Passover Possibilities

Restaurants and stores are gearing up to commemorate one of the holiest of Jewish holidays, Passover, which begins at sundown March 29.

At Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco, just a short walk from the Hotel Vitale, Chef Jan Birnbaum will create a five-course, prix-fixe, non-kosher dinner of contemporary interpretations of childhood Passover favorites his mother, aunts and grandmother made. Wine pairings will be included.

The festive evening, 6 p.m. March 30, will begin with hors d’oeuvres, then a traditional Seder service with four ritualistic blessings, the drinking of “the four cups,” and the lighting of the candles.

Dishes include honey-red wine marinated apple salad with spiced pecans, Laura Chenel aged goat cheese, and brandied cherries; and braised brisket with “Aunt Ruth’s paprika potatoes,” wild mushrooms and fennel horseradish salad.

Price is $95 per person; for children ages 1o and younger, it’s $45.

Mission Beach Cafe in San Francisco, a short drive from the Holiday Inn Civic Center, is teaming with hipster Heeb magazine for its annual Slow Food Seder, April 5. The four-course dinner will be a mix of Old World and New World dishes — all made with seasonal, local and organic products.

Sit down to such inviting fare as smoked black cod with potato kugel and chive creme fraiche; and roasted duck with Israeli couscous, Jerusalem artichokes, pea shoots and orange sabayon.

Price is $55.

Sweet Jo’s Cafe at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, a short hop from the Best Western Tomo, is offering an extensive list of Passover dishes to-go, including a traditional Seder plate ($12.50) and an “Instant Seder Dinner” of braised Kobe beef brisket, mashed potatoes, broccoli with rosemary, and asparagus with hazelnuts ($9.50 per person).

Sweets are on the menu, too, with the likes of lemon cheesecake with matzoh meal crust ($54 for a whole, $13.50 for a quarter), and a raspberry-chocolate flourless cake ($36).

Across the Bay in Berkeley, Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen will be closed March 29, but open for Passover dinner on March 30.  The a la carte dishes will include classic matzoh ball soup described amusingly as without “sinkers or floaters”; house-made dolmah with beet yogurt sauce; and braised and pulled brisket with vegetables and latke.

Saul’s also will offer a selection of Passover dishes to-go.

In addition to antibiotic-free, kosher chicken and turkey from Kosher Valley, Whole Foods Markets also has added two new Kosher items exclusive to their stores  just in time for Passover: Aviv organic matzo, and Yehuda organic and whole wheat matzo.

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  • I wonder if such wonderful options are available in our area. I still haven’t used the idea I got from you post from last year for an Italian-themed Passover. Seems like I’m not making a Passover meal again this year, maybe next time.

  • Wow, I never knew Passover feast can be so glorious. I’d love to sample that menu at the Mission Beach Cafe.

  • If the family scatters in all directions, as its threatening to do this year, I know there are plenty of good alternatives.

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