Easter Sunday dining: First Coast restaurants to offer special menus

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With Easter comes the promise of yet another beloved tradition – special meals prepared for the day.

Eateries all over the First Coast will be offering breakfast, brunch and dinner specials for the whole family, adding a coastal and contemporary twist to typical Sunday fare.

Vernon’s Restaurant at Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa

Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa’s annual Easter Brunch at Vernon’s will return April 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring a selection of starters, soups and salads, an eggs Benedict bar, carving and seafood stations, entrees and sides topped off with a dessert table. Offerings include artisanal breads, she crab soup, smoked beef brisket, lobster ravioli and many more options for $65 for adults and $24 for children ages 6-12. In addition to brunch, Vernon’s will host three special Easter activities – foam egg decorations and coloring, sand art pictures for $5 and hula hoops and relay races – at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. Reservations can be made by calling (904) 280-3405 or by visiting www.opentable.com/vernons-restaurant. This event is expected to sell out.

Azurea at One Ocean

Azurea at One Ocean will offer Easter brunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., respectively. The brunch menu is comprised of a Benedict bar, thick sliced Brioche French toast, crisp malted waffles, Atlantic Beach fish tacos and more. Meanwhile, dinner options include cast iron seared jumbo blue crab cake with apple cider braised collard greens, charred heirloom tomatoes and crisp smoked bacon, coriander dusted Hawaiian sea bass with Maine lobster, ripe mango-lime gastrique among several others. To make reservations or to see a full menu, visit www.opentable.com/r/azurea-at-one-ocean-atlantic-beach.

Candy Apple Café and Cocktails

Downtown Jacksonville’s Candy Apple Café and Cocktails will observe extended hours, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., for its Easter brunch. The menu will offer four specials in addition to the restaurant’s a la carte menu, including chargrilled cauliflower steak and eggs with house potatoes and chimichurri; country friend chicken biscuit and red eye gravy with apple cider bacon, pickles and a fried egg; huevos rancheros with sea island red peas, pork belly, goat cheese and green tomato chow chow; and cinnamon roll bread pudding with amaretto buttermilk glacé and salted caramel. Reservations can be made by calling (904) 353-9717 or visiting www.thecandyapplecafe.com/reservations. Reservations are strongly suggested.

Aqua Grill

Aqua Grill’s Easter celebration returns from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a special menu: selections include ruby red shrimp, crab and lobster cakes served with spinach and potatoes, fried green tomatoes Benedict, a shrimp BLT omelet, rum raisin glazed ham served with roasted rosemary yukons and green beans almandine and several other dinner- and brunch-style entrees and sides. The restaurant will also over offer breakfast specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. To make reservations or for the full menu, call (904) 285-3017.

NOLA MOCA

NOLA MOCA will offer a buffet spread Easter brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring fresh salads, pastries and hot sides in addition to seven gourmet entrees, including Korean-fried chicken and waffles, pork tamale Benedict with tomatillo hollandaise and the restaurant’s signature shrimp and grits at $25 for adults and $8 for children. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling (904) 224-0113.

Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant

The Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant will host an Easter Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu will consist of a chef carving of prime rib and fresh ham, roasted pork loin with rosemary port demi, snapper Mediterranean, seafood curry over basmati rice, eggs Benedict with a sweet chili hollandaise sauce, tandoori roasted chicken, an omelet station, home fries and Southern style grits, garlic mashed potatoes and Belgian waffles with bacon and sausage. A grilled vegetable presentation, antipasto platter, shrimp cocktail, whole salmon presentation, cold salad assortment and fruit and cheese presentation will also be available. For dessert, the restaurant will offer chocolate fondue, chocolate bourbon bread pudding and assorted desserts and pastries. Champagne, mimosas, draft beer and house wine are included. Adult reservations are $38.95 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Children’s reservations are $19.47. Children 5 and under are free. Call (904) 370-0025 to make reservations.

Photo courtesy of Aqua Grill

Easter Dining – Aqua Grill

Photos courtesy of Candy Apple Café and Cocktails

Candy Apple s-5

Candy Apple s-30

Candy Apple s-33

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