San Francisco restaurants are gearing up to commemorate one of the holiest of Jewish holidays, Passover, which begins at sundown March 29 and lasts for seven days.
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 on April 5. The four-course dinner ($55) will be a mix of Old World and New World dishes -- all made with seasonal, local, and organic products. The dinner will include such items as smoked black cod with potato kugel and chive creme fraiche, and roasted duck with Israeli couscous, Jerusalem artichokes, pea shoots, and orange sabayon.
At Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco, just a short walk from the Hotel Vitale, Chef Jan Birnbaum will create a non-kosher, five-course, prix-fixe dinner ($95 with wine pairings included; $45 for kids 10 and younger). The dinner will include contemporary interpretations of childhood Passover favorites that the chef's mother, aunts, and grandmother made. The festive evening, starting at 6 p.m. on 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.
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).
-- Carolyn Jung of FoodGal