Spring for Norman Love Confections’ pretty pastel pastries this April.; Courtesy Norman Love Confections

The Latest


Easter In

Chefs, caterers and specialty grocers have got you covered for a gourmet holiday spread at home during the COVID-19 quarantine.

One thing’s for sure: Easter along the Gulfshore will be a quiet affair. There will be no neighborhood egg hunts or buffets in grand ballrooms—just simple, small family gatherings. But if April’s most decadent feast day doesn’t feel quite the same without a deluxe brunch, honey-baked ham or a rack of garlic-crusted lamb, Collier and Lee restaurants and caterers are at the ready to make you a meal to remember. Just be sure to double check for when you need to place an order—and if it will be delivered or when you can pick it up. 

 

The granddaddy of specialty grocers, Fresh Market (think: crudité platters that feature heirloom baby carrots instead of pre-cut nubs) has locations in Naples and Bonita Springs. All are offering an extensive selection to build an entire table, from prime rib (pre-cooked or for you to season and roast) to a bottle of chardonnay and silken chocolate mousse pie. Orders can be done with the click of a mouse at freshmarket.com.

 

Ana Howe of Here’s How Catering is extending her weekly Secret Chef dinner menu to include a special Easter feast for four that will be announced the week of Easter (her team delivers for free in a 10-mile radius from their kitchen near Immokalee and Livingston or you can pick it up). A similar Passover feast, with matzo ball soup, brisket and roasted root vegetables, is available until April 10 for $50.

 

Another luxury caterer, Crave Culinaire by chef Brian Roland, has launched a full online portal with Crave 2 Go and Crave Pantry. In just a few seconds, you can order fully cooked individual or family meals any night of the week, and if you scroll all the way down, you can pick and choose an Easter or Passover feast—a garlic-herb-crusted rack of lamb with baby turnips and roasted fingerlings, anyone? If you’d prefer to cook at home (but want to avoid running to the store), Crave Pantry has you covered with everything from garbage bags and detergent to beef medallions and goat cheese logs.

 

For sweet endings that move beyond Cadbury, our local Norman Love Confections can’t be beat with a unique collection of chocolate eggs, basket and bunnies as well as their normal pastries, pies and cakes. To have the products shipped, orders need to be placed by April 8; otherwise, three retail stores are offering curbside pickup. (by the way, Crave 2 Go and Crave Pantry also carry Norman Love products.)

 

Local restaurants have also developed special Easter menus. Roy’s Restaurant in Bonita Springs is featuring a Pacific-inspired surf-and-turf combo. M Waterfront Grille has a three-course menu that can be customized for the size and preferences of your family. Chez Boët is cooking up a comforting French lamb stew as well as a Kurobuta ham (or any of their regular quiches would make for a lovely Easter breakfast), and Angelina’s Ristorante has Easter specials including a ham and sweet pea risotto and a rack of Colorado lamb with mint gremolata.

 

Lastly, several area restaurants are preparing family “bundles”—brunches or dinners that feed anywhere from two to six people—as part of their normal COVID-19 takeout menus. They’re great any day of the week, but would be an extra-special treat for a no-cook Easter feast. Among those offering this are: Veranda E, Campiello, The Rooster, Parmesan Pete’s and Bonefish Grill.