Located one block from the White House, the award-winning Equinox Restaurant in Washington, D.C., will serve chef-owner Todd Gray’s Passover Seder on Monday, April 10. Drawing inspiration from the season and traditional Israeli ingredients like tahini and chickpeas, the menu kicks off with pre-prandial nibbles of crudité with lemon pistachio hummus and fire-roasted eggplant with pickled spring vegetables. Next comes pasture egg shakshuka with asparagus, followed by pistachio-crusted Pennsylvania lamb with garlic, tahini, and minted jus. Alternatively, there is a vegan option available of truffled lentil cassoulet with golden beets and caramelized Brussels sprouts. For dessert, the restaurant will serve a flourless chocolate cake enhanced with apricot sorbet and espresso crème Anglaise. Equinox’s co-owner, Ellen Kassoff Gray, and her father, Ed Kassoff, will lead the Seder. The restaurant will continue to offer several of the Seder dishes throughout the rest of the holiday period
Equinox Restaurant: This is one of my favorite upscale dining venues. Chef Gray’s Sunday Supper deal is so reasonable you’re going to want to go every Sunday. It’s $45 for four courses, with an optional $20 wine pairing. Your meal kicks off with irresistible, fragrant rosemary gougeres. Next, you will choose three courses from a menu that changes every season to focus on a different country. Not only does it change every season, but each month during that season the menu will focus on a different region of that country. During the fall, Chef Gray focused on Italy and offered dishes like a mushroom Bolognese pasta. Last winter, the theme was France, and dishes served included lentil bisque, gnocchi, and dessert. As one of the most vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant’s in town, Chef Gray’s Sunday Supper meal will always include a plant-based option for each course.
Chef Todd Gray sits on the board of the Norwegian Seafood Council and is one of the earliest pioneers and supporters of sustainable seafood. At Equinox Restaurant he buys whole fishes and reduces food waste by using all of the fish in different dishes including the highly coveted “Equinox Fennel Spiced Salmon Burger.” Available during lunch, the burger is served on a buttery brioche bun (just the bottom half to reduce carbs) and accompanied by a Caesar salad and house made turmeric giardiniera that boost the flavor and health profile of the dish.
Todd Gray and his wife Ellen Kassoff Gray started incorporating vegan and vegetarian options into their menu in 1999.The positive response from Equinox’s loyal diners set off a chain reaction leading up to the creation of their famous vegan brunch, once served every Sunday at the old Corcoran Gallery of Art. Equinox’s menu, which changes seasonally, has now evolved into being 50 percent plant-based. Gray finds it both challenging and exciting to experiment with the breadth of plant-based ingredients, which, he notes, provide more variety than animal protein. Of the challenges, Kassoff cites the initial hurdle of getting diners out of their comfort zones.“You have to earn people’s trust with this way of eating,” she says. With each mushroom bolognese, polenta frite and cauliflower tempura, they get one step closer to doing just that..
Chef Todd and Ellen Gray, authors of The New Jewish Table, host a Passover celebration beginning at 6:30. Haggadahs are provided with the four-course meal, which can be matched with Israeli wine pairings ($55 per person, or $80 with wine pairings).
Equinox goes all out for the Passover seder, as they have for the past six years. Co-owner Ellen Kassoff Gray and her father, Ed Kassoff, will lead a seder meal on Monday, April 10 using the “Velveteen Rabbi’s Haggadah for Pesach”. The prix fixe menu includes lemon pistachio hummus, shakshuka with California asparagus, pistachio-crusted rack of Pennsylvania lamb, and flourless bittersweet chocolate cake for dessert. Cost is $55 per person or $80 with Israeli wine pairings. Looking for a business lunch spot? Equinox’s Seder menu will be available a la carte throughout Passover.
The Jewish holiday of Passover is one of tradition and meals known as Seders. Don't want to cook at home? There are plenty of area restaurants where you can attend a Seder or at least partake in a Seder-inspired meal. Just keep in mind that restaurants aren't likely to be kosher, let alone kosher for Passover. If that's an issue, ask for details.