Restaurants a growing Passover option

Posted: April 18, 2011

Passover week starts at sundown today, and traditionally extended families gather in homes for a recounting of the Jewish exodus from Egypt and the sharing of the seder, a ritual meal with courses steeped in symbolism.

The story is retold, typically read from a text called the Haggadah, of how God, angered by the pharoah's refusal to release the Jews from slavery, killed the first-born sons of Egypt, but "passed over" Jewish homes.

After the parting of the Red Sea helped the Jews escape, God gave Moses the 10 Commandments and the people wandered the desert for 40 years before reaching the promised land of Israel, according to biblical accounts.

Eating the unleavened bread called matzoh is a reminder of that early poverty and that the flight from Egypt left no time for bread to rise.

Seders are offered to the public at more than two dozen community centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, at prices ranging from requested donations to $65, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. See the list at www.jewishphilly.org/page.aspx?id=238955.

More and more, restaurants are also offering seders, with more than 50 nationwide, ranging from ones that don't keep kosher to rabbi-led affairs with cantors, according to the New York Times.

Philadelphia restaurants offering Passover meals include:

Zahav, 237 St. James Place, 215-625-8800. Chef Michael Solomonov serves a $42 Passover menu from April 18 to 26, with such dishes as Salatim and Hummus, Gefilte Fish "Escabeche," Brisket "Mina" and Rose Hip Macaroons. Website: www.zahavrestaurant.com.

Fork, 308 Market St., 215-625-9425. Chef Terence Feury presents a 3-course seder for $45. Other Passover specialties will be available next door at Fork:etc over the course of Passover week. Go to: www.forkrestaurant.com/passover2.htm.

Supper, 926 South St., 215-592-8180. For $55, choose among more than a dozen options, including "family heirloom recipes," for April 18 and 19. Go to: www.supperphilly.com/SupperSeder.html.

London Grill, 2301 Fairmount Ave., 215-978-4545. Seder plate, 4 courses, coffee or tea, $40 a person. Go to: http://www.londongrill.com/calendar.cfm/event_category/1/event/45.

Cantina Feliz, 424 S. Bethlehem Pike, Fort Washington, 215-646-1320. From April 18 to 24. Mexican flavors add a twist: Four-course menu has matzo-ball and red chile soup; grilled tomato and chicken; salmon tostada with orange habanero vinaigrette, chive and jicama; chile BBQ glazed brisket tacos with mango salsa; and key lime cheesecake. $30. Go to: www.cantinafeliz.com.


Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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