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December 11, 2009

Hanukkah dinners at local restaurants

HanukkahFood.jpgI asked some of my Jewish friends here at the Sun if they would be interested in writing a blog post for me about food for Hanukkah, but they just laughed. I guess they're a little busy.

Editor Amanda suggested asking for readers' latke recipes, and certainly if you want to share yours, please post below. But I was hoping for something a little more personal.

Failing that, I got this e-mail from Alan Morstein, the owner of Regi's American Bistro this morning: ...

Just an F.Y.I., Regi's is having its 6th annual Hanukkah Dinner Tuesday, December 15th. In addition to our regular menu we will feature: Chicken Noodle Soup, Hot Beef Brisket with carrots, baby potatoes and brown gravy, Roasted Chicken with au gratin potatoes and sauteed string beans AND our homemade potato latkes. Everyone will receive complimentary jelly donuts baked for us by Goldmans Kosher Bakery.

On you blog you mention Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners, how about spinning the dreidel at Regi's for Hanukkah!

I'm happy to give Regi's Hanukkah dinner some press -- it sounds delicious -- but I'd also like to hear about any other restaurants that are celebrating with a non-Christian meal.

Hanukkah? Kwanzaa? Winter Solstice? Bring 'em on. The more good cheer in these dark days the better!

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 2:15 PM | | Comments (20)


For Hanukkah, you are supposed to eat fried foods. So, Regi's is serving soup, brisket and roasted chicken? Ok....I guess that explains why they are serving anything au gratin with brisket.

Well, to be fair there are latkes and jelly doughnuts. EL

I think it's nice that Regi's is at least reaching out to Jewish customers, albeit, cultural Jews. They should switch their potatos to latkes though, it'd be more in keeping the traditional menu.

I shred potatoes or zuchinni,& onions, add beaten eggs and enough matzoh meal or flour to hold together, salt and pepper & fry like pancakes over medium high heat until cooked through and brownish and crispy. I serve with sour cream although there are applesauce fans too. BTW, if you are going to try zuchinni, you need to really dry it out well with paper towels first after shredding or your batter will be too wet.

should have mentioned that I fry them in "OIL" vegetable or cannola oil. Oil is the star of the night because of the miracle of the lights.

Joyce W., doesn't Regi's message say they are serving their latkes in addition to potatoes au gratin?

Don't au gratin potatoes have cheese and cream in them? Go ahead, add a crab cake.

The wife and I are deciding whether to go to the Oceanaire or to Chicken Rico for our Hanukkah dinner tonight. I'm not sure which one is less appropriate for the holiday.

This isn't nearly as bad as what a former president of my alma mater did. She invited all the Jewish students over for Passover, then served bagels (Lender's food service frozen bagels, even) and Jello in the shape of a menorah.

yes, Dahlink, indeed it does. I was a bad reader. I think my brain just couldn't wrap itself around 2 potato dishes at one meal, not that there's anything wrong with that! I love the spuds!

Orthodox Jews are unlikely to be eating at Regi's, BIC. Cultural Jews are more form over function or something like that...

Lissa, that's just ... wrong!

Actually, Joyce, there are three potato dishes in that menu (baby potatoes, potatoes au gratin, and the latkes). Seems rather British.

veriest 30

Regi's selection sounds delish. Lissa - that made me laugh:)

What's a little chametz mit tref between friends? Especially for the holiday?!?

Captcha: linger disorganized (this thing can see me and my housekeeping!)

Might I suggest that for this dinner, Regi's dispense with the usual musical ambience and instead regale diners with the Tom Lehrer classic, "I'm Spending Hannukah in Santa Monica."

MAG, they might want to skip that other Tom Lehrer classic "I Hold Your Hand in Mine."

And for dessert, Hanukkah "gelt". You know, the chocolate coins covered in gold foil that are used as betting coins for the Driedel game. Or was that just my house?

Music should be Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song.

Captcha: ds hunched (over my computer, as usual.)

This all made me remember Brandon Walker's wonderful Chinese Food On Christmas.

Captchas: Repub candice, dunboyne de

Um, gratin does not equal cheese. Gratin means something cooked in a gratin dish (shallow, oval) and with a crust, which is traditionally made from breadcrumbs (gratinee means the equivalent of crusted in French). I have a recipe for potatoes au gratin, in which the potatoes are layered with sage leaves and brushed with olive oil, then topped with bread crumbs and baked. Regi's potatoes au gratin could, of course, have cheese in it, but potatoes au gratin does not necessary imply cheese, only that the potatoes are baked with some kind of crust.

Mmmm, Baltofoodie--potatoes with sage. That sounds great!

I also have a great eggplant gratin recipe, with slices of eggplant layered with sliced tomatoes and sliced onions, drizzled with a mixture of olive oil, herbs, and chopped garlic, topped with breadcrumbs and baked. Full disclosure: I got a gratin dish as a present, and these were the recipes that came in the brochure with the dish, thus making me a gratin "expert". The recipes are both keepers, but I usually just use my old Pyrex pie pan rather than the white gratin dish, which is kind of hard to clean (made of some super-authentic white porcelain from Williams-Sonoma. Probably cost as much as dinner for two at Regi's!)

All this talk of potatoes (America's best-selling vegetable) reminds me of the weirdest thing I ever used to order, the all-potato dinner. My husband claims he invented it/ordered it at Haussner's. I then began ordering it at the Double T Diner and I'll never forget one particular night and the growing look of concern and confusion on the face of our waiter, who spoke almost no English and who was maybe on his first day on the job, as I ordered one potato dish after another until I had filled out the four-item vegetarian plate. OK, it's confessional time: what's the weirdest thing/combination you have ever ordered?

Baltofoodie, try spraying Pam (or another vegetable spray) in any dish in which you're going to bake anything crusty (mac & cheese, gratins, etc.). The dishes clean up in a snap.

Captcha: Butter clearer
Works for me!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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