Celebrating Passover: DC Restaurants Offer a Modern Seder

Image courtesy Seattlemet.com

Passover this year begins on Monday, March 25 and ends Tuesday, April 2nd at sundown. Many families across the nation begin to plan their Seder feasts, make travel plans to see their loved ones, brainstorm where to hide the afikoman, while others look to see what’s on the menu at some of D.C.’s best restaurants. Although most certified kosher establishments close for the holiday, a few DC area restaurants are hosting Seder and Passover fare with both traditional and very eclectic dishes. See below for dine in and takeout options around the DC area. Sadly, Hudson and Casa Nonna have both closed, but there is at least one new addition!

Readers: If you have information that isn’t included below, please comment and we will update accordingly. Thanks!

In DC

DGS Delicatessen

Photo courtesy of DGS Delicatessen

To celebrate its very first Passover since opening, DGS Delicatessen (1317 Connecticut Ave., NW) Chef Barry Koslow, formerly of Tallula, will offer a modern rendition of the seder, incorporating elements of the traditional holiday meal and adding seasonal ingredients. Koslow adds bone marrow to the matzo balls instead of schmaltz, and the traditional “bitter herb” is incorporated into a crust on halibut, which stands in for the seder staple gefilte fish. The sacrificial lamb is braised and accompanied by a spring bounty of crispy artichokes, peas and carrots, and a modern take on haroset finishes out the meal in the form of an apple, rhubarb and walnut crumble with cardamom ice cream. Beverage director and general manager Brian Zipin has paired each course with complementary wines from around the world, including an Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon and an heirloom Ice Cider from Vermont. The Passover Menu will be available March 25th through March 31st during dinner for $40, or $60 with wine pairings.

DGS is a next generation Jewish delicatessen featuring modern Jewish cookery led by Chef Barry Koslow, who was recently named “Chosen Chef” by Forward Magazine. The restaurant is located at 1317 Connecticut Avenue, just south of Dupont Circle, with approximately 80 seats inside the restaurant, a full service bar and a sandwich shop featuring a curated menu to-go (which will open at a later date). Phone: (202) 293-4400

Flourless Cake Photo courtesy of Equinox Restaurant

Dino (3435 Connecticut Ave., NW) located in Cleveland Park, will be serving their annual Passover meal starting Monday March 25 and Tuesday March 26 at 5pm.  On Wednesday, they will open at 6pm  Beginning Thursday, you can either order the feast or order Passover items a la carte.  The meal combines my family traditions {matzo ball soup, chopped chicken liver, hand made geflite fish} and Italian influences.  On the first two night, you can request a Seder plate in advance.

Start with matzo, horse radish & three harosets. Next up is an assortment of braised spring veggie dishes, chopped chicken liver and their “duck schmaltz matzoh balls” in a golden roasted chicken stock.  Your table gets a plate of all three entrees: Lamb of the day, braciole di pollo {thin cutlets of chicken stuffed w/mushrooms & braised in a spicy tomato sauce} and finally salmon in leek sauce.  All the entrees will be served with spring greens & potatoes on the side.  Seconds are available, just like a home cooked meal!  {Without the dirty dishes to clean.}  The dessert menu will feature a couple of special Passover cakes and sorbetti to finish your meal, but you can order anything you wish from the dessert menu {we won’t tell if it’s not Passover compliant}. $59 a person; $25 for children. There will be no free corkage the first two nights of Passover.

Photo courtesy of Equinox Restaurant

Also located on Connecticut Ave., NW (noticing a trend?) Equinox Restaurant (818 Connecticut Ave., NW) located just a block from the White House, will offer a special 5-course Passover menu, March 25 through April 2nd for $45 per person, with a Boutique Israeli Wine Pairing for $60. On the menu, start with a seasonal Salad of Roasted Heirloom Beets with Capers and Pistachio. Enjoy courses such as the Quinoa Salad with Figs and Mint, Wilted Spinach with Sesame Seeds followed by Chef Todd Gray’s Modern Day Brisket and for dessert a Flourless Chocolate Cake.

Why you’re there, pick up a copy of their new book (and have it signed!) Just in time for Passover, Ellen Kassof Gray and chef hubby, Todd Gray have published their first book:  The New Jewish Table: Modern Seasonal Recipes for Traditional Dishes. Mazel!

Finally, Rosa Mexicano (575 7th St., NW) spices up Passover with a Mexican flair again this year. Their 12th annual Passover a la Mexicana menu is  available March 25-30.  Jewish heritage meets current culinary trends in Mexico with dishes like Tropical Haroset, Matzo Ball Pozole Soup, Banana Leaf wrapped barbecue Beef Brisket and for dessert Grandma Shapiro’s (no relation) Strudel a la Mexicana or a Mango Ice Cream. 

In MD

Tragara Ristorante (Northern Italian) in Bethesda does a “Passover style” menu, a tradition of theirs for over 20 years. Distinguished Parisian Chef, Michel Laudier, formerly Chef of Rive Gauche in Georgetown offers his unique talent to this occasion by preparing a kosher style meal without any chometz. The menu offers traditional appetizers such as, Homemade gefilte fish with fresh horseradish and matzo ball chicken soup, each for $6.95. There are a range of Entrees offered including Grilled salmon on a bed of zucchini with saffron sauce for $25.95 and Veal chop sauteed with wine and rosemary for $39.95. Desserts offerings include Warm chocolate cake, coconut sorbet in caramel sauce, Passover roulade with strawberries, whipped cream, sabra liquor, and Haroset ice cream in a meringue shell with honey caramel sauce. A seder plate can be prepared on request (301-951-4935).

Takeout Options

If you’re looking for take-out options, Balducci’s, Whole Foods, River Falls Market and Dean & Deluca offer Passover dishes that can be ordered in advance. D.C.’s Brookville Market, Shaul’s of Silver Spring, Wegman’s, Rockville’s Koshermart and gefilte fish from Costco.

RIS located in the West End will have Matzo Ball Soup again this year during Passover available from Monday, March 25 to Monday, April 2. Orders are available by the cup, pint, and quart. Email info@risdc.com for special orders.

At Hill Country BBQ, pre-order your brisket through their catering department at 202.556.2044 or order day of for pick up/delivery at 202.556.2045.

Kosher Markets in the Washington, DC Area

Koshermart
4860 Boiling Brook Pkwy
Rockville, Maryland
(301) 231-0839

Shalom Kosher Market
2307 University Blvd. West
Wheaton, Maryland
(301) 946-6500

Shaul’s Kosher Market
1319 Lamberton Drive
Silver Spring, Maryland
(301) 593-1800

7 Responses to “Celebrating Passover: DC Restaurants Offer a Modern Seder”

  1. Jason

    Mar 12. 2013

    Thanks for sharing this info, Lisa. It’s good to know which restaurants have Passover menus. I ate at DGS once and it was very good

    Reply to this comment
  2. David

    Mar 20. 2013

    Thanks for the DC restaurant recommendations, but you’re a little out of date with Tragara – it’s closed. See http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Blogs/Table-Talk/September-October-2012/Tragara-closing-4935-Bar-Kitchen-taking-its-place/

    Reply to this comment
  3. Larissa

    Mar 24. 2013

    I think that Mon Ami Gabi in Bethesda also does a Seder menu.

    Reply to this comment

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