Have a falling out with the family? Decided you just couldn't stomach nana's shoe leather brisket for one more year? No worries, there's still time to eat your Seder meal out on the town. And as it turns out, when you take the bad wine, interminable readings from the Maxwell House haggadah, and gefilte fish from the jellied lagoon out of the Passover meal, the holiday isn't so bad. The restaurants included here still have open spots as of Sunday evening, April 1st. But reservations aren't slowing down, so book your seating fast before it's too late.
It should be noted that if you're especially strict about keeping kosher for Passover, you'll want to check with the restaurant about their stringency before placing a reservation. While these menus look chametz-free, it's doubtful the restaurants' kitchens have been properly cleansed. (Hey, you try "selling" your neighbor a 50 pound bag of flour for an 8-day holiday.)
"I sure wish I could go to this seder," said Ed when sharing this menu. Me, too, Ed, me too. Balaboosta will be offering a second night seating on April 7th for $110 per person (beverages included). The five course meal will include almond-crusted egg shnitzel, fish cakes in spicy Moroccan tomato sauce, Spring lamb, and chicken and chickpea flour meatballs.
The menu is a collaboration of three female chefs from different ethnic backgrounds: Alex Raji (Argentinian), Einat Admony (Israeli), and Fanny Gerson (Mexican). Though this is hardly your traditional Seder, there will be a hunt for the Afikomen.
Toloache and Yerba Buena
Both locations of Toloache and Yerba Buena will be offering an é la carte Passover menu from this Friday, April 6th, to next, April 13th. Matzo will replace masa in tacos and tlayudas, matzo ball soup will be scented with epazote, and the bar will feature kosher for Passover wines as well as kosher—but not necessarily for Passover—tequilas.
Toloache and Yerba Buena
Joe Doe takes a more traditional approach to the Seder with a four course meal for $65 per person. Menu items include chicken livers and fried matzo on a sampler plate with charoset and maror, a "Jewish Wedding Soup" with chicken meatballs and matzo balls, brisket, and chocolate and cherry cookie sandwiches.
Chef Joe Dobias will also be cooking for a special Seder at the James Beard Foundation on Saturday. Tickets ($130 per person for members, $170 for general public) are still available.
The Upper West Side's Telepan lends a Greenmarket sensibility to the Passover meal, though both nights only have seatings for parties of two until later in the evening. The six course menu ($75 per person) includes a smoked trout latke amuse, roast and braised chicken with buckwheat-potato blini, and flourless chocolate cake with coconut sorbet.
You may not expect to find Passover-friendly food at the Tribeca French bistro, but if you're in the area and trendier Kutsher's turns you away (as of now it's booked solid), give this a shot. The Sephardic-style four course meal ($150 per person as a charitable donation; the restaurant takes both nights at a loss) will feature an actual Seder service led by a cantor. Dishes include frittatas with leek, spinach, or zucchini, poached salmon with okra and green beans, and a gratin of matzo layered with mashed potatoes, egg, and cheese.