Passover starts at sundown tonight. That means it's time for the annual Chicago Quirk round-up of how to maintain your social life - and sanity - during Passover.
Even if you're not part of the one percent of Chicagoans who are Jewish, read on. Try something new! However, if you're not familiar with Passover and the dietary restrictions associated with this important holiday, click here.
I have an insane sweet tooth, and the Manischewitz macaroons that come in a can just don't do it for me. (I don't care if it says it's chocolate cake flavored....it still tastes like stale coconuts.) Magnolia Bakery will feature its Matzo Crunch, a combination of matzo, handmade buttercrunch, chocolate, white chocolate and toffee pieces for $8 a bag. The Goddess and Grocer will have individual slices of chocolate ganache cheesecake or entire cakes, along with a very robust catering menu. You can also pick up a bag of matzo toffee at Toni Patisserie.
I grew up with the simple Passover food traditions: matzo ball soup, potato kugel, chocolate covered matzo. I love seeing all the different Passover-friendly dishes the restaurants around town come up with for their first and second night Passover seders. Tavern on Rush has matzo-crusted walleye; the Joe's Stone Crab menu features vegetarian chopped liver and chocolate macaroon pie; Maxwell’s at the Club will serve matzo baklava; and you can get smoked kobe brisket at Chicago Q's.
Passover lasts until next Tuesday night, but a lot of restaurants stop catering to the Chosen People after tomorrow night. Unacceptable! If you're keeping kosher for Passover, Bistronomic and the Mity Nice Grill will continue to serve a variety of meal options through April 2.