• WHAT: Grand Island Mansion Sunday brunch
• WHEN: Select Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• COST: $28
• MORE INFO & RESERVATIONS: Call (916) 775-1705
• TO GET THERE: Take Interstate 5 north of Stockton and exit at the Walnut Grove/Thornton Road exit and then travel west several miles to the town of Walnut Grove. At the stop sign, turn left into the bridge. After crossing the bridge, turn right onto Highway 16- going north on the west side of the river for about five miles. Just before the Steamboat Landing bridge turn left onto Grand Island Road. The mansion is three miles after you turn onto the road.
WALNUT GROVE — Want a romantic Sunday brunch with a touch of Italy?
Look no further than the Grand Island Mansion. The unique and historic 58-room Italian Renaissance villa is part of the largest private estate in Northern California. The four-story, 24,000-square-foot villa was built in 1917 for Louis Meyers and his wife Audrey, daughter of Lubin of the Weinstocks Lubin department stores. The mansion was built by European craftsmen.
The mansion has been the subject of photo spreads and stories in the National Geographic, Sunset Magazine, Architectural Digest, Playboy magazine, Victoria’s Secret catalog, and Macy’s Furniture Catalog.
It is now primarily a wedding setting although the mansion and grounds are open for public viewing and dining during the Sunday Champagne Brunch served from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with reservations required. Upcoming brunch dates are Feb. 10, and 25; March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31; plus April 21.
The drive through the Delta to reach the Grand Island Mansion is pleasant. The architecture and grounds is a feast for the eyes. The food - simply put - is worth every penny of the $28 per person charge. Brunch also will be served on April 21.
The buffet champagne brunch menu includes freshly baked Focaccia bread, rolls, and scones; fresh brewed coffee, team, milk and orange juice with champagne; mixed green salad with pears, mandarin oranges, pecans, and goat cheese, Greek pasta salad; potatoes Au Gratin; herb-seasoned vegetables; eggs Benedict; Italian toast; French shrimp crepes; quiches du jour; freshly sliced fruits and berries with chocolate ganache and Chantilly dip; oven roasted herb seasoned prime rib; and a gourmet dessert buffet.
The food is great but the dining setting - a striking two-story banquet hall - is equally impressive.
— DENNIS WYATT
209 staff reporter