Cook's night off

Feel like dining out during the long holiday? Here are some of the tasty options that are available.

Gaya dish 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Gaya dish 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Alot of restaurants boast “Kosher for Pessah” menus, while in reality serving hametz-free nonkosher menus for those who do not keep kosher but will not eat hametz over Pessah. But whereas in the past many kosher restaurants simply closed for business during the Pessah, nowadays many of them go through the tedious process of making their kitchens kosher for Pessah and offer great kosher for Pessah special menus.
A lot of the restaurants also offer catering service for the Seder night or any other of the holiday meals, in case you get tired.
All hotel restaurants offer kosher for Pessah meals. Try the Olive Leaf at the Tel Aviv Sheraton. Chef Charlie Fadida created a special menu consisting of fresh salads, filet of beef with asparagus, sea-fish with artichoke, Pavlova with strawberries and many more options. For large parties, choose the VIP private room and your very own menu. Open Wed-Thur 7- 10:30 p.m. (03) 521-9300.
Not a long walk down the Tel Aviv beach promenade, you can find the excellent kosher fish restaurant Armando, which serves one of the best kosher meals in the city. For Pessah there is an array of fresh and cooked salads to start with and a choice of grilled or fried fish. Or try the place’s signature dish – the chef’s mom’s Moroccan fish stew. Business lunch is available throughout the day and includes 12-14 salads plus your choice of main dish for the price of the main dish. There are also very good beef and lamb dishes. Sun-Thur, 12 – last order. 88 Herbert Samuel Tel Aviv, (03) 510-1601.
A kosher place in Tel Aviv was recently opened in the new and quaint area of the Tahana, near Neveh Tzedek. Regina is a beautiful place and, unlike the other restaurants in the compound, it is kosher. The regular menu offers dishes that are inspired by the many different cuisines of Israel – from the Polish chopped liver to Moroccan chreime (spicy red fish) to Jerusalem chicken with dried fruit and Hungarian goulash. For Pessah they will have special eat-in and take-out menus. A great place for big family and friends gatherings, either in the rooms or out in the lovely courtyard. Open Sun-Thur 10 a.m.- last order. 057-944-3031.
Cafe Jo is always a good option when out and about. For the holiday they offer a comprehensive kosher menu including special Pessah pizza (NIS 35 – NIS 41), gnocchi (NIS 46 – NIS 48) desserts and special breakfasts.
Shemo, the bakery from Haifa that now has branches in the center as well, becomes strictly kosher for Pessah and offers an amazing array of cakes, cookies, desserts and savory baked goods such as quiches and pies. They all look great as well and make for a perfect gift to bring when visiting friends and family. Open 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. And Seder night 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. For telephone numbers of the bakery near you, go to Non-kosher fare Pier 23 offers a Mexican Pessah with nachos and other delicacies made from potato flour. The restaurant is not kosher, serving seafood as well as meat and fish dishes, but during the holiday there will be no hametz.
Hangar 23, Tel Aviv Port, (03) 546- 9937.
Another restaurant that will serve flour-free baked goods for Pessah alongside seafood is Adama in Zichron Ya’acov. They offer many special dishes for the holiday week, as well as take-outs for the Seder night, with a minimum of NIS 250.
Chef Sahar Rafael of Cramim offers an all fish spring dinner including sea bream with green fava beans (NIS 94), grouper stew with root vegetables (NIS 84), fish kebabs and more. Open 9 a.m.-midnight. (08) 850-5859 The Asian bar MOJO, with branches in Netanya and Tel Aviv, offers kosher for Pessah gluten-free noodles, with shrimps and other nonkosher dishes. But there are many chicken and fish dishes and other reasonably priced menu offerings, as well as kids’ complete lunch menus for NIS 35. At 86 Hachashmonaim St. Tel Aviv, (03) 634-7777
Chef restaurant Maraboo in Ramat Gan celebrates the Festival of Freedom with special take-out menus, as well as sit-down dinners. Try the meat and root vegetables stew (NIS 94), roasted chicken with mushrooms (NIS 80) or the coconut dessert served in a personal glass jar with fresh fruit (NIS 18). Open noon-11 p.m. Closed on the Seder night and Pessah day. (03) 603-6666.
Tulip, the Hungarian restaurant, invites its clients to enjoy traditional European holiday delicacies such as gefilte fish and horseradish, goose and cabbage stew with champagne, meat with mushroom and a Hungarian dessert of meringue, chocolate and nuts, for NIS 250 or to take home a full dinner for four for NIS 299. At 52 Yehuda Halevy, Tel Aviv.
In Haifa, Minna Tomei is a nonkosher Asian restaurant that offers a Thai meal for those that couldn’t go to the islands this year. It offers a few specials such as sum tam, pad kapau and other lovely exotic dishes. (04) 666-8080.
Chef restaurant Pushkin invites its guests to enjoy a gourmet non-kosher special spring menu in the best of French cooking style, with dishes such as saffron risotto, lobster and beef Wellington. 27 Montefiore St., Tel Aviv (03) 525-1501