Don’t pass over Pesach offerings at these Bay Area eateries

If cooking Passover dinner for 14 — or even four — makes you feel like you might pass out, how about passing around this article and suggesting the clan eat out this year? Or at least order in?

That being said, it should be noted that none of the restaurants included herein is kosher for Passover unless specifically noted, and the dinners at popular places may already be sold out.

Moreover, this list includes only those who alerted us to their offerings or responded to our queries as of last week, which was still a full fortnight before the first night of Passover on April 22. Thus, there may be some gaps.

As always, Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessen in Berkeley will be hosting informal Passover seders in its 110-seat eatery on both first and second nights, replete with fully stocked seder plates and homemade haggadahs to borrow (if necessary). A prix fixe seder is $40 per person and includes a choice of starter such as gefilte fish or matzah ball soup, a main course such as roasted zatar chicken or brisket with several types of kugels and dessert, plus one beverage.

Diners act out the plagues at Saul’s Deli community seder in 2013.

In addition, Passover food is available through April 30 for home seders (or just noshing). Just about every type of Pesach favorite imaginable is available for home ordering, but orders must be placed 36 hours before pickup day.

For reservations for seders on April 22 or 23, or to order Passover food in advance, visit www.saulsdeli.com/passover, or call (510) 848-DELI for more information.

Across the bay, Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen in San Francisco will be offering seders April 22-25, each of which will include a communal reading of the haggadah. Dinner will include chopped liver, gefilte fish, matzah ball soup, brisket and chocolate caramel matzah for $95 per guest, with four glasses of wine paired for $25 extra. Gratuity is included and a vegetarian option is available with advance notice.

Wise Sons is also offering a full Passover catering menu, with items like apricot-braised chicken and a seder plate kit. For a seat at the seders, which generally sell out, or details about ordering food, visit www.wisesonsdeli.com/passover or call (415) 992-NOSH.

Canela Bistro and Wine Bar in San Francisco is offering a Passover menu April 22-30 for $45, with an additional $25 for wine pairings; dishes also can be ordered a la carte.

The Spanish-inspired menu includes items such as matzah ball soup with sofrito (a Spanish sauce), chicken liver mousse with fresh-fried potato chips and tempranillo-braised beef brisket with roasted baby vegetable tsimmes and currants. For details or reservations, visit www.canelasf.com or call (415) 552-3000.

Things are so hectic at Shorty Goldstein’s in San Francisco these days — with owner-chef Michael Siegel preparing for his wedding and also cooking Jewish deli favorites to sell at Off the Grid’s weekly Presidio Picnic every Sunday  — that the deli probably won’t have time to add a Passover page to its website this year.

But Siegel wants people to know that Shorty’s will be selling Passover favorites again, such as matzah brei all day long (served either sweet with fruit or savory with a small salad). Other offerings include brownies (dark chocolate or chocolate/strawberry), gefilte fish and macaroons (plain, chocolate and green tea/chocolate). Matzah also will be on the menu and diners can substitute it for bread on any sandwich. Pre-orders are recommended, especially for the sweets. Visit www.shortygoldsteins.com or call (415) 986-2676.

For the fourth year, Comal in Berkeley will use its private dining room to  host two multicourse Mexican-influenced Passover meals. The April 25 and 26 dinners will include dishes such as jalapeño matzah balls and beef brisket in adobo with carrots, raisins, peanut-chile arbol salsa, mustard greens, habanero and lime. Sephardic laws are observed. Seating is limited to 22 diners per night; cost is $75 per person, with drinks extra. For details or reservations, visit www.tinyurl.com/comal-pesach-2016 or call (510) 926-6300.

Perbacco in San Francisco will hold its annual seder with chef Joyce Goldstein creating Jewish-Italian dishes.

Perbacco, the well-regarded San Francisco Italian restaurant, is doing its ninth annual seder with chef Joyce Goldstein creating Jewish-Italian dishes from her cookbook “Cucina Ebraica” on April 25 and 26.

The dinner includes family-style antipasti (including chopped duck liver and crispy fried artichokes), soup and choice of entrées such as sea bass with rhubarb sauce or roast chicken with orange, lemon and ginger. Sides and desserts are also served family style. The dinner is $55 per person excluding tax and gratuity; kosher wines from Covenant and cocktails are extra. For details or reservations, visit www.tinyurl.com/perbacco-pesach-2016 or call (415) 955-0663.

Firefly in San Francisco will be serving up Passover fare April 22-27, with everything offered a la carte. Dishes include Brad’s Famous Gefilte Fish with two-toned spicy horseradish, chopped liver, Brad’s Mom’s Brisket (with tsimmes) and Grandma Rose’s Matzah Ball Soup. For information, visit www.fireflysf.com or call (415) 821-7652.

Delfina in San Francisco will be serving chef Craig Stoll’s family walnut matzah ball soup, and will have a set Passover menu all week long along with its regular menu, while Delfina, Locanda and Pizzeria Delfina will all be serving wood-fired matzah made by Beauty’s Bagel Shop in Oakland. For information, visit www.delfinasf.com or call (415) 552-4055.

And speaking of Beauty’s, the popular appetizing shop will be offering a Passover catering menu throughout the week, though the owners ask that everything be ordered in advance. The list of items includes wood-fired matzah, gefilte fish, chrain, chopped liver, haroset, macaroons and matzah ball soup (both chicken and vegetarian versions). Orders for the first two nights of Passover must be placed by April 20. For information, visit www.tinyurl.com/beautys-pesach-2016 or call (510) 788-6098 in the afternoon.

Marla Bakery in San Francisco will be offering house-made matzah, coconut macaroons (both dipped in chocolate and not) and a flourless chocolate-orange torte. For details, visit www.marlabakery.com or call (415) 742-4379.

The Pasta Shop’s two locations, in Oakland’s Market Hall and on Fourth Street in Berkeley, are offering their usual array of prepared Passover foods. Traditional items are available, as well as dishes such as Moroccan chicken, smoked trout with a horseradish spread and gluten-free pavlova (a crisp meringue shell filled with lemon curd and topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits). Some items will be available in the stores, or order by April 20 for pickup from April 21 to 24. To see the menu and/or order, visit www.tinyurl.com/pastashop-pesach-2016, or call (510) 250-6001 (Oakland) or (510) 250-6004 (Berkeley).

Meanwhile, in the kosher world, L’Chaim Foods is offering a variety of foods prepared under the supervision of rebbetzin Johni Landau of Adath Israel Congregation, who reportedly has cooked seders for thousands.

Orders need to be placed by Sunday, April 10 for pickup on April 21. Options include items such as chicken matzah ball soup, chopped liver and gefilte fish, fruit sorbets, blueberry muffins, and potato or carrot kugel. For information, visit www.tinyurl.com/lchaim-pesach-2016 or call (415) 680-8020.

The kosher Grand Bakery in Oakland always has one of its busiest stretches of the year right before it shuts down for the full week of Passover. The iconic 17-year-old bakery will be offering coconut macaroons and almond macaroons (both with and without chocolate), almond logs, meringues and chocolate soufflé cakes. Owner Bob Jaffe says the shop will be open until midday on April 22. Grand has no website, so call (510) 465-1110 for information or to place an order.

Headshot of Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."