The Biltmore’s Fontana has a New Approach to its Iconic Sunday Repast
The Premier Brunch at the Biltmore Hotel has been a premier event on Sundays in the Gables for years. Then came the coronavirus. Now, after taking a pandemic hiatus, Fontana at the Biltmore has brought back its renowned Sunday feast – albeit with a few adjustments. Whereas it used to be an all-you-can-eat-and-drink buffet for $90, something about standing in line amongst fellow diners and having a universal serving spoon doesn’t exactly scream “CDC guidelines.” So now Fontana offers an a-la-carte brunch menu. Or you can still pay $90 and get two “boards,” dessert, and bottomless mimosas or bellinis.
The boards are literally that, planks laden with food, and there are seven to choose from: Continental breakfast, breakfast, specialty, ceviche trio, caviar trio, from the garden and Scottish salmon. If you’re in the mood for breakfast food, get the continental breakfast, breakfast, or Scottish salmon board. The continental board comes with fruit, American coffee, juice and two out of four options: Chocolate chip banana bread, a pastry basket, oatmeal or a yogurt parfait. The breakfast board includes two eggs any style, waffles, chicken apple sausage links and roasted potatoes, which were probably our favorite part of the whole meal (all of the other dishes were amazing, we just have a deep passion for potatoes). The Scottish salmon board is served with tomatoes, red onions, capers, mini bagels and two different types of gourmet cream cheese – an ideal meal for any New York transplant.
If you have a later seating and want lunch food, there’s the specialty board, where you can choose between entrees like pork osso bucco, squid ink tagliolini and Spanish meatballs. Though we were already stuffed after working our way through two boards, coffee and countless mimosas, we couldn’t pass up the dessert board, which had sample sizes of all of our favorites: Key lime pie, pecan tartlet, tiramisu, fruit tart and chocolate cake with a peanut butter frosting. Though it won’t be buffet style till the virus passes, it’s still more food than you can eat. All of the boards are $30 to $40 and bottomless mimosas are $45, so the $90 two-board menu definitely gets you the most bang for your buck.
Since rolling out the a-la-carte menu in December, the brunch crowd has flocked back to the Biltmore, where they are doing over 200 covers every Sunday, according to Chef Carlos Aguilera (in non-Covid times, they did 500). Despite the changes, Fontana is once again the go-to brunch spot where you’ll definitely need a to-go box.