This Week’s NY Happenings: Easter Dinners, Passover Seder, Jarro Opens

TONIGHT: Cool Katz’s
Why should gentiles have all the fun? Tonight, Temple Emanu-El is throwing a Passover Seder at legendary pastrami-slinger Katz’s Delicatessen. The crowd will all be 20- and 30-somethings, enjoying the unleavened experience of a lifetime.

Passover at Katz’s Delicatessen (205 E. Houston St., Lower East Side) starts at 7pm tonight, Monday the 25th. Tickets are $60, reservations required. To learn more about the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

SUNDAY: Easter Feasts
Man cannot live on Easter candy alone. Fortunately, the city’s brightest spots are rolling out resurrection specials. Aquavit has a full-on smorgasbord, with classic Swedish sweets for dessert. Rabbit makes the Ligurian Easter feast at Lincoln Ristorante, while lobster and lamb highlight The Sea Fire Grill’s array. You can also check out the latest from Georges Forgeois (Bar Tabac, Café Noir, et al.), as his glam newbie Clarkson puts on an Easter prix fixe. Roasted frog legs and lamb are among the springtime specials, with buttermilk cake to finish.

Easter dinner at the new Clarkson (225 Varick St., West Village) starts at 4pm on Sunday, March 31st. Prix-fixe dinners are $45. To learn more about the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

NOW: Maison Jarro
Get a first look at Cobble Hill newcomer Jarro while sipping on six Pinot Noirs from around the globe. Chef Rodrigo Nogueira will accompany the tasting with “Brooklyn Pintxos,” a mash-up of Basque snacks and local ingredients.

Pinots and Pintxos is tonight at 8pm at Jarro (68 Bergen St., Cobble Hill). Tickets are $35, reservations required. To learn more about the restaurant, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

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The Top Passover Desserts In NYC

Passover is a passed-over holiday. Next to the glossy, commercial, egg-filled Easter, it definitely gets the shaft. And that’s a shame too, because a holiday celebrating the deliverance of Jewish people from slavery in Egypt really deserves its own aisle in Duane Reade. Nonetheless, some extra-special shops in NYC are taking pride in the holiday in the sweetest way possible by baking up fresh morsels of deliciousness. Chocolate is involved. Here are our favorite Passover desserts:

Russ & Daughters: This iconic LES specialty shop, open since 1914, is the go-to for the old-fashioned Passover classics : chocolate-dipped macaroons, fruit slices, flourless chocolate cake, and chocolate-covered jelly rings.

Tribeca Treats: Their chocolate buttercrunch matzo famously flies off the shelf, so order ASAP.

Jacques Torres: For creative matzo covered in the city’s top chocolate, head here. The dark chocolate-covered matzo comes in plain, peanut butter, and their signature “Wicked” spicy coating.

Sugar and Plumm: Passover cookies are the star of the show at this whimsical UWS dessert spot, with pasti di mandorla cookies and chocolate kiss-satchio cookies alongside chocolate matzo buttercrunch.

Patisserie by Francois Payard: Can’t choose? This French bakery offers a 48-piece assortment of almond petit fours, along with meringue kisses, and flourless chocolate walnut cookies.

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Photo: davidlebovitz.com

Happy Passover: What the Jews Won’t Do

To all the goyim out there, guess what: The Jews have an Easter-esque holiday, too. It’s Passover, and it tells the story of how we, the Jews, got the hell out of dodge after Moses talked to a burning bush and decided that we needed to bounce from Egypt, the Pharaoh, and slavery. Word. I could explain it for you — there’re ten plagues, four sons, four questions, twenty someodd glasses of Manny, and a 50-hour-long meal where you have to snack on flat, tasteless “bread” for 49 hours before you get to anything substantial — but it’s best put on display in Charlton Heston’s most substantial work (besides Beneath the Planet of the Apes), the never irrelevant The Ten Commandments. Go watch it.

That being said, the longstanding tradition of Jewish guilt prevents me from really partaking in anything not Passover-related for this time. I’m not really an observant Jew, but if my mother, my mother’s parents, or the rabbi who had the unfortunate “pleasure” of bar-mitzvah’ing me ever found out I wasn’t carrying the torch in some regard, I would be guilted into joining a kibbutz, which is the Jewish version of a cult. Which is why I’m here to offer some counter-programming for anybody who doesn’t celebrate Passover, as a way to take advantage of all the places and things New York’s Jews won’t be found shelling out for over the next two days (besides Murray Hill, obviously).

Eats – Kosher law prevents Jews from eating pork or shellfish, and mixing meat and cheese. Even the least-observant Jew probably won’t be found at Momofuku Ssäm Bar tonight, where the epic Bo Ssam (must be ordered ahead) presents you and seven other people with an entire pork shoulder, some bibb lettuce, 12 oysters, and rice (a puffy, leavened grain). Blue Smoke in Gramercy makes a mean pulled pork sandwich and a great mac n’ cheese to go with it. Located close to BlackBook HQ, they also rock an awesome bourbon selection, which (as a grain alcohol) can’t be enjoyed by the Jews today. Finally, the New York Times — the most Jew-tastic mainstream news organization in the history of news — has the (sacrilege!) bahn mi, a decidedly pork-on-pork-on-pork-on-bread sandwich, on the front page of the Dining section today (complete with nifty graphic). We recommend Baoguette, who has really great doughy, tasty leavened bread to eat on their sammies, but whatever you do, don’t order delivery from them.

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Travel – Last-minute trips to Egypt? You bet your ass the Jews will not be there. I checked on Expedia today to see if they offered up anything special for Passover — nothing specifically mentioning the holiday, unfortunately, but they do have incredibly cheap fares to Cairo. Screengrab above; $874, all things considered? Not so bad.

Nightlife – Steve Lewis’ blog is one year old, and the man is having a party to celebrate at Greenhouse. Someone already called him out on it; having a party on the first night of Passover? Semitic attendance could be sparse. It’s sponsored by Svedka — a not so Kosher-for-Passover libation — so Haggadah-approved drinking options at Greenhouse could be limited. Since they don’t carry the Manny, the motherly-guilt-oriented might not be seen there tonight. Begging Uncle Steve himself for admittance (or forgiveness) is highly encouraged.
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