A Quick Jaunt To NYC

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This past Sunday I flew with my brother JJ my parents from Cleveland to NYC. JJs fiance’s side of the family flew in from Fort Lauderdale. Chabad tradition is to pray by the gravesite of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, before officially getting engaged. Of course it was bound to happen that at least one of the flights would be delayed and indeed their Delta flight to JFK was delayed by several hours.

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More on food, food, and more food after the jump…

American has been flying for decades from Cleveland to LaGuardia, but that service ended on 03/30, so this was our last Cleveland to LaGuardia flight.

While we waited we drove into Manhattan and had lunch at Noi Due, where you will find the best kosher dairy food in NYC.

Fried Rissotto Balls in a Mint Pesto sauce.  Definitely worth trying for the flavors, but I’ll stick with their excellent Fried Macaroni Balls in a Rosa Rosa sauce in the future.

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Mozzarella basket has delicious chunks of fried mozzarella with marinated veggies:

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Tri-Color Gnocchi in a basil pesto sauce is very good:

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The Ravioli in a Rosa Rosa is outrageously good:

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The Peanut Butter Chocolate Torte is the best version of this dessert that I’ve ever had. Simply phenomenal!

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Then it was off to Cambria Heights to finalize the engagement, followed by 2 parties in Crown Heights toasting to the newly engaged couple:

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Put lots of cinnamon buns together for a cinnabon cake, brilliant!

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It’s been several years since I’ve been to Le Marais, so I had to give that old standby a try:

I ordered a Caiparinha, hoping for some magic from the Clubhouse days. Alas, it was a disappointment:

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The spicy lamb chili is a must-order.  A really awesome top-notch appetizer:

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The peppercorn encrusted steak is a great cut of meat, lean and tender.  The truth is though that you can buy it yourself from them already spiced for just $14 or so and grill it yourself.  You’ll probably find that you can make it better than they do in the restaurant and have one awesome BBQ. The fries have really gone downhill here, they’re bland and lifeless, which is a real shame:

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I stayed at the Andaz 5th Avenue in Manhattan, an excellent city hotel.  I used a suite upgrade  to move into a Splash Suite, a very large room for an NYC hotel. Service at the hotel is very good and the rooms are modern and sleek.

You can scalp a room, try to find a good rate online, or use 12,500 points plus $150 for a room with Hyatt cash and points. With straight points it’s 25,000 points per night, though the cash and points rate qualifies for promotions and suite upgrades. Chase points transfer to Hyatt instantly from cards like the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, and Ink Bold.

Splash Suite entryway:

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Splash Suite Living Room:

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Between the living room and the bedroom is a room with just a giant tub in it:

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Splash Suite bedroom:

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Off of the tub room is the bathroom:

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You can have a combo rain shower and traditional showerhead:

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As in all Andaz hotels, the minibar is free:

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Diamonds get a $75 breakfast credit that can be used off of their kosher menu, which is sourced from Milk & Honey.  It used to be a full $75 credit that can be used anywhere, but now they have an in-house menu with prices that are artificially higher. I guess I can’t complain too much about free kosher food though:

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The next morning I ordered from My Most Favorite Foods which led to some billing issues that were sorted out:

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In our circles the next couple days are spent with the parents of the groom buying presents of their future daughter-in-law and the parents of the bride buying presents for the future son-in-law.  So it was off to Crown Heights and Boro Park to buy new clothes, jewelry, etc.

And along the way, a quick stop at Zislick for a Napolean Cake+Snickers Gelato covered in hardened chocolate and cookie crunch:

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For dinner that night the DansDeals corporate expense account treated half a dozen folks from the DansDeals Forums who contributed the most deals to the forums that made their way onto the main DansDeals.com site. We went to Mike’s Bistro and spent several hours having a great time together.

Chef Mike himself stopped by for a while to chat. He’s been on DansDeals himself for credit card and mileage advice and he talked moving to his new location in midtown in a couple months.  He’ll start with a slightly expanded dinner menu and eventually be open for lunch as well.  I told him that I fully hope to see a short rib sandwich on the lunch menu!  Definitely try to chat with him when dining at his restaurant, he’s a real character!

Duck Gnocchi, as usual, is just perfect:

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Some of the guys ordered a Black Angus Steak and the off-the-menu Center Cut Steak, both got rave reviews.  But I can’t miss ordering one of my favorite entrees from any restaurant in the world, the Short Ribs.  (Only the Roasted Beef entree from Asian in Buenos Aires can top it). Mike revealed that the short ribs were actually a complete accident, but it was an accident that truly launched his career as a chef:

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Sweet Yam Fritters are great, but it’s really hard to beat the fries at Mike’s which are spiced and fried to sheer perfection:

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The hot chocolate fondue is a fun dessert:

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And then there’s the chocolate, chocolate, chocolate dessert.  I’m a big fan of Mike’s drinks, appetizers, and entrees, but desserts is where there is some room for improvement:

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I got around everywhere via uberX. It’s really an incredible service.  Never waited more than a few minutes for a car in Manhattan or in Brooklyn and the drivers and cars were great.  Plus you get a picture of your driver, his license plate number, and his cell phone number so that you know exactly who you are driving with, and if you leave anything behind you’ll know who to contact.

I thought the prices were very reasonable and they always came in at the very bottom of the fare quotes.

Earlier today I had an Israeli driver, Avner, pick me up from the Andaz to go to Amsterdam Burger Company (another eatery from Chef Mike).  He was a great guy and he LOVES working for uber.  When I mentioned that some drivers had complained on my site about not getting tips he was just incredulous.  He says he takes home $500 profit a day on a 12 hour shift and couldn’t possibly be any happier with uber.  He says he’s perfectly fine not getting tips because that’s what he signed up for and it clearly says that tip is already included so cash never has to get exchanged.

I’ve got a fair amount of referral credit 😉 and I’ve checked the fare to Cleveland (about $1,100) for giggles. I asked him if he would really take me to Cleveland if I asked to drive there andhe said he sure would!

We actually ate lunch together at Amsterdam Burger Company and then he took me right onto JFK.

I’ve never had such a stress-free trip to NYC. No rental car hassle, no parking hassle, I could work while being chauffeured around. uber is truly incredible.

Amsterdam Burger’s spicy buffalo nuggets are sweet and spicy, just perfect:

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The mushroom and onion burger is very good. Again, no Clubhouse burger or even Milt’s burger, but a very solid burger:

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The pulled BBQ Beef sandwich is excellent. Not quite as excellent as the Memphis pulled BBQ beef from LAs Got Kosher, but still, excellent.

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I was able to fly both ways on 4.5K Avios awards, but looking at the calendar for future months it’s a sad site now that the LGA flights are gone.  Hopefully they’ll at least open up availability on the single remaining Cleveland-JFK flight closer in to the flights. Or better yet, add 1 or 2 more flights between Cleveland and JFK.

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30 Comments On "A Quick Jaunt To NYC"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Meir

Dan,

We’re you guys sitting at the big round table at the bottom of the steps?

bill

where is the amsterdasm burger place?

TheRap

I was at the table in front of you (in the opposite corner) with my wife and a friend. Was not sure it was you, but shoul’ve said hello!

bubble347

Mazal tov. Btw it seams like your foodie gene wasn’t inherited by all your siblings!

Isaac

AHA!

Dansdeals, deals himself!
Glad the concrete jungle treat you nice!

Now get me a deal to Israel.

please.

nacho2100

Great order at Amsterdam Burger, ordered the same thing just two weeks ago, plus the jalepeno orange/lemonade.

JG

Great read. Thanks!
Where is Mike’s Bistro moving?

Ari

How far in advance do I need to book a ticket with avios? I’m sure it varies but in general? For your brothers engagement I doubt you had too much notice and I’m trying to use to Miami on August and can’t find availability

ima

next trip into NY, make a must stop in Brooklyn’s Estihana… the best sushi in town, by Sam sushi…

kamran

Persian food is better

Izziam

Mazel tov Dan

Mikefan

Dan, next time at mikes get the banana tempura, you’ll take back what you said. Absolutely awesome .

Evan Stall

there are many more than 7 seats avail on the CLE-JFK flight, I myself booked 4 flights on today CLE-JFK and it still said 7 left

mendy

Dan, what would happen if I would buy expensive items with my starwood card and use the points I got from purchase and then return the items? Wouldn’t this be a free way of getting points?

avi

Mendy, that’s a realy good point I wonder what dan has to say about this???

Dan

@Meir:
Yup.

@bill:
GIYF.

@TheRap:
Indeed!

@bubble347:
Lucky for them…

@JG:
Midtown.

@Ari:
Availability changes daily, keep checking.

@ima:
Yet to hear of any NYC sushi that competes with Chicago’s Shallot’s or Montreal’s Yakimono.

@Mikefan:
Was actually about to order that but the waiter didn’t seem thrilled about it.
Will do next time.

@Evan Stall:
OK?

@mendy:
Then you won’t get the points when you use the card following that.

@avi:
If you’re going to pretend to be 2 different people you may want to wait until I get around to moderating the comments so that others can see them as well 😉

Meir

Dan,

That’s so funny. I was there with my wife for our anniversary that night. We actually noticed your table on the way upstairs and were talking about what an interesting mix of Chassidish, Yeshivish and Lubavitch all sitting at one table together!

Had no idea there was a DansDeals DO going on right under our nose 😉

DansDeals; uniting the Jewish community one deal at a time!

A European

Oh… Nice to see you were in my ants house!
(The picture with the yellow painted wall)

AA

Mazal Tov! and amazing food! ty

Judah

@Dan
What is the red stuff on the bbq pulled beef sandwich, cabbage?

rots5

great stuff! i plan on visiting at least 2 of those places when i get back next week. Thanks for the reviews~!

Moshe A

Mazel Tov on the engagement!

CTD

your brother has a serious beard, you need to catch up !

And Noi Due is great, went there while dating, and me and the misses have been saying for a while now we need to get back there

Shmaiss

Mazal Tov, Dan!! Simchos!

CHULENT

Dan you should get paid for your endorsements of restaurants you visited with the amount of visitors you have on you’re website, just kidding, i love these reviews keep it up, just one thing i didn’t catch how much did you pay total for your room, i am looking for a luxury hotel room in nyc in the near future witch i can book with a small amount of points THANKS!

chana

mazel tov, loved how you described all of this from the Ohel to all the post simcha activities.

Avi

Dan
You were sitting next to me on the flight to Cleveland.
That’s so funny…

Abe

Mazel Tov Dan!

I was to Mikes about 2 months ago for my first time, with my wife for our anniversary, and we loved it.
I was there again this week with a few friends and for some reason the portions seemed to be much smaller, my wife’s black angus steak was a HUGE peace of meat, and my friend ordered it yesterday and it was not even half the size. same was for almost any food. did anyone else realize this?

pinchos

@Dan…..Did you ever try Fumio grill and sushi in Livingston NJ?
Or did anyone on this forum?

Esther

pinchos:

Yes, really good food and the manager is an extremely nice guy.

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