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Best Over-the-Top Brunch 

Meritage at the Claremont

That its view through a row of grand windows is one of the East Bay's best — a surrealistically supersize panorama including palms, bridges, peaks, tennis courts, silver-blue bay, and shimmering metropolis — gives the Meritage top-brunch-spot status even before your first forkful of saffron-sauced salmon, Chioggia beets with goat cheese, sage-apple-chicken sausages, roasted-duck-and-Portobello-mushroom lo mein, sweet-pepper hash, crab siu mai, red-velvet cupcakes, quadruple-decker chocolate cake with a pistachio-fluff layer, and the dozens of other dishes served all-you-can-eat buffet-style. Soft piano music in a historic, lofty, Moorish-influenced space makes the limitless champagne taste even smoother and softens the blow of the $56-per-person price tag. The Meritage opened last November in the lush Claremont Resort, a local landmark since it opened in 1915. Executive chef Josh Thomsen, a Culinary Institute of America grad whose past gigs include Yountville's celebrated French Laundry, visits farmers' markets on Fridays and Saturdays to plan menus for his Sunday brunches.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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