You’ve likely never had a Bloody Mary like the one on the new brunch menu at Pellana Prime Steakhouse.
It starts with premium Belvedere Vodka in a house-made peppadew sriracha mix, spiked with Pellana’s special steak sauce—a complex blend of Worcestershire, a good amount of horseradish, and some secret spices. All that is garnished with a half-rim of tajin-spiced salt, candied bacon, a colossal jumbo shrimp, a salty skewer holding a caper berry, a blue cheese–stuffed olive, and an herb cheese-stuffed peppadew pepper.
It’s a meal in itself, and a signal that the restaurant approaches the Bloody Mary, and in fact its entire brunch menu, with the same mixture of indulgence and seriousness that has garnered the steak house multiple BONS awards for General Excellence. “We stick to the same standards as our dinner service,” confirms Katie Kelly, general manager. Right down to the servers—the same crew that works evenings also takes on brunch duty.
But during the day, all that attention to detail comes at a price point that broadens the audience for the restaurant, taking it from a special occasion spot to an affordable weekly indulgence. “For some people, going to dinner at Pellana may be a little out of their price range,” Kelly says. “So, we want to offer opportunities for people to come in, have a great meal, experience our atmosphere, and love our brand, but in in a different way, and maybe a more approachable way.”
Pellana started offering lunch a few years ago, and that caught on, thanks in part to the restaurant’s Pellana Prime Burger, featuring high-quality prime ground beef, topped with aged cheddar, Great Hill bleu cheese, or au poivre with mushrooms and brandy cream. “Our burger is pretty unusual, because most are made from a blend of chuck meat,” Kelly says, adding that the burger is available dressed up for brunch: served on an English muffin and topped with an over-easy egg, cheddar, bacon, and avocado.
The burger isn’t the only thing that has gotten a breakfast-style makeover. The Bananas Foster French Toast is a reincarnation of a classic Pellana dessert, Kelly says. “It was really popular, and guests still ask for it,” she adds, noting that while the original featured caramelized bananas poured tableside over ice cream, now the warm topping is poured over challah bread French toast.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Pellana without steak—and guests are welcome to select anything from the dinner menu during brunch, from swordfish steak to New York Sirloin. But perhaps breakfast calls for a Filet Benedict— Pellana’s eight-ounce center-cut filet mignon, served over an English muffin with avocado, a soft poached egg, hollandaise sauce, and hashbrown potatoes.
About that Bloody Mary: If it feels like a bit much, the restaurant has a slate of other day-drinking options. “I feel like people are really trending toward no- and low-alcohol options, so we have a handful of lighter drinks that are great for people to sip on but not overly boozy,” Kelly says. “That way, you’re having a fun cocktail, but you can still be productive for the rest of your Saturday.”
Drinks like the Morning Buzz—cold-brew coffee with hazelnut and chocolate liqueurs, topped with Bailey’s whipped cream—and the Aperol Glitz. Served tableside, the Glitz features a diamond-shaped ice cube made of orange juice and Aperol, which arrives in a glass along with a split of Chandon Garden Spritz to pour over the cube. “As you’re pouring the sparkling wine in, the ice cube is slowly melting,” Kelly says. “It’s a pretty presentation.”
The hope is that the mix of festive beverages, attentive service, and of course well-crafted food will put Peabody and Pellana on the map for lazy weekend meals. “Brunch can be so much fun,” Kelly says, noting that she’s always seeing searches for a good brunch on social media. “People are always asking, ‘Where’s a good brunch? Where can we go? Where can we get a great Bloody Mary and food?’ We have all of those things. We really want to be a brunch destination.”
9 Sylvan St., Peabody, 978-531-4800, pellanasteakhouse.com