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City Winery to Open this Fall; Host Downtown Seder in April

NYC’s popular City Winery is finding a home in Chicago this fall. The urban winery will be Chicago’s first “custom crush” and will feature grapes from vineyards in Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Mendoza in Argentina. It will be located in the Sullivan Center (the former Carson Pirie Scott building) and in addition to on-site wine making, it will have a full restaurant, a private event space and a dynamic performance venue.

Although we have a while until the City Winery opens, founder Michael Dorf has decided to bring one his coveted events to Chicago this spring, the Downtown Seder. The Downtown Seder has been an annual sell-out event for the last 11 years in NYC, and aims to bring a highly interactive and imaginative twist to an often dreaded holiday. The event will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center on April 13, five days before the actual start of Passover allowing guests to bring the inspiration back to their own Passover seders.

Executive chef Laura Frankel of Spertus Kosher Catering will prepare a kosher meal featuring the cuisine of Wolfgang Puck. All of the traditional items like Matzah, four glasses of wine (from City Winery) and the Seder plate will also be present.

So why is this Seder different from all other Seders? Over 20 local and national artists will be seated with the guests to perform and offer their unique interpretations on the story of Exodus. Israeli singer/song writer David Broza, Flamenco guitarist Javier Rubial, NY comedian Judy Gold, and Chicago's own Cantor Alberto Mizrahi (the Jewish Pavarotti), among various other local musical acts and comedians, will participate.

Tickets are available for $118 or $500, tables of eight for $1800 or $3600. Proceeds will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository. For more information and to purchase tickets head to their website.

Food at 2010 NYC Downtown Seder [Photo: Alexander Baldwin]

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