Freedom through food: Passover 2010 kosher dining options in Jerusalem
Jerusalem is proving once again that leaven-free need not mean taste-free, with kosher restaurants offering tasty alternatives to the traditional Passover diet of matza, borscht and baked potatoes.
Leading the pack this year is Sushi Rechavia, which for the first time will be serving kitniot. Finally, authentic maki with rice instead of mashed potatoes and other kitniot-free alternatives that Jerusalem sushi restaurants have in past years (Jews descending from Eastern European communities traditionally avoid kitniot, legumes, since they often resemble grains, even though they are not actually grains). For those of you who must keep to your Ashkenazi rabbinic pronouncements, there's always Korusin at the Malcha Mall, offering Asian fusion without kitniot over the curse of Passover 2010.
In fact, it seems that a number of restaurants have decided to go Middle Eastern this year, following the less-stringent Sephardi custom of serving kitniot. Buffalo Steakhouse, Caffit and Coffee Shop, among others, are all opting to stay open for the week, with a kashrut certificate that allows them to cook with beans, rice and derivatives of these categories of ingredients. Here's a brief run-down on our most highly recommended Jerusalem restaurants offering to free their patrons from the bondage of stale macaroons, conveniently organized for your reference according to cuisine.
With their pasta-heavy menus, it seems odd that most of Jerusalem's Italian restaurants have chosen to remain open on Passover. Little Italy, which has been going kosher for the holiday for 10 years now, has solved the problem by creating pasta and pizza out of potato flour (with a little matza thrown in as a binding agent - no pun intended). Fans of Italian food can also check out Angelica and Luigi.
For hot spots like Villandry, whose high-class menu is already based on meat and fish, Passover just means a smaller menu than usual, but the basics remain the same. Ditto for Gabriel and La Guta. For visitors seeking a more intimate dining experience, there's always Spoons, exclusive private dining in a home in the Yemin Moshe neighborhood. Call in advance to book and discuss the menu, which changes daily.
For those looking for a more low-key dining experience, perennial date hot-spot Tmol Shilshom will be open for business, as will Cup O'Joe, with a kitniot-based menu. Landmarks including Caffit and Coffee Shop will be churning out the cappuccinos all week long as well.
And of course there are the meat places - you can grill just as well on Passover as you can throughout the year, as patrons of Joy Grill and Beer and El Gaucho will be the first to tell you.
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