Philacatessen | Ristorante Panorama Hosts Passover Seder

Photo by Alexis Canary

Ristorante Panorama, the award-winning Italian restaurant located in the Penns View Hotel in Old City is hosting seders this year.

The restaurant is offering an Italian take on the traditional Passover dinner with a kosher-style menu, and Chef Matthew Gentile (yes, it’s ironic) has done his homework.

He explained, “I did a good deal of research into seder and found that while leavening isn’t allowed, you have a 13-minute window when mixing grain with water to bake it and halt the process. The pasta on our seder menu, sfoglietti, is the technical name for a pasta that is mixed then rolled and baked to stop the leavening process. … I felt that being an Italian restaurant, we needed to do a pasta, so I found a way to do it. We are also offering a rye crisp, which, like a matzo, also falls under the 13 -minute rule.”

The genesis of the idea to host the seder grew over a quarter century of serving a diverse clientele. The restaurant has always been popular with the Jewish community, and many regulars became close friends with the owners and staff. They asked to host holidays at Panorama, and the process evolved organically.

The menu, which is offered for the entire week of Passover, includes the following courses:

Matzo ball soup with smoked sea bass, porcini and broth.

Sfoglietti pasta with veal bacon carbonara and spring garlic.

Lamb pastrami with rye polenta and cabbage giardineira.

Layered flourless chocolate torte with mousse and shaved chocolate and brandied cherries or sorbet from Franklin Fountain.

A seder plate will be provided on the first two nights of Passover, and guests are welcome to bring a Haggadah. The restaurant, renowned for its enormous wine cellar, also offers a wine pairing with each course to ensure consumption of the requisite four glasses.

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