
Sale e Pepe 393-1600
Capt. Brien’s 389-6900
CJ’s on the Bay 389-4511
Sandcastles/Paradise Café 394-5000
Marco Island Princess 642-5415
Marco Polo 394-5777