It's Seder time

Despite celebrating freedom, Passover can send you right back into slavery - by way of the kitchen. No longer does this need to be the case.

Here it comes again. That one time a year when our culinary world is sans sense. During this time, many of us simply ignore some rather abnormal occurrences: We eat gelatinous and grey fish patties; shwarma and felafel stands serve pitas made from plywood; and possibly most disturbing, beer is no where to be found (with the exceptions of the bars, pubs and clubs of some establishments around the country). As such, we at the dining page have rounded up a number of options to help you survive this leaven free week. Wednesday is seder night. For those hosting this meal, preparations often mean a brush with bondage. If you're tired of slaving over the proverbial hot stove, then check out the following places, to where you can outsource this task. Though I must warn you, it might prove tricky to take the credit for some of these dishes. Sender offers traditional Jewish food with special delivery service for Passover and 10% off orders over 10 dishes. 54 Levinsky St., TA; (03) 537-1872 Shula helps out the Caesarian region of the country with a variety of salads, fish soup, fish and main courses such as caramelized goose leg (NIS 120 per kg) and whole chicken stuffed with rice and pine nuts (NIS 50 per kg). The North Business Park; (04) 637-7715 Tsimmes offers traditional Jewish dishes by weight or with special menus for 5 or 10 people. 27 Mashkit St., Herzliya Pituah; (09) 956-1145 Dereh Hameshi, a new Bukharian restaurant whose name means "the silk way," offers traditional rice-based Bukharian dishes as well as gushgasha, baked pockets made of matza flour and filled with beef and fried onions. 1 Shoham St., Ramat Gan; (03) 751-1833 Rokach 73's chef Eyal Lavie offers classic Passover dishes along side the regular super tasty menu dishes. Interesting options include his version of carrot salad with anise, vanilla and chili (NIS 50 per kg), beef bourguignon with root vegetables and mushrooms (NIS 68), plum compote with brandy, almonds and vanilla ice cream (NIS 26) and the inescapable gefilte fish with homemade horse radish (NIS 16). 73 Rokach St., TA; (03) 744-8844 Como catering service offers a full meal for NIS 320 per person. Dishes include baked Norwegian salmon, leak and asparagus soup, green salad with caramelized pears, fresh artichoke and peaches in red wine and coconut sorbet for dessert. 5 Hashahar St., Moshav Mazor; (03) 906-3306 If you are into the whole cook-at-home thing and wanna cook fish but have no time to visit your favorite fishmonger, GG Denis delivers fresh sea bream (NIS 50 per kg) and sea bass (NIS 65 per kg) from Cyprus to your door (052) 773-1273; Arlekino's special Passover desserts just might be what you seek with a series of wine ice creams. Flavors, made with Tavor winery wines, include strawberries in Chardonnay cream, black raspberry and Cabernet Sauvignon and litchi in rose wine. 39 Ben Gurion St., TA; (03) 522-4212 and 97 Ben Gurion St., Bat Yam; (03) 551-6288 After a huge meal of egg, fish, potatoes, salads, matza and compote, coffee and some baked goods are simply inevitable. Fortunately, we've come a long way since those dreadful peanut cookies and matza-chocolate-matza cake. Mickey Shemo's chocolate-coffee macaroons as well as his almond cookies (NIS 35 per package) are terrific. He also has cakes, tarts, pies and gift suggestions such as his aptly titled cookbook The Best of Shemo with a cake for NIS 140. Tati Bread continues to offer great baked goods - even for Passover. Their nougat and cocoa cookies (NIS 33) are crispy and delicious and I loved the amaretto and marzipan cookies (NIS 39), and I'm not usually a marzipan man. The very rich chocolate and cherries fudge cake (NIS 62) was a huge success amongst the chocolate lovers I know, of which there're many. And, you'd never know their poppy seed cake (NIS 47) is kosher. 53 Hashalom St., Givatayim; (03) 539-2500 Undoubtedly, there are those of you who will say, "no more!" No more will we recline like kings, surrounded by crying babies and drunk uncles, what with their just unfunny Ben Zoma jokes! No more will we stuff ourselves with the mother-in-law's chopped liver just to get her off our back! "Let my family go!" I say. This year, why not be done with it all and head out for the Seder meal? Indira mixes things up a bit with a Seder meal that begins with the traditional salads, gefilte fish, etc. For the main course, however, this Indian restaurant serves an Indian mixed meat platter with three side dishes. Including dessert and unlimited drinks - including wine, of course - the meal is NIS 195 per person and NIS 90 for children under 5. 4 Shaul Hameleh Blvd., TA; (03) 695-4437 Lucas Brasserie stays open for Seder night offering their regular menu as well as special Seder items such as the Seder plate and matza ball soup. 5 Mazeh St., TA; (03) 525-2565 The fantastic BabaYaga offers a Seder with an array of starters served tableside, as well as soup, main course and unlimited wine for NIS 250 per person. Among the dishes are gefilte fish, roast beef, lamb chops with asparagus, sea bass baked in a terracotta brick and more. Wines are from the Galil and Tavor wineries. 12 Hayarkon St., TA; (03) 516-7305