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“The Strong Buzz Guide to Passover: The Best Seder Fare for Serious Foodies”

For years, you’ve had to put up with eating gefilte fish and chopped liver at your family’s Passover Seder. Fear not, we have some great alternatives for you this year! For those of you who call New York City home, are unable to travel for the holiday, or just want to introduce your family to something new, many fantastic restaurants will be offering Passover Seder options in the city. The Strong Buzz's Rachel Barbarotta has put together a serious list to help you decide where to go for grub that will make up for all the times you had to pretend to love your Aunt’s leaden matzo balls.


Where: 45 East 1st Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenues), 212-780-0262, www.chefjoedoe.com
When: April 18th, 19th, 20th - $50 per person.
On the menu: Dubbed as “Progressive Passover,” the menu at JoeDoe will be sure to impress anyone with a love for inventive cuisine. The meal begins with the JoeDoe Sampler, a dish that is fashioned after the traditional Seder plate and includes maror (bitter herbs), haroset (a paste made of fruit and nuts), chicken liver and fried matzo. And we all know everything tastes better when it’s fried! The Jewish Wedding Soup with Matzo Balls leads into the main course, the Slow-Roasted Brisket. The meal is topped off with an “Un-Noodle” pudding, and diners can sip on Passover-inspired cocktails like the Manischewitz Manhattan and the JoeDoe Celery Soda. Your Bubby certainly didn’t make food like this, but boy will you wish she had!


Where: 668 Amsterdam Avenue (between 92nd & 93rd Streets), 212-580-3770, www.taliassteakhouse.com
When: April 18th
On the menu: A certified Glatt Kosher eatery on the Upper West Side, Talia’s Steakhouse will offer a traditional Passover experience. Since the Seder should not officially start until after sundown, those who would like to participate in that meal can expect to eat around 9:45pm. There will also be an earlier seating at 6pm. Talia’s welcomes diners to host their private Seders at their own tables, or to join the communal tables that will be hosted by Chabad of the Westside for a Seder that will be conducted by one of their rabbis. Talia’s is the perfect place to bring your traditions and to start a few new ones as well.


Where: 72 West 69th Street (Between Columbus Avenue & Central Park West), 212-580-4300, www.telepan-ny.com
When: April 18th & 19th - $65 per person
On the menu: Chef Bill Telepan will provide a four-course non-kosher menu that will feature his take on traditional Passover foods. His Passover Amuse is a Smoked Trout Potato Latke that will only whet your palate for his Spring Vegetable Matzo Ball Soup, Wild Striped Bass, Seared Sirloin and Braised Brisket. If you manage to leave any room after those incredible dishes, you will be rewarded with Pineapple Lemon Sorbet and a Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake. Why on all other nights do we eat either sitting up or reclining and on this night we only recline? Because we’re so full from the amazing meal we had at Telepan, that’s why!


Where: 150 East 59th Street (between 3rd & Lexington Avenues), 212.705.3800, www.burkeinthebox.com
When: Order by April 13th - $65 per person
On the menu: While the team at David Burke @ Bloomingdales can accommodate parties on-site in a private dining room at Fishtail, they will also be offering a catering service so you can have all the comforts of your own home but do none of the cooking yourself. I don’t know about you, but that sounds perfect to me! The menu options include David Burke’s signature Salmon Pastrami on Latkes with Homemade Haroset, Salmon & White Fish, Matzo Ball Soup topped with Foie Gras and Three-Hour Boneless Short Ribs. Cheesecake Lollipops and Flourless Coconut Macaroons will add a sweet finish to the delicious meal that you are welcome to take all the credit for.


Where: Toloache is located at 251 West 50th Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue), 212-581-1818, www.toloachenyc.com; Yerba Buena Perry is located at One Perry Street (at Greenwich Avenue), 212-620-0808, ybnyc.com; and Yerba Buena LES is located at 23 Avenue A (between 1st & 2nd Streets), 212-529-2919, ybnyc.com
On the menu: When a Mexican-born chef married a Jewish woman, they wanted to create a Passover tradition for their daughter Olivia that incorporated the heritages of both of her parents. After creating a unique Seder experience for their family, they just knew they had to share it with their customers. The Passover menu will include Matzo Ball Soup with Jalapeno-scented Chicken Consomme, Brisket Tacos, Roasted Red Snapper with Salsa and Smoked White Fish Salad with Avocado, Horseradish and Matzo. The incredible mix of flavors truly pays homage to the beautiful melding of two cultures. And trust me, nothing goes together better than the Roasted Bananas and Dulce de Leche Custard in their Dulce de Leche Matzo Pudding for dessert!

NOSH FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Capsouto Freres

Where: 451 Washington Street (at Watts Street), 212-966-4900, http://www.capsoutofreres.com
When: April 18th & 19th - $150 contribution per person
On the menu: This communal service meal will begin at 6:30pm each night and will be led by a Cantor who will read the Haggadah. The proceeds raised each evening will be donated to The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, a charity that provides aid for Jewish children at risk and disaster response support for Jewish people in countries worldwide. As a reward for the mitzvah of your donation, you will feast on a menu consisting of Three Frittatas (spinach, leek and zucchini), Poached Salmon Matzo Mina (layers of Matzo and cheese) and Macaroons with Fresh Fruit Sorbets for dessert.  Both red and white Israeli wine will be offered, and a traditional grape wine will be used for the service. Checks can be made payable to the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). Don’t forget to bring your appetite!


Where: Chelsea Markets, 75 9th Avenue (between 15th & 16th), jamesbeard.org/popup
When: Tickets available on Wednesday April 6th for the Seder on April 19th - $75 per person plus 10% service for a prix fixe, four-course menu with beverage pairings
On the menu: The pop-up restaurant trend is gaining popularity, and who better to bring one to Chelsea Market than The James Beard Foundation? JBF LTD will feature dinners, cooking demonstrations and more for the duration of its tenure. This will include a Passover Seder on April 19 with chef Aaron Israel of Mile End in Brooklyn, NY and officiate George Robinson, author of Essential Judaism. Tickets to this Seder will be available on jamesbeard.org/popup on April 6th beginning at noon, and through Gilt City at 10am beginning on April 7th. This is truly a unique opportunity, because this pop up restaurant and food pavilion will be gone as quickly as it came.


—Rachel Barbarotta

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