Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Russ & Daughters for Passover

52. Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston

When I wrote about Russ & Daughters a few weeks ago, I was there for the smoked fish and wound up leaving with an assortment of treats including chopped herring salad and pretty much the best whitefish salad I ever had. With the TONY item only served during Passover and the High Holidays, I returned to R&D to sample their whitefish-salmon gefilte fish ($3.50 per piece). Gefilte fish is something of a mystery to those who didn’t grow up eating it with Friday night dinners and Passover seders. Gefilte fish is a fish patty made mostly from pike and carp, usually topped with spicy horseradish, and given its texture I can see why there are many that shy away from this appetizer. I’m more than happy to take their serving. It’s part of my tradition and I remember how much of a grown-up thing it was to start using the white horseradish instead of the red horseradish mixed with beets. While there are homemade versions and already made straight from the can, given how much I enjoyed their other offerings, I was excited for R&D’s gefilte fish. Unfortunately, I was severely disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe it was because it was simply not what I was used to, but nothing about this gefilte fish worked for me. The texture was there, but the flavors just didn’t work. I quickly pacified my dissatisfaction with a spoonful of whitefish salad, knowing that next time, I’ll save the cash and opt for a piece straight from the jar.

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