This Is Not Your Bubbe’s Seder: Delicious Passover Dining in New York City

Passover Dining in New York City

Every major holiday comes with its own menu. The main ingredient for Passover is matzoh, an unleavened bread that symbolizes the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt — one so rushed that there was no time left to wait for dough to rise. Today, Jews around the world commemorate their liberation from slavery with a Seder, a ceremonial dinner for the first two nights of Passover. It is “one of the most popular Jewish events of the year,” says award-winning journalist and Jewish Channel news anchor Steven I. Weiss. “The Seder has a participation rate approaching 90% in New York.” With that figure in mind, it’s no wonder the city’s restaurants have turned to providing traditional, innovative, and eclectic Seder offerings, from elegant multi-course meals to bento-box-style Seder essentials to go. Check out these events and celebrations for Passover dining in New York City. L’chaim!

Rôtisserie Georgette
What makes these nights different from all other nights at Georgette Farkas’s fashionable French-infused rotisserie? An à la carte Seder menu, available April 22 and 23, that goes beyond the brisket and includes such signature whole roasts as Faroe Island Salmon and Jamison Farm Leg of Lamb. Loyal patrons of this Upper East Side favorite will find much to adore this Passover. Of the Crispy Potato Pancakes with Smoked Salmon at Rôtisserie Georgette, owner Farkas says, “This dish is inspired by my mother. Like her potato pancakes, ours are thin, crisp, light, and lacy. We top them with a bit of a super smooth and silky smoked salmon and serve them with herbed crème fraîche on the side.‎” Make a Passover reservation at Rotisserie Georgette.

Passover Dining in New York City

The name of this gem of a restaurant in Nolita is the Yiddish term for “the perfect housewife, homemaker, and hostess.” But, as any Jewish mother worth her (kosher) salt knows, preparing the perfect Passover meal is anything but easy. For those who want to skip the tsuris but still enjoy a home-style Seder, look no further than Balaboosta’s 5th Annual Passover event on Sunday, April 24 at 6:30PM, hosted by Einat Admony (also of Taïm—and Taïm truck!—fame) and Ilan Hall (Top Chef winner and host of Esquire Network’s Knife Fight). Live music is also on the menu and guests will receive a mini jar of chef Admony’s homemade harissa.Email for information on kids’ tickets. Make a Passover reservation at Balaboosta.

Passover Dining in New York City

For more than a decade and counting, chef Bill Telepan’s eponymous Upper West Side eatery — a pioneer in Greenmarket cuisine —offers a four-course menu (for kids, too) that features creative twists on traditional Seder fare (a dried-fruit chutney-apple salad for the haroset is just one example). On April 22 and 23, diners can expect a spirited atmosphere, a helpful wait staff, and Telepan himself (a true mensch if there ever was one) when Seders are in session. “Extra seating for Elijah is available upon request,” Telepan says. Make a Passover reservation at Telepan.

Passover Dining in New York City

Mile End Delicatessen 
Their use of the Unorthodox Hagaddah says it all: Expect an evening of delicious secular delights — including live music and comedy—at this year’s Seder, hosted by one of the city’s best-loved delis on Saturday, April 23. NOTE: The meal is not kosher — which, for many of the event’s participants (Jewish and non- alike), only adds to the irreverent fun. A portion of the proceeds goes to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry initiative, which is a mitzvah in and of itself. Make a Passover reservation at Mile End Delicatessen.

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Trending on Recent OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Dining Out Is In on Passover

No one mentioned if any of the restaurants used these Ten Plagues hand ouppets in their Seders.

As we noted last week, more restaurants are helping diners observe Passover with special menus, dishes, and even hosting their own Seders. See what OpenTable diners have been saying about Passover in reviews from the last few days.

* Cantina Feliz, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania: “We came for their very untraditional ‘Passover Feliz’ menu, but we’ll be back. Innovative cuisine and good value. Try the Santana Margarita.”

Firefly, San Francisco, California: “It’s a Passover tradition for us to go to Firefly. I’m like Pavlov’s dog when it comes to the gefilte fish and chopped liver. We passed on the matzo ball soup, not because we don’t love it, but because we’re trying to watch our carbs. Then continuing with the hearty fare, we had the brisket and the lamb. Both were delicious with complementary vegetables and a delicious reduction. It’s a fave for me!”

* Firefly, San Francisco, California: “Wonderful Passover menu. Enjoyed sharing the first night Seder with so many others. Ran into many neighborhood friends. Lovely waitress.”

* Fork Restaurant, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “We went for Passover dinner and the food was wonderful!!!”

* Manhattan in the Desert, Palm Springs, California: “Great deli food. Travelled a long distance for a wonderful Passover meal.”

* Metropolitan Club, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts: “Went for the Passover menu. We were delighted with the choices and the whole meal.”

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Passover Restaurant Reservations: Reserve a Seat at a Special Seder

Every item on a Seder plate is part of the Exodus story.

Passover is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it, but it’s something we’ve only done at home. In recent years, though, a number of restaurants have started hosting gourmet seders of their own. Forget the anemic, jarred gefilte fish and stale matzo of your childhood! These restaurants are serving up delicious interpretations of classic  Passover dishes that will please even the most pious. I can tell you that eating the fried matzo at JoeDoe feels like a religious experience even when it’s not Passover.

Several restaurants have shared their menus, including:

Hearty, Chicago: Chef Dan Smith is serving up a super-hearty Passover seder with matzo ball soup with carrot dill broth, housemade gefilte fish, braised smoked brisket, “Hearty” chicken in a pot, and apple matzo kugel, offered April 6-16. Reserve.

Jar, Los Angeles: Chefs Suzanne Tracht and Preech Narkthong’s seder on Friday, April 6th, features three courses, which includes a choice of their signature pot roast or Alaskan halibut, plus passed hors d’oeuvres, sides, such as horseradish mashed potatoes and sauteed pea tendrils, and dessert. Reserve.

JoeDoe, New York: Jill Schulster and Chef Joe Dobias are putting on a progressive Passover on April 6-8, featuring fried matzoh, Jewish wedding soup, slow-roasted brisket and Komish cookie sandwiches. Reserve.

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