Passover kicks off at sundown on Friday, and that means eight days of great food (oh the Schmaltz!), free-flowing Manischewitz, and quality time spent with family and friends. To observe the start of the eight-day festival, we've found seder dinners with nouveau takes on the traditional Jewish meal at some of NYC's best restaurants—amped up with Italian, Mexican and Portuguese flavors—plus à la carte offerings at other eateries if you'd rather skip the formal ceremony.
FULL SEDER DINNER
Mile End Delicatessen
Sit down to an all-out feast—complete with wine pairings—on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4. Beginning at 7:30pm on both nights, the $125 dinner includes chopped liver with house-made pickles; matzo ball soup with smoked chicken, leeks, asparagus and garlic schmaltz; smoked lamb shoulder with merquez and rhubarb charoset; and apple-almond cake with caramel and whipped crème fraîche. For tickets, which must be booked in advance, call 646-494-9508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 13th-annual Mexican-Jewish celebration during dinner hours on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4 includes a four-course meal for $48, with culture-crossing plates like haroset starters, Jalisco-style pozole soup with chipotle-marrow matzo balls, matzo-breaded and salsa-topped chicken breast, roasted barbacoa brisket wrapped in banana leaves, and coconut ice-cream–filled mango for dessert.
This elaborate seven-course celebration ($55) will be held on Friday night only, from 5:30–11pm. Make a reservation to take part in the Portuguese-influenced menu from chef David Santos, who nods at his heritage with dishes like charred sardines paired with piquillo peppers, kale-flecked matzo ball soup, trout over spring onions and slathered in horseradish cream, brisket alongside herb latkes and carrot puree, plus sweets like burnt honey ice cream topped in lemon curb and matzo crumbles.
À LA CARTE PASSOVER MENUS
North End Grill
This year chef Eric Korsh has riffed on his sable over buttered toast with this smoked sable plate with schmaltz latke and house-made sour cream ($16).
From April 3–11, choose among four Passover-inspired options like the crazily not kosher bacon-wrapped matzo balls with horseradish mayo ($9), lamb ribs coated in crispy ginger and dried cranberries ($13) and celery served four ways—charred, pureed, roasted and fried—with a smattering of tonka beans ($13) that are salty like karpas.
Jonathan Wu will turn out a week of specials from April 3–11 that reflect the connection between Jewish and Chinese cuisines. His char siu brisket ($26) treats a Jewish grandmother's go-to meat dish with a classic Contonese roasting style, serving it with snow peas and rice while appetizers include stir-fried matchstick potatoes with herring and chili oil ($13).