Brunch Tips: The Valley's high number of world-class resorts makes this one of the country's great brunch sites. If Etienne's is booked for Mother's Day, here are some first-rate alternatives that combine magnificent settings with magnificent fare: Terrace Dining Room (Phoenician resort, 941-8200): Maybe the Valley's most lavish spread, and priced like it, too. But the combination of setting and food is almost impossible to beat. The only sight prettier than the blooming patio dining area is lobster-and-crab-stuffed ravioli. There's something here for every appetite: sushi, pƒt‚ en cro–te, blintzes, grilled meats and homemade ice creams topped with brandy-soaked cherries. And the well-trained staff is ready to cater to your every whim. Marquesa (Scottsdale Princess resort, 585-4848): A gorgeous room with gorgeous, Spanish-accented food. There's a seafood table packed with briny, fresh fare that would drive Shamu wild--shrimp, caviar, smoked trout, smoked sable and possibly the best crab legs in town. And how many brunches has Mom been to that offer a paella station and tapas bar? The hot entrees don't sit in Sterno-fired chafing dishes, but are grilled up before your eyes. And the only problem with the desserts is that management won't let you take them home. If Mom has the remotest sense of adventure, bring her here. Latilla Room (Boulders resort, 488-9009): Another breathtaking restaurant, set under massive boulders and a manmade waterfall. This brunch won't overwhelm you with the sheer number of pickings, but who cares about quantity when there's this kind of quality? The shrimp and oysters are fresh enough to make you think there's a wharf down the street. Outside on the patio, a hardworking cook grills up fresh fish, sausages and chicken. Inside, treat yourself to a right-out-of-the-oven pizza brushed with pesto and topped with sun-dried tomatoes, eggplant and sausage. And send Mom home with a smile by steering her to the crepe station for a flaming, Grand Marnier-soaked dessert. Golden Swan (Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch, 991-3388): An oasis in the middle of the desert. Ask for a table on the patio, where you'll be surrounded by lush greenery and gaze on a soothing lagoon and koi pond. Mom will get a kick out of the Golden Swan's unique brunch shtick. Everything except dessert is laid out in the kitchen, where brunchers jostle pleasantly and toque-clad chefs stand by to steer you through. Look for wonderful seafood, including Alaskan king crab legs; pasta salad with smoked mussels; grilled veal loin wrapped in pancetta; and a mind-numbing array of desserts. Top of the Rock (the Buttes, 225-9000): Perched on the top of a Tempe butte, this stunning circular room provides a spectacular 360-degree view that will make Mom wish her head could swivel. So will the food. There's lots to choose from: Tequila-soaked shrimp, beef Wellington, stuffed pheasant and rack of lamb probably aren't part of her usual mealtime repertoire. Afterward, she can walk it all off with a stroll and picture-postcard views of Valley mountains and downtown Phoenix.--


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