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10 Toughest Tables: Miami

10 Toughest Tables: Miami


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Every month The Daily Meal will reveal how difficult it is to reserve a primetime table at a city's most booked restaurants. This month's Toughest Tables hones in on Miami.

We teamed up with Opentable.com's Chief Dining Officer, Caroline Potter, to find out which restaurants customers have established as the most-booked. The ten places below were determined by votes from more than 138,000 diners.

To help you score a much-coveted tables, we cross-examined each restaurant to determine how tough it really is to get seated.

Miami's Most Booked Restaurants

Seasons 52 - Boca Raton — (561) 998-9952
Location: Boca Raton
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "With a reservation, yes."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Really all depends on the night, but you can pretty much always get a reservation at 5 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. Between those times we book up weeks in advance."

Seasons 52 - Coral Gables — (305) 442-8552
Location: Coral Gables
Cuisine: American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, full service, full menu, no smoking."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes Ma'am."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes Ma'am.
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "It varies. Thursday to Saturday we're completely booked by Wednesday, otherwise you can get a table."

Michael's Genuine Food & Drink — (305) 573-5550
Location: Miami
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yeah."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "On occasion. We prefer seating when everyone's here."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes, we reserve every table, but we encourage walk-ins, and they can have the full menu at the bar, or we can seat them if we get a cancellation."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "5:30 p.m."

Seasons 52 - Palm Beach Gardens — (561) 625-5852
Location: Palm Beach
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Anytime."

Seasons 52 - Fort Lauderdale — (954) 537-1052
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes Ma'am."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes Ma'am, if they request to be seated, there's no trouble."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "We do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "From 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and then after 8:30 p.m."

Hakkasan - Fontainebleau Miami Beach — (786) 276-1388
Location: Miami Beach/South Beach
Cuisine: Chinese
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, you can."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes, we will."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "We accept them, but we have to honor our reservations before we can take them."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Probably between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m."

Pinon Grill - Boca Raton — (561) 391-7770
Location: Boca Raton
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, you can."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes, we will."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "We do."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "We're busy from 6 p.m. to about 9 p.m. We're pretty much booked between then. Everyone wants a 7 o'clock reservation."

Rusty Pelican - Miami — (305) 361-3818
Location: Boca Raton
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "Yes, you can."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "If they would like to be seated."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes, absolutely."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "Weekends are very hard."

Mai-Kai Restaurant — (954) 563-3272
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Cuisine: Asian
Can You Eat Dinner at the Bar? "No. You can sit to have appetizers and drinks, but not the whole menu."
Will You Seat an Incomplete Party? "Yes."
Do You Accept Walk-ins? "Yes."
What Time Can You Almost Always Get a Reservation? "On a weekday around 5 p.m. Usually we're sold out on weekends. We require a reservation."


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.


Flavorful Recipes for Passover’s 'Festival of Spring'

Passover begins April 10 this year, and the kosher classics will abound—matzoh ball soup, gefilte fish, brisket—but sometimes this annual Pesach cuisine can feel a bit … repetitive. Miami-based chef Michelle Bernstein, whose father brought Russian-Jewish influences to the kitchen when she was growing up, has a couple ideas to spice up the table.

Bernstein's professional experience includes stints at Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence winners Le Bernardin in New York and Azul at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami. Later, she helmed the kitchens at Michy's (later renamed Cena by Michy) and Seagrape, and she has appeared on Top Chef and chef Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For the Festival of Spring holiday, Bernstein shares two kosher vegetarian recipes that will bring some colorful pop and flavor to the Passover plate.

Grilled Asparagus with Salsa Romesco capitalizes on peak asparagus season the preparation is simple, but the bold romesco sauce packs a wallop of Catalan flavors. “The asparagus is something we make when the family is together,” Bernstein told Wine Spectator via email. “Everyone just loves it and asks for it time and time again.”

The romesco, which integrates Sherry vinegar, jalapeño peppers and almonds (Bernstein prefers Marconas) into a sauce similar in consistency to a homemade marinara, can be made up to three days in advance. The grilled asparagus speaks for itself, letting the natural flavors shine.

Bernstein’s other dish, Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli, also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and a Catalan-inspired sauce capers and golden raisins finish off the recipe with a bright bite of flavor. “The cauliflower toppings are also great on fish!” she adds. (Another of her favorite Passover dishes is roast snapper.)

Passover calls for kosher wines, of course, and the international selection of certified wines is bigger and better than ever. We’ve included 10 Wine Spectator–recommended kosher wines from Israel and California below.

Cauliflower Steaks with Garlic Aioli

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

For the cauliflower steak:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds, smashed (plus some whole almonds reserved for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons nonpareil capers
  • 1/4 cup pickled garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water

To make the cauliflower steak and garlic aioli:

1. Start with the aioli. In a blender, combine the garlic, salt, yolks, water and lemon puree until smooth. With the blender on, very slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add a tiny bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.

2. For the cauliflower, begin by cutting the head of cauliflower (from top to base) into two 1-inch-thick slices.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan for 1 minute on medium heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, season with salt and pepper, set the cauliflower aside on a paper towel (or warming plate, if you have one) and repeat with the other slice.

4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat (this should take about 30 seconds). Add the raisins, almonds and capers to the pan, tossing them for 1 minute.

5. Top the cauliflower steaks with the warm raisin mixture and garnish with pickled garlic and whole almonds as desired. Dot the plate with the garlic aioli. Serves 2 to 4.

Romesco with Grilled Asparagus

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Bernstein.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tomato, grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, then grilled or roasted until charred on the outside, then peeled
  • 3 piquillo peppers (or 1 large roast red pepper), seeded and peeled
  • 1 cup Marcona almonds
  • 1 ounce Sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 piece of Matzoh
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the grilled asparagus:

  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends cut off
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

1. Start with the romesco. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat for 30 seconds add the oil, garlic and shallot and cook until very soft and tender.

2. Combine the tomato, jalapeños, piquillos, garlic and shallot in a blender and puree until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the salt into the blender. Pulse until it is a little bit chunky, adding a splash of water if needed. Season to taste and set aside.

3. For the asparagus, preheat the grill at medium-high heat. Toss the asparagus spears in olive oil with a couple pinches of salt.

4. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the spears are slightly charred and just cooked through.

5. Remove the cooked asparagus from the grill and check for seasoning. Serve over the romesco. Serves 4.

10 Wine Spectator–Recommended Kosher Wines

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More kosher wines rated in the past year can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

Tzora Judean Hills White 2014
Offers a spicy aroma, with pure, mineral-infused flavors of Granny Smith apple, lemon curd and pineapple, accented by notes of toasted coconut. The finish has crème brûlée hints that linger with plenty of richness. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,000 cases made.

Barkan Chardonnay Judean Hills Special Reserve 2012
The mature aromas and flavors are creamy, offering loads of lemon meringue, apple cobbler and roasted peach notes. Big and rich midpalate, with a long, spicy finish that is buttery and lush. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,955 cases made.

Galil Mountain Yiron Galilee 2012
A big, rich and well-spiced red, delivering concentrated flavors of dark cherry, smoke, plum and dark currant. Very toasty in the midpalate, this boasts a finish that lingers with dark chocolate and tobacco leaf notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 5,000 cases made.

Golan Heights Winery Chardonnay Galilee Yarden Katzrin 2014
Big, rich and well-spiced, with plenty of buttery notes to the ripe pear, baked apple and pastry flavors. Plush midpalate, presenting a finish of crème brûlée and lemon curd. Kosher. Drink now through 2021. 3,000 cases made.

Domaine du Castel Haute-Judée C Blanc du Castel 2014
Buttery and rich, with pear tart, crème brûlée and apple pastry flavors, supported by vibrant acidity. Toasty notes linger with hints of dried tropical fruits on the supple finish. Chardonnay. Kosher. Drink now through 2020. 2,500 cases made.

Recanati Special Reserve Galilee 2013
Juicy and rich, with lots of red plum and raspberry flavors that feature fresh acidity. Licorice notes show midpalate, presenting a finish that has accents of milk chocolate and paprika. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Marselan and Carignan. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,900 cases made.

Teperberg Chardonnay Samson Impression 2014
Buttery and lush, with plenty of tropical richness to the flavors of apple pie and peach cobbler. Shows up-front spiciness, leading to a silky finish loaded with decadent spicy notes. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 2,500 cases made.

Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Galilee Appellation 2014
A fresh red, with vibrant acidity behind the cherry, currant and cranberry flavors. Firm tannins show midpalate, revealing dark chocolate and mocha notes on the finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2019. 1,200 cases imported.

Covenant Red C Sonoma County 2014
Supple and soft, featuring easygoing raspberry and blueberry flavors, with accents of spicy cinnamon. Kosher. Syrah, Malbec, Grenache and Merlot. Drink now through 2024. 1,400 cases made.

Gamla Chardonnay Galilee 2013
Offers a buttery aroma, with flavors of ripe apple, baked pear and lemon meringue. Powerful smoke notes emerge on the decadently spiced finish. Kosher. Drink now through 2018. 400 cases made.