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Apr 21, 2008 06:15 AM

Passover-Friendly Restaurant Needed

Hi All,

I was planning on going to Urbana with a friend Thursday night but we are both trying to keep Passover and their menu is very heavy on pizza and pasta, so that obviously is a no-go.

I'm looking for recommendations for Passover-friendly ideas around Dupont Circle/U St/Farragut North etc. We are going to meet some friends at Science Club on 19th St later in the night so we would like to stick around this area.

I was thinking Bar Pilar might work. It doesn't need to be a place that is offering matzoh and brisket....just not a restaurant heavy in rice, pasta, bread etc. So sushi, Italian, and burgers are more or less out of the question.

Are any of the new wine bars/small plates spots in this area? I know there is one in Logan Circle? Is that Cork? (Haven't been to any of these places).

Thanks for the help.

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  1. I know it is an Italian restaurant, but Dean Gold is offering a special Passover menu at Dino thru the 27th. Even if you don't want to go the whole Seder meal route, you should be able to find what you want there. And knowing Dean, he can probably come up with some KFP wine to go with the meal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dinwiddie

      I should have mentioned that we aren't looking to spend a whole ton of money. More in the moderate to inexpensive range. Urbana would have been our price point. Plus, we aren't looking to be too outside the area specified above.

      But thanks for the recommendation.

    2. What about Hudson for some matzo ball soup and a salad?

      10 Replies
        1. re: Elyssa

          Ooh -- I hadn't heard that and was excited to check it out...thanks!

          It's a little hilarious that couscous is on the menu, along with some items and combos that aren't kosher for everyday life at all, but hey -- we're all free to celebrate in whatever way is meaningful to us, right? (If I see another egg this week, I might explode.)

          1. re: ganacher

            I'm looking at the Hudson menu, and the only Passover red flag I see might be the couscous. However, if the couscous is pearl millet couscous, then it's perfectly legit. I certainly can't tell from the menu; Israeli couscous only refers to a larger size.

            Otherwise, there's no biblically forbidden wheat, rye, oats, barley, and spelt -- or products derived from them -- on the menu. Hudson's has even adopted the German/Eastern European tradition of avoiding additional grains like corn or rice. Ditto for leaving peanuts and dried beans off the menu. Perhaps the couscous is a nod to Jews of Spanish descent who do consume all the non-biblical grains.

            There's no dispute about the combos of dairy appetizers and meat entrees on the Hudsons menu. Looks like Hudsons is trying for the sweet spot of folks who observe special Passover food traditions without following the general laws of kosher observance.

            1. re: Indy 67

              Coucous is allowed for Sephardic Jews and is common in their Passover celebrations, as is rice.

              Hudson has their menu listed under Holiday menus on their menu page:

              They have matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, leg of lamb, brisket etc. Looks pretty good. I'll report back since we will be going on Thursday. I hope this is a menu for the whole week.

              1. re: Elyssa

                You're replying to me, but I'm not sure the point you're making here. You seem to be trying to teach me how Hudson's menu reflects the practices of Sephardic Jews. However, I suspect you're actually trying to make a different point that I don't get, since I'd already written what you've posted.

                1. re: Indy 67

                  Has anyone tried the Hudson Passover menu yet? We were thinking about trying it out tonight...

                  1. re: KWynn

                    I have a 7pm reservation tonight, so I'll let you all know.

                    1. re: Elyssa

                      Elyssa (and anyone else thinking about it): Hold off! I called them since there were no reservations on opentable and they said that the Passover menu was only available on Saturday and Sunday nights. While it doesn't state this on the website, the hostess confirmed that this menu is not available now.

                      1. re: KWynn

                        Aw bummer. Well I think there is still stuff for us to order there. I might just go ahead and keep the reservation (it was an 1000 point reservation on Opentable). They should have made that more clear on their website though.

                  2. re: Indy 67

                    I just replied in the wrong spot---I imagine we were making the same point. No big deal.

        2. Todd Gray at Equinox was offering a four course Passover menu over the weekend. I don't know if it is still being offered this week, though.

          1. Hudson't has a Passover menu.

            If you want to stick with Urbana, you could always get a cheese and meat plate and get a side of nuts/olives and veggies for nibbling. Or get a drink at Urbana and then go across the street to Uni for sushi. You can really go anywhere and just get the low carb options of things (hence no bread, rice, pasta).

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jacey

              Sushi is a little touch unless I'm going all raw fish, which I tend not to do. But the chatecurie platter at Urbana (or elsewhere) can always work.

              1. re: Elyssa

                Raw fish is the only way to go for sushi! you can always get eel or one of the cooked dishes. Being Passover friendly is very easy when eating out, as long as you're not a carb-phene

              2. re: Jacey

                There is no such thing as sushi without rice; the term means the vinegared rice.

                Sashimi is raw fish without the rice.

              3. I ended up at Hudson last night and while they weren't serving their exclusive Passover menu there were a ton of things on the menu that are Passover-friendly.

                I have been to this restaurant a number of times since it's in my neighborhood and some items and meals have been better then others. I was a little despressed that I couldn't eat their incredible parker house rolls but overall the meal was quite good.

                We started out with a pitcher of the white sangria margarita drink. Very good and summery. Filled with bits of fruit, especially grapefruit which I love. We shared the deviled eggs which I've had before and while not as delicious as Acadiana's they are still a good starter.

                For my entree I had the ahi tuna nicoise salad. It was delicious. A great, light dressing, eggs, potato, 2 medium size chunks of tuna perfectly cooked and seasoned. It was a great salad and I will certainly order it again.

                My friend got the duck which she seemed to enjoy. The portion size was very big. It also came with a cone of their yummy fries which I shared with her.

                Overall it was a nice meal. We couldn't snag a seat outside but got one near the door so we could feel the breeze. Our waiter was friendly and attentative when he needed to be. I paid around $36 (plus tip and tax) for my part of the meal....not bad at all. I can never understand the folks that think this place is expensive. It's actually quite affordable considering what I ordered. Certainly worth checking out, especially now that they have opened up the outdoor seating area.