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pieces of matzo covered in chocolate, barberries, raisins and, nuts.
Matzo covered in chocolate, barberries, raisins and, nuts.
Sumac/Supplied

How to Stock a Passover Seder in Montreal

For all the chicken soup, smoked turkey, gefilte fish, and chocolate-covered matzo required

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Matzo covered in chocolate, barberries, raisins and, nuts.
| Sumac/Supplied

Montreal’s Jewish community is getting ready for Passover, the holiday when matzo is on the menu — and bread, or anything that might possibly have touched water to rise and ferment, is not.

From the first Seder, starting at sundown on April 15 to the end of the holiday at sunset on April 23, there’s plenty of anticipation to join family and friends in homes. With restaurants and caterers serving the large Ashkenaz (Eastern European) and Sephardic (Middle Eastern) populations in the city, there’s a wide variety of options for Seder meals and everyday Passover dining. Pre-ordering is essential, so by all means plan — and order early.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Hof Kelsten

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Chef Dan Geltner prepares a traditional Jewish meal every Friday night; for Passover, he’s getting a menu ready with matzo ball soup, charoset, brisket, and apple matzo cake. Keep watch of the bakery’s Instagram page for further details and additional menu items.

Schwartz's Deli

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Schwartz’s prepares traditional smoked turkeys and ducks with five day’s notice. The turkeys usually come in at around 10 pounds and can feed many, while the ducks average three pounds and are enough for four if there are other dishes. Smoked meat, though less traditional for Passover, is available with no advance notice.

This kosher restaurant and caterer in TMR proposes two different Sephardic menus for the holiday meal at different price points, with everything from baba ghanoush to lemon chicken on the smaller menu and Moroccan salmon with lamb tajine as the highlights for the more elaborate one. Pre-ordering is essential. 

Shiller’s

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Former Tuck Shop and Provisions chef Adam Shiller has weathered the pandemic storm and come out with a classic Passover menu, setting the table with a traditional Seder plate kit, charoset — an apple and walnut mix meant to replicate the mortar used to build the Pyramids, but more delicious, obviously — matzo ball soup, chopped liver, and gefilte fish. Mains include single servings of brisket, lamb, or salmon. Shiller’s chocolate and caramel matzo brittle is worth waiting a year for. Order by April 10 via Instagram, for pick-up at Suite 200 of the address listed above.

Snowdon Deli

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Kosher-style classic Snowdon Deli has all the Eastern European hits: gefilte fish, chopped liver, tzimmes (sweet potato and carrot stew), chicken — or cabbage — soup, and potato knishes for Seders and beyond. The restaurant is open during Passover, but only for takeout.

Sumac’s regular menu offers a collection of suitable-for-Passover foods, but more will be added for the occasion, including an eggplant salad and additional vegetable dips. Keep on the lookout for several varieties of chocolate-covered matzo — always a hit.

J&R Kosher

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J&R Kosher offers à la carte Passover foods for takeout before and during the holiday, including all kinds of chicken dishes: fingers, schnitzel, barbecue, and soup. Other dishes — including Kosher Chinese — are available based on the inspiration of the chef. Those who planned weeks ahead were able to pre-order set Ashkenaz, Sephardic, or Passover Chinese Seder meals. It’s too late for this year’s holiday, but why not pop in a calendar reminder for next?

Arthurs Nosh Bar

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Arthur’s keeps up with Passover traditions with dishes that are always on the menu: chicken soup with matzo balls, eggplant salad, and coleslaw. Takeout and dine-in available, per usual. 

La Marguerite Catering

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Glatt Kosher La Marguerite is well-known for its refined pastries, breads, and sushi, as well as what they call “trendy takeout” — dirty fries, kosher pogos, and bao stand out — year-round. For Passover, the specialty here is moufleta, a special pancake made for Mimouna, the celebratory tradition at the end of the holiday when families go from house to house to mark the return to eating fermented and yeasted foods. Pre-ordering from this institution in Côte-Saint-Luc is a must.

Traiteur Beso Catering

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Sephardic community favourite Beso offers a ready-made Seder plate, eggplant schnitzel and salade cuite, mini sweet and sour meatballs, and every other type of Passover dish imaginable from their premises. Macarons and brownies (all kosher for Passover) provide a sweet ending to the meal. Order before April 10. 

Hof Kelsten

Chef Dan Geltner prepares a traditional Jewish meal every Friday night; for Passover, he’s getting a menu ready with matzo ball soup, charoset, brisket, and apple matzo cake. Keep watch of the bakery’s Instagram page for further details and additional menu items.

Schwartz's Deli

Schwartz’s prepares traditional smoked turkeys and ducks with five day’s notice. The turkeys usually come in at around 10 pounds and can feed many, while the ducks average three pounds and are enough for four if there are other dishes. Smoked meat, though less traditional for Passover, is available with no advance notice.

BSTRO

This kosher restaurant and caterer in TMR proposes two different Sephardic menus for the holiday meal at different price points, with everything from baba ghanoush to lemon chicken on the smaller menu and Moroccan salmon with lamb tajine as the highlights for the more elaborate one. Pre-ordering is essential. 

Shiller’s

Former Tuck Shop and Provisions chef Adam Shiller has weathered the pandemic storm and come out with a classic Passover menu, setting the table with a traditional Seder plate kit, charoset — an apple and walnut mix meant to replicate the mortar used to build the Pyramids, but more delicious, obviously — matzo ball soup, chopped liver, and gefilte fish. Mains include single servings of brisket, lamb, or salmon. Shiller’s chocolate and caramel matzo brittle is worth waiting a year for. Order by April 10 via Instagram, for pick-up at Suite 200 of the address listed above.

Snowdon Deli

Kosher-style classic Snowdon Deli has all the Eastern European hits: gefilte fish, chopped liver, tzimmes (sweet potato and carrot stew), chicken — or cabbage — soup, and potato knishes for Seders and beyond. The restaurant is open during Passover, but only for takeout.

Sumac

Sumac’s regular menu offers a collection of suitable-for-Passover foods, but more will be added for the occasion, including an eggplant salad and additional vegetable dips. Keep on the lookout for several varieties of chocolate-covered matzo — always a hit.

J&R Kosher

J&R Kosher offers à la carte Passover foods for takeout before and during the holiday, including all kinds of chicken dishes: fingers, schnitzel, barbecue, and soup. Other dishes — including Kosher Chinese — are available based on the inspiration of the chef. Those who planned weeks ahead were able to pre-order set Ashkenaz, Sephardic, or Passover Chinese Seder meals. It’s too late for this year’s holiday, but why not pop in a calendar reminder for next?

Arthurs Nosh Bar

Arthur’s keeps up with Passover traditions with dishes that are always on the menu: chicken soup with matzo balls, eggplant salad, and coleslaw. Takeout and dine-in available, per usual. 

La Marguerite Catering

Glatt Kosher La Marguerite is well-known for its refined pastries, breads, and sushi, as well as what they call “trendy takeout” — dirty fries, kosher pogos, and bao stand out — year-round. For Passover, the specialty here is moufleta, a special pancake made for Mimouna, the celebratory tradition at the end of the holiday when families go from house to house to mark the return to eating fermented and yeasted foods. Pre-ordering from this institution in Côte-Saint-Luc is a must.

Traiteur Beso Catering

Sephardic community favourite Beso offers a ready-made Seder plate, eggplant schnitzel and salade cuite, mini sweet and sour meatballs, and every other type of Passover dish imaginable from their premises. Macarons and brownies (all kosher for Passover) provide a sweet ending to the meal. Order before April 10. 

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