Posts Tagged ‘Chanukah’

Chanukah Events in New York City

If you’re planning to be in New York City this week, you can join in the Chanukah celebration that’s a fitting part of the city’s winter comeback.

Chanukah, the “Festival of Lights,” commemorates the victory of the Maccabees against the Sellucid Greeks and the miracle of oil that lasted eight nights during the re-sanctification of the Temple in Jerusalem. Remembering this miracle, a menorah (or Hanukkiah) is lit for eight nights with one candle added each nights until all eight (plus the “helper” Shamash candle) glow brightly.

Chanukah Dining

Courtesy Empellon Taqueria

New York has a wealth of culinary experiences designed for celebrating Chanukah. Many restaurants offer special menus or add latkes, brisket, sufganiyot and traditional matzoh ball soup to their menus. Some of the most notable are The Ribbon, Empellon Taqueria, Barney Greengrass, Veselka, Russ & Daughters, Zou Zou’s, Who’s Jac W.? and Dagon.

The Ribbon © Meryl Pearlstein

Newcomer Breads Bakery has treats to add to the festivities while delis PJ Bernstein, Katz’s Deli, Second Ave. Deli and Zabar’s offer Chanukah dishes year-round.

Light the Menorah

Grand Army Plaza Holiday Menorah © Julienne Schaer NYC & Co.

In addition, two of the United States’ largest menorahs stand tall in the city and are lit each of the eight nights of Chanukah, one in Manhattan at the southern edge of Central Park at Grand Army Plaza and the other in Brooklyn at its own Grand Army Plaza. Each menorah is 32-feet-tall and is made of 4000 pounds of steel.

Museums

Courtesy Hanukkah Hunt Gallery at The Jewish Museum

Two museums celebrate the holiday with fun activities:

Hanukkah Hunt Gallery at The Jewish Museum – On December 5, families can explore the Manhattan museum’s collection of menorahs from around the world. Children are encouraged to hunt through the collection, draw their discoveries in a sketchbook, and learn about the history of holiday through the years. In observance of health requirements, timed tickets are required.

11th Annual Latke Festival at the Brooklyn Museum © Hechler Photographers

11th Annual Latke Festival at the Brooklyn Museum – One of NYC’s most distinctive holiday tastings, the Latke Festival on December 6 is a charity event that celebrates the most delicious and most creative potato pancakes. Past winners have included Chef Dima Martseniuk of Veselka for “Best Vegetarian Latke” and Chef David Burke for “Best Newcomer Latke.”

Drink Up!

Courtesy Dekō Cocktails

Lest you think that Chanukah isn’t celebrated with some bubbly or other special libation, Dekō Cocktails is a new, certified kosher bottled cocktail company out of Long Island, New York with two beverages introduced just in time for the holiday. The ready-to-drink Bee’s Knees and Gold Rush cocktails use the fresh produce of the North Fork to create classic cocktails with a Long Island twist. Order these online for shipping anywhere or for delivery in NYC and Long Island. They also make a perfect hostess gift with their opulent Art Deco design bottles.

A Dozen Delicious Ways to Celebrate the Eight Days of Chanukah in NYC

Hungry for Chanukah treats? Here are a dozen places to grab some latkes, sufganiyot, brisket and more. Chanukah goes through December 6.

Manhattan

Veselka © Meryl Pearlstein

Veselka

Late-night revelers know Veselka in the East Village. The Ukrainian restaurant has been addressing munchies and warding off hangovers with their hearty borscht and pierogis since 1954. But, truly, it’s their latkes that are a standout for Chanukah. Dense and packed with potato flavor without any trace of greasiness, Veselka latkes have mastered the art of the potato pancake. You can sit outside in one of their private booths with heat lamps or join the party spirit indoors with the cool kids.

Courtesy Dagon

Dagon

Light your Menorah and then then head to the Upper West Side to the new Levantine restaurant Dagon from Chef Ari Bokovza. The pandemic-be-damned restaurant is serving up fresh grated potato latkes with a choice of three creative sides for their first Chanukah meal. Have it your way with a choice of horseradish-za’atar yogurt, smoked salmon, silan (date) and ginger apple sauce, pastrami-spiced short rib marmalade, harissa ketchup, tahini-amba (pickled mango), roasted bone marrow or American paddlefish caviar.

Courtesy The Regency Bar & Grill

The Regency Bar & Grill

Well-known among NYC’s power brokers, The Regency Bar & Grill on Park Avenue welcomes all with its Festival of Lights celebrations for lunch and dinner. Spice up your meal with classic Matzah Ball Soup and Carrots or a stack of potato latkes as you discuss the fate of the world and NYC business.

Courtesy Zou Zou’s

Zou Zou’s

In the new Manhattan West development behind Penn Station, the lively Eastern Mediterranean restaurant from Chef Madeline Sperling joins Executive Sous Chef Juliana Latif to celebrate Chanukah with an updated take on potato latkes, Zou Zou’s Crispy Latkes with Frizzled Thyme.

Courtesy Balaboosta

Balaboosta

Star of Israeli-Persian-Yemenite cuisine at her Meatpacking District restaurant, Chef Einat Admony has added holiday specials to Balaboosta’s menu. You can order Sufganiyot, the Israeli jelly donut staple of Chanukah, here filled with savory chicken liver mousse and topped with sweet amarena cherry compote. Additionally, try the Zengoula, a fresh Middle Eastern take on Chanukah sweets. The crisp funnel cakes are made with rose water, saffron honey and pistachio.

Courtesy PJ Bernstein

PJ Bernstein

Delis are a no-brainer when it comes to finding latkes on the menu year-round. Steve and Eugene Slobodksi’s PJ Bernstein on the Upper East Side has one of the best choices with more than half century of experience. Served up with apple sauce or sour cream, the latkes are delicious and worthy of ordering a bunch to go to freeze for the week. I’d prefer that you ignore the sour cream and just let the potatoes and apple combination work its magic.

Courtesy 2nd Ave. Deli

2nd Ave. Deli

The Second Avenue Deli may no longer be located on Second Avenue, but no matter, this is the real deal when it comes to deli dining and especially latkes. The latkes at their two locations on the Upper East Side and Midtown have been perfected over the deli’s 65-year history and it shows. They’re crispy with no trace of oil. The deli even uses them to create a crazy sandwich worthy of sharing, the Instant Heart Attack: it’s a mountain of a creation with corned beef, pastrami, turkey or salami between two latkes. I’m not sure that apple sauce would work with that.

Who’s Jac W.? © A. H. Reiss Photography

Who’s Jac W.?

This upstart restaurant featuring a mashup of styles and nationalities is offering latkes for their inaugural season. Indeed, Chef Joel Reiss’s latkes continue the inventive theme with Scallion Latkes turned into a meal with braised short rib, horseradish sour cream, natural jus and chive oil. For a sweet spin on a beverage to accompany, the Who’s Jac W.? sangria is made with Manischewitz wine, brandy, apple pucker, berry syrup and cranberry juice.

Courtesy Samesa

Samesa

Brisket is the name of the game at this Mediterranean fast-casual eatery at Rockefeller Center. After a day of skating or watching the light spectacular on the façade of Saks Fifth Avenue, head indoors to Samesa to warm up with this rib-sticking version made Mediterranean-style with apricots, dates, leeks and oranges as well as the usual holiday root veggies.

Courtesy Butterfield Market

Butterfield Market

Technically, Butterfield Market isn’t a restaurant – it’s where you order your takeout to create your at-home “restaurant.” Lucky for us, Butterfield Market doesn’t restrict selling their fabulous latkes to Chanukah. The light and golden potato pancakes are a tad on the pricy side but they’re worth it. And Butterfield’s homemade apple sauce is truly a thing of gastronomic beauty. Be sure to order a large portion of that as well, as you’ll want to eat it by the spoon even after you’ve finished all of your latkes

Brooklyn

Courtesy Olmsted

Olmsted

The acclaimed Prospect Heights restaurant from Chef Greg Baxtrom is offering a Giant Latke at their popular weekend brunch. Each Giant Latke is served in its own cast iron skillet and is topped with lemon crème fraiche and trout roe, very much Olmsted-style and very much delicious.

Courtesy Clinton Street Baking Company

Clinton Street Baking Company

Combining a brunch staple with a Hanukkah twist, the Time Out Market restaurant-bakery entices you to Brooklyn with its rich Latke Eggs Benedict. Chef Neil Kleinberg poaches cage-free eggs, pairs them with house smoked salmon and adds a bath of classic Hollandaise sauce, all served over crispy potato pancakes.

Chanukah Dining in Manhattan — December 20-28

For those of us who don’t feel like scraping our fingers raw, grating potatoes for potato latkes, or cooking up a brisket as big as a telephone book, there are wonderful restaurants in New York City that take the traditional Chanukah feast and turn it deliciously on its head.  Here are some wonderful ideas for a family gathering to celebrate the Festival of Lights. You can go to one for each of the eight nights (well, actually nine, if you include the last day), December 20-28, and then repeat your favorites.  I’ve already made my reservations at Toloache 82 for the night I return to the city.

More on Chanukah Dining in Manhattan — December 20-28

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