HAPPY HOLIDAYS! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!
All of my favorite holiday things (chocolate bunnies, egg matzo, pretty flowers).
The largest Easter bunny ever at Jacques Torres Chocolate Shop in Chelsea Market
This evening I attended a “progressive” Seder at Joe Doe, which is the first time I have ever celebrated Passover at a restaurant. For my non-Jewish readers, Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. The first two nights of the eight-day holiday we observe by holding Seders, which are meals where we retell the story of the Exodus.
The first night of Passover I attended a Seder at my relative’s house. For the second night my friend Bunny and I decided to go to a restaurant together. I did some research and picked Joe Doe after reading this NYTimes article. The ironic thing is that neither of us likes traditional Jewish food much, but it felt wrong to go out for sushi tonight.
The dinner was $65 per person, which is more than I usually spend on a meal, but it was a good price for four-courses in NYC and the atmosphere was great. I had never been to Joe Doe before and found it very cute. The bar was decorated with household Judaica to add a homey feel. They played a lot of traditional Jewish music, a Debbie Friedman camp song, and a couple prayer songs (two versions of the “Four Questions”). There were Maxwell House Haggadahs (Seder books) available, but it was optional if you wanted to use them.
The food itself was good. It would have been nice to see more vegetables, but it veered closer to traditional Jewish fare, though presented better than I’ve seen at any home Seders. I have retyped the menu below and posted some photos of our fun meal.
Joe Doe ‘Progressive’ Passover 2012
$11 Elijah’s Punch…Chateau de Montifaud Cognac, Manichewitz, lemon, soaked cherries
Joe Doe Seder Sampler….maror, charoset, chicken liver, fried matzo
Jewish Wedding Soup….chicken meatballs, matzo balls, pickled vegetables
Slow Roasted Brisket….horseradish potatoes, parsley, upland cress
Komish Cookie Sandwich….dark chocolate, cherry filling
Bunny and the first course (Seder sampler)
Second course (Jewish Wedding Soup) - note I have never heard of Jewish wedding soup before...I think it is a spin on Italian Wedding Soup
Third course (brisket) - sliced thinner and with more visible fat than I'm used to, the presentation was also better than I'm used to.
Fourth course (dessert!) - I'm attributing my flush cheeks to heat from the kitchen and/or a single glass of Manischevitz AKA grape juice