Hanukkah, the festival of light, officially began at sundown this dark day — so, at about 3 p.m., by our count. Therefore: Happy Hanukkah! And now, on to what to eat for the week. We've rounded up a diverse array of dining options, beyond the usual suspects. If you're looking for something new, or just a little unusual (a Mexican Hanukkah, anyone?), check out our lineup, after the jump.
Chef-owner Melissa Muller-Daka has created a Hanukkah menu inspired by the holiday meals of Sicilian Jews. The à la carte options begin with a caponata of eggplant, carrots, and olives over crostini, moves on to a raisin- and pine-nut-studded fettucine with ricotta and cinnamon, then fried chicken accompanied by sweet-potato-and-artichoke gratin, and finally, ricotta doughnuts with berry-compote filling.
Nikki Cascone, pregnant though she may be, could hardly open a "global Jewish restaurant" without offering something special for Hanukkah. The chef-owner rises to the occasion with a $28 prix fixe that commences with spinach, mushroom, and ricotta fritters with spicy tomato jam; moves on to a choice of mains: duck breast with sweet-potato latkes or roasted free-range chicken with cardamom-glazed carrots and challah-date stuffing; and for dessert, peanut-butter-and-jelly doughnuts, and housemade gelt (traditional chocolate coins).
We're not sure how to say "Happy Hanukkah" in Spanish, but we're pretty jazzed about this Mex-inflected menu from chef Julian Medina, whose wife, Annie, is Jewish. The à la carte selection starts with a trio of latkes (potato-jalapeño with horseradish crema, zucchin with tomatillo-apple salsa, and Mexican ricotta garnished with chipotle and agave). For mains, find "tacos de brisket," or chipotle-glazed chicken served with olives and dried apricots and figs. Dessert, naturally, is doughnuts: sufganivot, filled with dulce de leche. The menu is also available at Yerba Buena and Yerba Buena Perry.