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Artisanal Matzo From Brooklyn — and All the Dish

You could say matzo’s always been artisanal; it’s a labor-intensive product that usually bears the maker’s stamp.

But Brooklyn’s is upping the ante with “small-batch” matzo in buttercrunch and salted varieties.

A handful of retailers across NYC now carry it; more roll out on April 15. The box alone makes The Matzo Project worth seeking out: It pictures a hip-looking cartoon bubbe asking, “Would it kill you to try something new?”

Ashley Albert and Kevin Rodriguez, Brooklynites who grew up together in Miami, are behind the business.

Seder With an Italian Accent

How do you say dayenu in Italian?

James Beard Award-winning chef Fabio Trabocchi will offer an Italian-accented Seder from April 23-29 at Fiola, his flagship Washington, D.C. eatery.

Trabocchi’s splurge-y menu includes signatures like cadederli en brodo — his take on matzo-ball soup — which bathes matzo balls of beef, matzo meal and chopped preserved black truffle in a morel-infused capon-consommé broth. Whew.


The Workmen’s Circle]( “”) has corralled a who’s-who (or what’s what?) of nouveau-Jewish food — and a couple of classics — for its annual [Matzapalooza!, April 10 at NYC’s Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Showcasing Seder-ready wares: Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, Fox’s U-Bet Syrup, Gefilteria, Holy Schmitt’s Horseradish, Horman’s Best Pickles and Seed + Mill, purveyors of halvah and tahini.

There’s also musical entertainment, arts and crafts and a haggadah-making workshop.

Have a Pro Do the Passover Cooking

Image by Courtesy of Esh

Ilan Hall of Esh is teaming up with Einat Admony for a Seder at her Israeli bistro, Balaboosta.

Two downtown New York hotspots will share Passover their way.

At Balaboosta on April 24, Chef Einat Admony will team with Top Chef winner and Esh owner Ilan Hall on a twisty-classic dinner including deviled eggs, Persian cucumber salad, marrow-bone matzo soup and smoked leg of lamb with charoset.

And Ivan Orkin’s Ivan Ramen is offering Pesach with Asian notes — as takeout. The restaurant’s $225 Passover brisket package includes slow-cooked brisket with shiso leaf salsa verde; gingered carrots with roasted shiitake mushrooms; and Asian pear & Fuji apple charoset. Order by April 19 for Passover delivery.

Chicagoland Deli Beats the Odds

Mazel tov to Max & Benny’s in Northbrook, Illinois, which is celebrating 30 years of dishing up Jewish deli classics. “People come to Max and Benny’s to feel connected,” one regular tells the Chicago Tribune. “And for the non-Jews, it’s kind of exotic.”

Delis have had a tough time in Chicago. The years have claimed Skokie’s Barnum and Bagel, Rogers Park’s Ashkenaz and Braverman’s on the West Side.

Corned Beef and Commerce in Palm Beach

Deli is coming to Florida’s massive Palm Beach Outlets complex. Jewishy chain Toojays will open an outpost this summer, says WPTV.

While Toojays menu leans TGIFriday’s-casual, it includes comfort food like matzo-ball soup, corned beef, lox, chopped liver and brisket.

Food Festival Update

In Little Rock, the Jewish Federation of Arkansas will hold its annual Jewish Food and Cultural Festival. Be there April 10 at the city’s War Memorial Stadium.

The same day, food doyenne Joan Nathan will return to Westchester, New York, as a guest at the 4th Annual Rivertowns’ Jewish Cultural Festival. She’ll lead a Passover cooking demo showcasing recipes from her most recent book, “Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous: My Search for Jewish Cooking in France.”

Bigshot Bagel

It’s as treyf as it gets — and as decadent: A foie-gras ramp bagel debuts this weekend at NYC’s Wallflower. It’s just what it sounds like: Foie gras, heavy cream whipped to the consistency of cream cheese and crisp pickled ramps. It’ll set you back $13. If you try it, let us know how it tastes with a cup of coffee.

Julia and Katz’s Love Child?

Quote of the week comes from the Bedford and Bowery, rhapsodizing over a pizza called Paul’s Boutique at NYC’s Speedy Romeo: “It includes Katz’s pastrami, Dijon, bechamel, smoked red kraut fontina, 100 island dressing and everything crust, which sounds like what would happen if Julia Child slept with a Jewish-deli sandwich.”

Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward.


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