The Jewish holiday of Purim kicks off at sundown on Saturday, March 15 this year. A celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish people in Persia over the wicked Haman, the right-hand man to Persia's Xerxes I (the same guy who battles the Spartans in "300"). It's one of those rare religious holidays where "celebration" actually means what it says: costumes, gift-giving, feasting and even drinking are encouraged. In fact, the Book of Esther says you should drink enough wine that you can't tell the difference between the good guy (Mordechai) and the bad guy (Haman), in a display of hazy unity. While we might not encourage that level of revelry, we've rounded up a few of the many spots around town to get your mitzvah on.
Reserve Cut, a kosher steakhouse in the Financial District, will be baking up hamantashen (a fruit or chocolate-stuffed sugar cookie baked and gifted for the holiday) beginning at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Choose from a variety of traditional flavors, including Raspberry, Apricot, Date, Chocolate and Halvah (sesame flour and honey paste). Eat them on the spot or take away. The cookies come four per order for $14. 40 Broad Street between Exchange and Beaver Streets, 212.747.0300 reservecut.com
La Brochette, an upscale kosher steakhouse and sushi bar in Murray Hill is hosting a post-Purim costume contest on Sunday, March 16 starting at 6 p.m. The winner will receive dinner for two at La Brochette, along with a complementary bottle of wine. The runner up gets lunch for two, and third place gets a free appetizer during their next visit. All eligible contestants get a complimentary glass of wine or mixed drink. Kids can participate as well, and get a free soft drink the night of the event. To be eligible, wear a costume to the restaurant the evening of March 16. Judges will observe the costumes and choose the winners at the end of the night. 340 Lexington at 39th Street, 212.972.2200, labrochetteny.com
Sarabeth's Bakery in Chelsea Market is offering up two flavors of hamantaschen this weekend: orange-apricot and prune. Sarabeth says the recipe is one her mother gave her, and which she now shares with her granddaughter, so you know there's some "sweet cred" there. Cookies are $2.75 each. 75 Ninth Avenue at 15th St, 212.989.2424, sarabeth.com
Not going out for Purim? Snooth.com has an excellent recipe for Hamantaschen cookies which, while it might not replace your grandmother's version, ought to do well in a tiny NYC kitchen. Fill with apricot, prune, poppy seed filling or whatever grandma recommends. Find the recipe here.
Purim 2014 takes place from sundown Saturday, March 14 through sundown Sunday, March 15.
Thirsty for more? Check out National Spirits Examiner or NY Drinks Examiner.
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