Passover begins on Friday, March 30 this year. The annual event is traditionally marked with a seder: a long meal that involves storytelling, four cups of wine, and matzo — the unleavened bread that Jewish people eat throughout the duration of the religious festival to commemorate the biblical exodus from Egypt. Those familiar with the holiday understand the central role matzo plays: adhering to a strict diet of unleavened products means staying away from the breads, pastas, and grains found in the typical American meal.
Here are eight area restaurants preparing Passover meals, including those offering specials for the first two nights when traditional seders are held.
1625 Eye Street NW
This chain steakhouse is offering a Passover menu from Friday, March 30 through Saturday, April 7 (though it will be closed on Sunday, April 1), both for dine-in and carryout. Featured dishes include: beef brisket with prunes and potatoes roasted in duck fat; lamb saddle with stuffed artichokes and wheat berries; and turnip and potato latkes with dilled sour cream.
974 Palmer Alley NW
This critically acclaimed restaurant is offering a Passover menu featuring recipes from Joan Nathan’s book King Solomon’s Table. Featured dishes, which will be available throughout the week both a la carte and as part of a tasting menu ($65 per person), include: charoset made with chestnuts, pine nuts, and pears; a buckwheat-matzo lasagna; slow-cooked brisket; and a ricotta cheese crostata with cherries for dessert.
1914 Ninth Street NW
This Shaw eatery is offering its family-style Passover menu ($59 per person) from Friday, March 30 through Saturday, April 7. Featured dishes include: gefilte fish; matzo ball soup; chicken with potatoes, eggplant, and pomegranate and date syrups; lamb and beef meatballs with almond sauce; and polenta and orange cake for dessert.
818 Connecticut Avenue NW
This fine dining mainstay is offering a four-course Passover menu ($55 per person; $80 with wine pairings) on Friday, March 30. Featured dishes include: turnip and baby beet pickles; matzo ball fritters; crispy chicken livers; saffron-spiced lamb; potato and leek kugel; and bittersweet chocolate macaroon cake with coconut-lime sorbet and candied kumquats for dessert.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
750 15th Street NW
This downtown restaurant is offering a three-course Passover menu ($45.95 per person; $19.95 for children 12 and under) on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. Featured dishes include: matzo ball soup; chopped liver, roasted chicken; beef brisket braised with red wine; baked halibut; and flourless chocolate cake for dessert. The Passover offerings are also available for carryout and delivery.
This chain bistro is offering a family-style Passover meal ($44.95 per person; $17.95 for children 12 and under) on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. Featured dishes include: matzo ball soup; gefilte fish; beef brisket; and flourless chocolate cake for dessert. The Passover items are also available for carryout.
Summer House Santa Monica
11825 Grand Park Avenue, North Bethesda, Md.
This national chain is offering a family-style Passover menu ($39.95 per person; $12.95 for children 12 and under) on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. Featured dishes include: gefilte fish; chopped liver; braised short ribs; and flourless chocolate cake for dessert.
Teddy & the Bully Bar
1200 19th Street NW
This Dupont Circle eatery is offering a four-course Passover meal ($45 per person; $21 for children 12 and under) on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31. Featured dishes include: tomato matzo toast; beet risotto; brisket braised in shiraz; and rhubarb cake for dessert.