Around the world, holiday celebrations center around the symbolic nature of food. For New Years, in the U.S., we eat coin-shaped, black-eyed peas with wishes for wealth while the Chinese slurp long noodles in hopes of a long-lasting life. Each Spring, the Jews devote an entire holiday to an emblematic meal: the Passover seder.
At the seder, the story of the Jews escaping from slavery in Ancient Egypt is told. Imagine a participatory dinner theater where the guests act out the play with edible props; this is what makes seders so special. Guests eat horseradish to embody the bitterness of slavery, an apple, wine, walnut compote, charoset, that represents the mortar Jews used as enslaved builders, and, the core of Passover eats, matzo. As the story goes, the Jews fled so quickly that their bread did not have time to rise, hence the consumption of this cracker-like, unleavened wafer.
Following the storytelling, a scrumptious meal is served—this is a holiday after all!—featuring traditional dishes. Just as non-Mexicans down margaritas for Cinco de Mayo, you don’t have to be Jewish to savor the delicacies of Passover. This year Passover runs from April 14-22. Here’s where to nosh in Seattle:
At Maria Hines’ organic, Mediterranean restaurant, a 4-course Passover meal will be offered the first two nights of Passover, April 14-15. Hines has created a mouthwatering menu inspired by the seder plate and infused with her James Beard Award-winning prowess, including a braised lamb shank, sablefish ball soup and port poached pears for dessert. Check out the full menu here. For reservations call 206-706-2977.
Goldberg’s brings a New York-style Jewish deli to Bellevue. Using Brooklyn purveyors like Acme Smoked Fish, Goldberg’s serves Jewish stalwarts like matzo ball soup, potato latkes, brisket, and matzo brie, a tasty egg n’ matzo scramble. Their special Passover menu offers charoset, gefilte fish, potato kugel and the like for an at-home seder.
Stopsky's menu reflects their motto: “tradition, updated.” Savor gussied up Jewish fare like latke benedict, smoked whitefish and eggs, chopped liver, and their famous, house-pickled veggies at this Mercer Island upscale deli and market. Their new craft cocktail menu will get you in the holiday spirit.
Be sure to save room for dessert! At Grand Central Bakery coconut macaroons, a Passover classic, will be made daily until April 24th.