Thursday, January 9th, 2014, 11:38 pm
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I woke up 4am Tuesday morning shivering from the cold. Which was odd as we keep our house pretty toasty in the winter. It was negative 12 degrees in Cleveland (which shattered the previous record low temperature set in 1884) and the power had gone out in the middle of the night.
More on the trip after the jump…
We woke up our kids and drove half an hour to our friend’s parents house which still had power. While there I took a shower and after a little while we learned that power had been restored. During the few seconds I went outside to start warming up our car my damp hair and beard completely froze. It was cold like I’d never experienced.
Meanwhile we had a flight to catch, or at least we hoped we did. The day involved boarding planes, deboarding planes, and lots more fun waiting around in the airport. United scrubbed almost all of their flights including all of their flights to LaGuardia. American was having a rough time getting theirs out as well. Airport agents were overwhelmed but after making a few phone calls to American I finally got a rep to rebook my Avios purchased ticket onto a Delta flight, and we did finally make it to NYC. The lesson is HUCA, hang up and call again if you get a rep who says that they can’t help you.
My cousin was actually flying tonight from Cleveland to Chicago and American cancelled her flight and rebooked her for tomorrow. In the airport and over the phone they said there was nothing they could do as every other flight was sold out. Before she left the airport she called me and I found space on a United flight that was past its departure time but still delayed. American wouldn’t book her but she went over to United and they called American for her to get them to release the ticket to United and she’s en-route to Chicago now.
Be creative, know your options, and don’t be scared to find someone else to help you.
At any rate after we arrived in NYC there was just enough time to hit up Mike’s Bistro, my favorite restaurant in the Big Apple. They make an absolutely killer Black Angus rib eye that I’ve had before. But this time we both went for their braised boneless short ribs ($44) which are simply otherworldly:
Forget melt in your mouth, they melt when you just look at them. And the flavor!
It would also be criminal to go to Mike’s and not have the duck and chicken gnocchi appetizer ($19). Even if you’re not a fan of duck what they manage to squeeze out of it is astonishing.
We also had spicy merguez dumplings ($16) that were very good.
French fries ($7) are spiced and fried to perfection, a shining example of what fries should be.
I ordered a frozen passion fruit daiquiri ($13), which was the best mixed drink I’ve had in NYC since Clubhouse Cafe closed. Highly recommended.
Last time we ordered a chocolate fountain dessert which was fun, this time I had to run to give the Teaneck seminar! I’d like to see them make their dessert menu more intriguing. From what I understand they are moving from the upper west side to midtown and I hope more thought goes into the ambiance, which is somewhat lacking currently.
The Teanack seminar was great, the 400 person crowd seemed to really enjoy the seminar and the questions were very good as well.
The majority of the room raised their hand when I asked who was able to book tickets during the Delta glitch, pretty impressive!
After the Teaneck seminar we had a quick DDF DO at Rock n Roll Sushi and I crashed for the night at my Aunt’s house in Teaneck.
The next night for dinner I had to check out Reserve Cut in lower Manhattan. The ambiance is probably the nicest of any restaurant I’ve ever been to and the prices match that as well.
You really are paying for ambiance though. The food was all good, but was not good enough to justify the pricing. In other words it’s a great place to impress a client, but I’m not running back here based on the food I had for the prices that they charge.
Hallway in Reserve Cut lined with wine bottles:
We started off with crispy rice sushi topped with avocado slices. They were good but overpriced at $18:
Next up was the Wagyu Angus Rib appetizer. The flavors were excellent but the meat itself was very tough and not worth the $32:
I had the bartender make me a Caipirinha ($16). It was not a success:
The Porcini Mushroom soup with sunchoke chips and white truffle essence ($14) was the dish of the night. It is outstanding, the best mushroom soup I’ve ever had.
They had a special entree option that the waiter highly recommended, a baby short rib under the age of 2. It was indeed as tender as promised but it also lacked any kind of exciting flavor or spice. Hardly worth the $62:
The Prime Reserve Cut ($55) was very good and was cooked a perfect medium. You can’t go too wrong with this steak but it’s not terribly exciting either.
The fries ($12) were well spiced and tasted great:
I thought that the peanut butter mousse ($14) was far too rich, hard to eat much more than a bite of it:
The Meyer Lemon Tart is basically small bites of parve cheesecake. Good but definitely not exceptional or worth the $14:
This was the first time I’ve ever dropped $300 on a meal, making Reserve Cut more expensive than Shallot’s in Chicago. I previously considered Shallot’s to be the most expensive kosher restaurant in the world. Shallot’s ambiance may not be anywhere near the level of Reserve Cut, but sushi, entrees, and desserts are far better at Shallot’s, which is probably my 4th favorite restaurant in the world.
After dinner it was off to the Five Towns seminar. I thought I had a last-minute parking place wrapped up thanks to a DDF’er who had a brother right next to the Young Israel but in the end he gave me the wrong address which led to an incredibly awkward conversation with a completely bewildered and angry stranger. Oh well.
The seminar itself had well over 500 people packing the hall:
After the seminar we stayed at my wife’s brother place in Crown Heights. I spent a good half an hour driving around before finally grabbing a parking space that someone just pulled out of…problems that you don’t have in Cleveland.
Earlier today we went into the city for lunch at Noi Due, my favorite dairy restaurant in NYC.
Fried macaroni and cheese balls ($15) sound strange? It’s awesome!
Eggplant Parmesan ($17) is very good:
You can choose from 5 different sauces to have on top of incredible homemade cheese or sweet potato ravioli ($17). We got the cheese ravioli topped with Primavera sauce.
TriColor Gnocchi ($17) comes with your choice of sauce as well, we ordered it topped with a Basil Pesto sauce which was very good as well:
Chocolate duet ($12) is a must-order for any chocoholics:
The NY style cheesecake ($12) was good but nothing to write home about:
Their Capri Panini ($10), grilled with Mozzarella, tomato, basil pesto mayo, and arugula is just phenomenal:
In case you’re hungry at La Guardia it’s good to know that CIBO has your back:
I also ordered a cinnamon kokush from Gombo’s in Crown Heights, but had them special order it with their crumb topping. It’s gooey, sticky, crunchy thanks to the topping, and oozes pure awesomeness in each bite. The person who took my order couldn’t have been friendlier…good to see that some businesses in NYC know something about customer service!
Well, that was a lot of food and not much else. I’ve got a lot to say about other NYC eateries and hotels, should I make a DansMeals style post for NYC? Or get cracking on Maui and Kauai first?