Restaurant News

Ask the Editor: Does Boston Have Any Bottomless Brunches?

This Miami transplant is looking to indulge some upcoming Sunday.


Welcome to Ask the Editor, Boston magazine’s dining advice column. Need a restaurant recommendation? Ask a pro.


The Champagne tray at Committee

The Champagne tray at Committee is an indulgent brunch option. / Photo provided by Committee Ouzeri + Bar

Question:

Transplanted from Miami Beach last year. Sunday brunch is a lavish, all-you-can-eat experience in top restaurants in Miami. Some of my favorites include Zuma, Jaya, and Edge. Anything similar in Boston? Everything I find is a la carte.

—J.G.

Boston has indulgent brunch spreads aplenty, but when it comes to the bottomless cocktails that characterize the spots you mention (we’re reading between your lines, J.G.)—well, we hate to break it to you, but drink discounts of any kind are illegal in the state of Massachusetts. That’s why you haven’t found any endless-drink deals in Boston: our mimosa cups cannot runneth over.

Don’t give up on us yet. While brunch buffets are more common here for special occasions, such as on Mother’s Day and New Year’s Day, Henrietta’s Table, located at Harvard Square’s Charles Hotel, has been an all-you-can-eat stronghold since the mid-’90s. Selections change weekly, but the $55-per-head cost always includes something from the raw bar, a grilled vegetable station, bagels and smoked fish, a carved meat of the day, made-to-order omelettes and waffles, and more, plus bottomless soft drinks. (1 Bennett Street, Cambridge, 617-661-5005, henriettastable.com)

Cafe Fleuri at the Langham Hotel also dabbles in decadence; the Saturday Chocolate Bar has returned for its 30th season of all-you-can-eat desserts. The spread offers chocolate fountains, custom-mixed frozen treats, doughnuts, warm cookies, and more, all set to live music. (250 Franklin St., Boston, 617-451 1900, langhamhotels.com)

Other brunch favorites could satisfy your lavish cravings, despite a la carte menus. Chef Will Gilson’s seasonal cuisine at Puritan & Co. is bolstered by Bloody Mary pitchers and other group-friendly brunch drinks, plus an ever-changing display table laden with treats by pastry chef Bekah Cote. Order croissants, cider doughnuts, sticky buns, and more one-by-one, or choose four to fill a $12 basket. (1166 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-615-6195, puritancambridge.com)

Mimosa service—a choice of bubbles and juices—and classic cocktail carafes are Sunday traditions at Waypoint, where chef-owner Michael Scelfo and pastry chef Kenny Hoshino combine their powers to offer a shareable selection of raw bar items (including baller caviar service), pizzas, house-made bagels and cured fish, and baskets of doughnuts worth busting any diet for. (1030 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-864-2300, waypointharvard.com)

Perhaps the voguish atmosphere at Committee fits your fancy. Along with Champagne trays (a high-end bottle of bubbly served for groups with fresh juices, garnishes, and optional nips of liquor) and a selection of Greek-inspired brunch fare, this Seaport spot regularly hosts DJs to liven up daytime service. (50 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-737-5051, committeeboston.com)

In Boston, though, “lavish” frequently takes on a meaning defined more by our blue-blood Brahmin heritage than the red-hot glam of Miami. For a taste, check out the classic steakhouse Abe & Louie’s, where a traditional but quite tasty brunch menu—filet mignon Benedict, maple-banana French toast, and the like—is accompanied by a classic jazz trio. In the fall, the year-round event moves into the 20-year-old Back Bay institution’s upstairs dining room, a former speakeasy lounge that’s rumored to have hosted one of songstress Ella Fitzgerald’s final performances. (793 Boylston St., Boston, 617-536-6300, abeandlouies.com)

Despite our lack of bottomless brunches, Boston is a delicious breakfast town, and while we pay by the pint, we certainly hold our own when it comes to day-drinking. And here is something for you to keep an eye on: Zuma is opening a Boston outpost in 2019, at the under-construction Four Seasons Hotel and luxury residences at One Dalton St. While never-empty drinks will likely still be against the law, I have reached out to Zuma representatives to see what other features they plan to bring up north. Stay tuned.