It’s been a banner year for Jewish dining, from nouveau delis to artisan Ashkenazi. That means you’ve got a dazzling array of choices if you’re inclined to celebrate Passover 2018 in a restaurant. Whatever your palate, mood, or style, there’s a restaurant seder to match; we’ve rounded up some of the best.
The nouveau-traditionalist seder: Wise Sons, San Francisco
Locals adore this spirited San Francisco deli; its seventh annual community seder dinner will take place at SF’s Contemporary Jewish Museum. Expect a traditional seder plate on the tables, along with artisan takes on charoset, house-made gefilte fish with chrain, brisket, and kugel. $75 p/p, children under 10 $45.
The indie-vegan seder: The Depanneur, Toronto
This loft-like west-side venue bills itself as “a place where interesting food things happen”; its vegan seder, by Toronto chef Emily ZImmerman, lives up to that billing. On the menu: Meat-free marvels like gefilte jackfruit with mock chopped liver, eggplant stuffed with walnuts and mushrooms, and lemon curd/chocolate cream matzoh torte. $50 p/p.
The Southern-accented seder: The General Muir, Atlanta
Along with house-baked matzoh, chopped liver, matzoh ball soup, and brisket, you’ll get treats like smoked trout spread, celery root/parsnip puree, and flourless chocolate cake at this esteemed Atlanta Jewish joint. They’ll even assemble a seder plate for your table, though it’s up to you to lead the service. $48 p/p, $18 for kids under 12
The seasonal, sustainable seder: Akasha, Culver City, CA
At Akasha Richmond’s seasonal/sustainable hotspot, Rabbi Mark Borovitz of Beit T’shuvah congregation will handle Haggadah duties; the menu will showcase Richmond’s inventive, highly personal cooking, including Sephardic fish balls, chicken tagine, eggplant melanzane with almond “ricotta”, and almond milk creme anglaise.
The New-England haimish seder: Mamaleh’s, Boston
You’re welcome to conduct your own seder at retro-hip Mamaleh’s, whose airy dining room will serve its richly traditional Passover catering menu. A beautiful seder plate will run you $18; you’ll want to load the table with chopped liver, smoked whitefish salad, root veg tzimmes, brisket, and slow-roasted salmon. Priced a la carte.
The Italian seder: Perbacco, San Francisco
Chef Staffan Terje will team with James Beard Award-winning SF chef Joyce Goldstein on a molto Italiano Passover meal, with rare treats like Fegato di Anatra alle Uova Sode (chopped duck liver, Italian style), Sarde in Saor (Venetian sweet and sour sardines with onion, pine nuts and raisins), and Hamin Toscana di Fagioli con Polpettone (beef meat loaf and Tuscan white bean casserole). $58/pp.
The cocktail seder: London Grill, Philadelphia
After 30 years, Philly’s unpretentious London Grill still wows diners with ambitious cooking. Sample some of it for Passover, including sweet & sour brisket, roasted poussin, and house-made gefilte fish; if you dare, try edgy Passover cocktails like the Manischewitz Martini, with wine, bitters, gin, lemon, or the 11th Plague, with Manischewits, walnut liqueur, Absolut, and rhubarb bitters. $45/pp.
The same-block-as-Barneys seder: Rotisserie Georgette, NYC
Georgette Farkas’ Upper East Side eatery, a hangout for NYC’s boldface names, is offering its upscale take on seder cuisine. This year’s menu includes a crisp latke with apple compote, chicken liver mousse, farro with asparagus, whole roasted dorade, and the luscious roast chicken that made this place famous. $79/pp, $45 children 10 and under.
The celebrity-chef seder: Balaboosta, NYC
Chef Einat Admony, a culinary star on her own, has recruited another celeb chef for Balaboosta’s 2018 seder is another celeb cook: Award-winning chef Elizabeth Falkner, late of TV cooking extravaganzas like Food Network’s “Next Iron Chef, Redemption,” and Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” Their menu’s still under wraps, but last year’s seder showcased delicacies like Middle Eastern borscht with beet matzo balls, Tunisian lamb shoulder with harissa, and Morgenstern’s ice cream.