Day Trip Decadence: Sunday's Brunch at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay
In the ways of Sunday brunch, there's the eggs benedict tier (to be satisfied at Zazie, Foreign Cinema and Mission Beach Cafe in the city) and then there's the caviar, champagne and oyster tier. If you're really gonna go for the latter, possibly the best place to do it in the Bay Area is at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. Sundays, they roll out the ultimate in decadence at Navio, their restaurant which overlooks the bluffs of their ocean-front property (the Ritz Half-Moon Bay is the only oceanside resort in the Bay). The brunch is essentially a buffet on elegant steroids, where you can create your own multi-course feast from assorted stations -- we're talking Gold Caviar Blinis, smoked sturgeon, chilled soups, cheese and charcuterie, a raw oyster bar, made-to-order eggs, dim sum, sushi, and other specialty dishes.
The brunch has two seatings -- 11 am and 1:30 pm -- and is $88 a person. Make a day of it and plan a hike at the nearby Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Reserve to assuage second and third helping guilt. It's 21 miles of groomed hiking trails through redwood groves, canyons and hilltops with sweeping views of the coast.