Easter Dining Across Cultures

Croque monsieur (Image: La Goulue)

One advantage to food lovers living in New York is that the possibilities for dining out cross so many cultural borders. That might be something to keep in mind if you are looking for a different take on your meal this Easter, which falls next Sunday (Apr. 4). Below are several options.

La Goulue, the Michelin-recognized French bistro on the Upper East Side, will be featuring a two-course prix fixe brunch centering on such staples as a croque monsieur, garnished with black truffle, and house-smoked salmon with capers, onion, and caviar cream. If Easter for you wouldn’t be Easter without spring lamb, the restaurant will satisfy that craving with its gigot d’agneau, served with the classic accompaniments: flageolet, garlic, and tomato confit. The brunch, priced at $56 a person, includes a complimentary selection of fresh baked croissants, chocolatine, lemon cakes, and pain au raisin. La Goulue, 29 E. 61st Street, (212) 988-8169″>212-988-8169.

Via Vai, in Astoria will be offering a $75 prix-fixe menu with an optional wine pairing at $30 a head. The four-course feed will open with a choice between baked eggs with porcini and Fontina or a fois gras torchon with dried figs and pistachios. On to the likes of pappardelle with lamb ragù, asparagus, and black truffles. Secondi include seared duck breast with hazelnut mashed potatoes, raspberry reduction, and blueberries. Easter dinner will be available from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Via Vai, 31-09 23rd Avenue, Astoria, 347-612-4334.

How is Easter celebrated in Spain? Find out for yourself by placing an Easter weekend three-course pickup order at Socarrat. The restaurant, which borrows its name from the ricey crust that forms on the bottom of a paella during baking, features a choice of lamb or seafood paella as a main course. Among the first courses you will find beignets stuffed with salt cod or roasted asparagus, jamon Iberico, and a poached egg. Conclude your Iberian Easter feast with either churros served with hot chocolate sauce or torrija — a carmelized milk-infused brioche, with poached pear and vanilla ice cream. The cost is $68 per person. Socarrat has three locations, Midtown East, Chelsea, and Nolita.

If it’s all Greek to you, celebrate Easter as the Greeks do by partaking of the Easter menu at Molyvos, where a four-course $75 spread opens with either “traditional Easter soup” — finished with egg and lemon — or taramosalata. Pan roasted red snapper, one of two main courses, is augmented by spiced butternut squash and wild mushroom and feta cream rice pilaf, the entirety graced by an Asyrtiko wine vinegar reduction. What the house whimsically calls as “Easter sundae” is a layered affair of baklava ice cream, caramel, walnuts, shredded sesame halva, and vanilla cream. Greek Easter eggs and the panettone-like tsoureki are found on each table. Molyvos, 871 Seventh Avenue (bet. 55th & 56th Sts), 212-582-7500.