7 Cool Dining Ideas For Passover

What’s new and different for Passover? New types of matzo, Mexican food—even hot dog rolls.

Part of the observance of Passover, the Jewish festival commemorating liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt, is not eating leavened bread for the 8-day duration of the holiday. Once sprung, who had time to sit around waiting for bread to rise? To honor that part of the story, anything made with wheat, rye, barley, oats, and spelt is out (and a host of other rules apply, depending on strictness). Matzo subs in for bread, delicious cakes and cookies are made with matzo meal, and macaroons (which don’t have leavening in the first place) are a traditional treat. But eight days can be a lot of sunrises and sunsets when you’re craving something different. What’s new?

 

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A New Place to Order Your Holiday Dinner

New Ben’s kosher deli and restaurant in Scarsdale makes a Seder dinner for 10: Gefilte fish, chopped liver, and matzo ball soup; chicken, turkey, or brisket; two sides (e.g., sweet potato pudding); fresh-cut coleslaw and other extras; and macaroons ($349.99, with $100 of rewards put on your club card; $15.99 for the ceremonial plate. Note that the food is kosher, but not kosher for Passover—which involves, among other things, certain housekeeping rules—and you’ll have to reheat it). They’re closed during the holiday, but you are so going there afterward: The corned beef is out of this world, and there’s a bar with kosher cocktails, wine, and craft beer on tap.

 

Pass the Mustard: Kosher Hot Dog Rolls!

Hot dog and regular rolls are now available at Heisler’s Bakery in New Rochelle, which makes more than 40 special items for Passover. Their order form refers to a Butterflake kosher bakery in Teaneck, New Jersey, but psst…Butterflake makes the Passover goods at Heisler’s, which keeps a kosher for Passover kitchen. When I swung by, the place was closed for cleaning.

 

How Does Mexican Food Sound?

If you’re willing to go farther afield, Rosa Mexicano, an upscale chain with locations in Manhattan, may be worth the schlep for Passover dishes served all week, such as beef brisket tacos and chipotle marrow matzo balls (recipes online), even haroset-flavored sangria! Toalache also has a Passover menu—think Kosher tequila, guacamole with whitefish, and matzo brei tres leches.

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Kosher Chinese

Our only kosher Chinese restaurant, Eden Wok in New Rochelle, will be closed, but Cho-Sen Garden in Queens (there’s also a branch on Long Island) will be serving many dishes and supplies matzo for the table. Enjoy matzo ball soup, sweet and sour chicken, and chicken with broccoli (minus the rice, of course—and hold the soy sauce, which contains wheat).

 

New foods at Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods has expanded its Passover selection to include items like Matzolah (matzo granola), quinoa and organic matzo, tilapia gefilte fish, and the first organic, probiotic, kosher yogurt. Their website features tempting dessert recipes (including David Lebovitz’s chocolate sorbet) and this informative, funny video from the Aviv matzo factory.

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More kinds of matzo

Balducci’s in Scarsdale carries some less common matzos, including gluten-free oat matzo and round matzo. And their huge selection of Barton’s kosher candies has you covered down to after-dinner mints.

 

Passover crackers

New Roc Glatt sells Manischewitz Tam Tam crackers in flavors such as everything. (If you’ve never tried them, the angst created by a shortage several years ago might pique your curiosity.) New Roc Glatt’s extensive Passover catering menu includes Seder night packages for 10 from $349.99 and up.

 

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