A bygone country Christmas tradition from before the Depression (the Great one) was to eschew store-bought presents in favor of mothers and grandmothers making one of each kind of cake and pie possible from midwinter's stores of canned berries, dried apples and fresh eggs. Laid out on the front steps of the farmhouse to cool, this impossible bounty of sweets must have been a glimpse of Sunday-promised Heaven for impatiently waiting kids. While Nadoz can't offer you all of Heaven, it does offer a multi-tiered tower of gorgeously crafted European pastries of such variety and quantity that even the most imaginative barefoot kid on a bygone porch couldn't have seen it coming. While the fresh flower-crowned pinnacle of strawberry cream puffs, crème brûlée and caramel-dripping torte St. Honoré are the best reasons to save room for dessert at this brunch buffet, the equally excellent housemade pastries, fresh and unusual salads, and a half-dozen rich, well-considered savory dishes all show off the skills of the team at Steven Becker Fine Dining. Show up early, linger late over coffee and mimosas in the sun-streaked cafe just off the lobby of the Coronado Ballroom. Service is friendly and attentive without feeling like a helicopter rescue, and the atmosphere is elegant enough to treat your parents to something nice but warm enough to welcome jeans and sex hair (both on the same visit is not advised). We hear they'll also make omelets and waffles to order, but really, wouldn't you rather have a fifth dessert instead?
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