Celebrating Moms

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In the 19th century, Anna Jarvis convinced her West Philadelphia church to pick a Sunday and honor Moms. The idea caught on, and about a hundred years ago, Jarvis organized a rally for mother's downtown near City Hall.

The movement caught the attention of John Wanamaker, who convinced President Woodrow Wilson to proclaim a national observance. Today, most moms can count on a card, and maybe flowers, too. But one of the most popular ways to honor mom is with a day off...out of the kitchen.

That makes this Sunday one of the biggest dining-out days of the year.

Russet, the new farm-to-table B.Y.O.B. in Center City, plans brunch from 10:00am to 2:00pm, then dinner from 5:30 to 10:00pm.

It's the dream of owner/chefs Andrew and Kristin Wood. With toddler son Gus now part of the scene, mom Kristin won't be spending her Mothers Day "off". But she knows that's just the way the restaurant business goes, and Gus will be on hand to spend the day...or much of it anyway...with his family. And that's fine with the Woods.

While most restaurants downsize their menu for Mothers Day, Russet plans a slight expansion to make the occasion more festive.

Brunch will feature a selection of breakfast and lunch dishes. Dinner will add some premium items not usually part of the menu. Exact items will be chosen once the chefs see what their suppliers have to offer.

They not only patronize local farms and other purveyors, they also visit when they can...usually on Mondays when Russet is closed...to see exactly how what they buy goes together.

It's a concept popular in Europe and growing here. Flour, for example, comes from a Lebanon County mill that's more than 200 years old.

Russet is at 1521 Spruce Street, just steps from the Kimmel Center and blocks from Rittenhouse Square.

To view their menus or reserve a table, go to Russet, or phone 215-546-1521. They're open for Sunday brunch and nightly except Monday for dinner.

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