Trip Notes: NYC Seminars And Restaurants

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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.

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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:

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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.

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We also had spicy merguez dumplings ($16) that were very good.

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French fries ($7) are spiced and fried to perfection, a shining example of what fries should be.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Outdoor entrance:

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Hallway in Reserve Cut lined with wine bottles:

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We started off with crispy rice sushi topped with avocado slices.  They were good but overpriced at $18:

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Next up was the Wagyu Angus Rib appetizer.  The flavors were excellent but the meat itself was very tough and not worth the $32:

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I had the bartender make me a Caipirinha ($16).  It was not a success:

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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.

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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:

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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.

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The fries ($12) were well spiced and tasted great:

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I thought that the peanut butter mousse ($14) was far too rich, hard to eat much more than a bite of it:

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The Meyer Lemon Tart is basically small bites of parve cheesecake.  Good but definitely not exceptional or worth the $14:

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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:

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dd5t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

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Eggplant Parmesan ($17) is very good:

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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.

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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:

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Chocolate duet ($12) is a must-order for any chocoholics:

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The NY style cheesecake ($12) was good but nothing to write home about:

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Their Capri Panini ($10), grilled with Mozzarella, tomato, basil pesto mayo, and arugula is just phenomenal:

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In case you’re hungry at La Guardia it’s good to know that CIBO has your back:

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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!

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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?

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68 Comments on "Trip Notes: NYC Seminars And Restaurants"

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Shua

It’s a shame that you went to reserve cut over Pardes.

Dan

@Shua:
That’s the great thing about Avios.
9K and I can go there next time.

Ben

More people would benefit from a NYC Trip notes!!

Moe

Enjoyed the DD5T

Thanks

Joe

Do you personally enjoy doing the seminars ? & where’s next ?

yn

didnt realize that you were such a foodie
thanks for the seminar it was great

LA2NYC

Like the food at Noi Due but always feel like you’re sitting on top of everyone, it’s a bit loud, and that they push you out of the restaurant once it’s busy and you’re finished eating…

L

What are your top 3 favorite restaurants in the world? What about specifically in Jerusalem?

Mike

Glad you enjoyed! Mikes is by far the best restaurant in NYC. Chef Mike puts his heart and soul into every dish. And you had my two most favorite dishes (gnocchi and the short ribs)

Moishe

if your looking for ambeince and solid prices try abigails.
Thanks so much for the seminar . learnt a lot of great stuff

philbenjoe

Great trip report! Detailed and lots of pics! Btw did you rent an altima?

sam

@Dan

NYC Eatery!

LA2NYC

@L:

Think he’ll say:

1) Asian – Buenos Aires
2) Tierra Sur – LA
3) ?

Fs

Dan do restauranta give you free food for reviews?

Dan

@Moe:
Glad to hear!

@Joe:
I definitely enjoy it, wouldn’t do it otherwise. Though speaking for so long is pretty draining.
Hearing a lot of requests from Baltimore and Miami but for now my voice box needs a break!

@yn:
Hopeless foodie.
Glad you enjoyed!

@LA2NYC:
We went at 11:15-12:45 today and it was not crowded.

@L:
LA2NYC has got it.
I’m not very familiar with the Israeli food scene but nothing there has really blown me away.

@Mike:
Such a great restaurant.

@Moishe:
I’ve only been to Abigael’s once and it was a disappointment.
Story for another time I guess.

@philbenjoe:
Yup, got a hotwire price quote I couldn’t possibly refuse.
I’m not a car guy. I’m more comfortable in an Altima than a Mercedes.

@LA2NYC:
3=Mike’s.

@Fs:
No, I don’t tell them who I am and I don’t ask for free food.

Bubble347

And there I thought I was a foodie!! Thanks again for the seminars and Q&A session, you were really friendly.

Dan

@Bubble347:
I’m a friendly kind of guy. Unless I’m hungry 😉

Bubble347

@Dan: true but you do get kind of groggy with comments at times lol!

BarryLincoln

Dan-
Am just curious – do you get free/discounted gym membership to work off all those calories?
BL

Harris

Had a great time at Teaneck seminar, thanks for coming to NJ Dan!

You need to go to ETC Steakhouse next time you’re here, it’s amazing. Great steaks and amazing short ribs. It’s a shame you missed it, it is right down the block from Maayanot.

Loved the seminar!

Don’t know if you past Borough Park this time, but it’s really worth going in to Shloime’s bakery, it’s on 12th Ave I thing corner 52th Street, they make the best dairy stuff ever!!

TG

@Dan
It was a nice surprise when you showed up at the Teanack DO!
Sorry to hear that you didnt make it back to Crown Heights that night.
Next time go to Basil Pizza Bar in CH, its awesome!

st1575

If you only circled for 30 minutes looking for a parking spot, you are doing pretty well.

Dan

@BarryLincoln:
I can use one of those!

@Harris:
Better steak and ribs than Mike’s??

@Loved the seminar!:
Best dairy bakery is Cheskie’s in Montreal. No other dairy is any good after that.

@TG:
Basil has some good stuff, but their service is beyond atrocious and some portion sizes are way too small for the prices they charge.
I prefer Noi Due.

@st1575:
Heh, true that.
No easy feat late at night.

Ari

Juuuuust missed getting tickets to the 5 towns seminar. Any advice on how to get started generating miles?

Dan

@Ari:
We squeezed all standby folks in just as I wrote we did for the previous 7 seminars.

I had someone ask me if I could give everything over about miles on a phone hotline.
I responded that I’d also love to teach him the whole torah while standing on one foot.

At any rate credit cards are the easy path to getting miles.

efflpetzel

Dan, thanks for a great seminar in Teaneck & nice meeting u at the DO, i just wanted to say what an inspiration you are to me & i’m sure many other people, you had the crowd hanging on to every word of yours, amazing what one man has built up through his own willpower

dairy lover

btw, cheskies and shloimys bakeries are brothers! so its worth it to stop by in boro park too. They’re both great.

YY

Great report! I live in NYC but still appreciate these restaurant reviews.
I was at the Teaneck Seminar, it was great information although the first half was full of information I already had and the second half I had a hard time keeping up with.
Any possibility of a cheat sheet with those go links ?

I know it may be exhausting for you but you make your presentations look easy and fun, like you are just talking to a bunch of friends.

thanks again

Dan

@efflpetzel:
Thanks for the feedback.

@dairy lover:
Interesting, will have to look into it.

@YY:
There’s the rub of trying to accommodate everyone from a complete beginner to expert in one seminar.

Nobody will ever be completely satisfied unless it’s a 1 on 1 seminar 😀

The trick is squeezing 164 slides full of info into 150 minutes of talk time…inevitably I’ll bore some and lose others.

Luckily the money all goes to charity so I don’t have to deal with 500 people wanting a refund 😉

Anyway I’m no professional speaker, I just enjoy the topic and sharing what I can.

Moshe

Dan, you did an incredible job at the Teaneck event.
I have never been to a lecture, were noone went to the bathroom the entire time!
The break was well stocked with cookies, vegtables and fruit.

Some critique, the screen was too small, only the first couple of rows were able to see, but you explained pretty well, so it wasnt such an issue.

The lighting was horrific, never went to a lecture, where you couldnt see the lecturer.

The passion and love you have, to helping people, is quite amazing!

I spoke to the organizers, and they said they wished they could have charged more, but you insisted, that your there to help people save money, and you didnt feel right charging more.

That says it all.

Mchayil el choyil!!!

Dan

@Moshe:
Thanks.
Lol about the bathroom 😀

Unfortunately there’s not much I can do about quality control from seminar to seminar.

In 5Towns the room was not nearly as warm as in Teaneck. And they had multiple large screens for everyone to see. And the lighting was much better. And the computer didn’t have a password that nobody knew how to access 🙂

But that’s just the way it is, ya never know what you’re gonna get. Or better known as YMMV 😉

Thanks for the feedback!

JB

Dan, if we have follow up questions on some things you spoke about in the seminar after going home and actually trying them out on the different websites…what’s the best way to ask? (since you said not to post even in the forums about some of the things)

Ez

@dairy lover:

Also note that the same Shloimy’s Bakery You have at Pomegranate in Flatbush and at Rockland Kosher in Monsey (And maybe somwhere else too, who knows? 🙂 )

ari d

productive criticism: during the second half of the seminar, when talking about the loopholes and cool mileage finds, it might be more helpful to gear it more towards the town you are talking to. like show examples from JFK. just a thought

Dan

@JB:
With friends who went with you?

@ari d:
Huh?
Almost all of them were if it were possible to do it from EWR/JFK.

I do tailor them every time I do a seminar.
Did it for CLE, did it for LAX, did it for ORD, did it for NYC.
And stayed from 11pm-12am both nights answering questions about how to tailor the rest best for NYC based folk (along with other questions like how do I get to Florida, how do I get to Israel, should I fly Boeing or Airbus, how do I get to Florida, and how do I get to Florida.

philbenjoe

I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone with being CRAZY about Mikes Bistro and Cheskies(aka Heskies lol!). I’ve been to shloimys and wouldve never guessed they are brothers! They’re both really amazing. Also can I ask you how much and where you got your car. One last question,ANA YYZ to FRA on AC and FRA to TLV on LH will I pay YQ? The only better option is through TK and donno if that’s worth it. Thanx again for the amazing seminar!

dave

Thanks Dan for seminar you have another one in Florida please let me know how to get there. 😉

Mark

I really enjoy your little food blog that you have going. I think you may have saved me an unpleasant meal or two. Kudos.

Gabi

Great report!
Mikes bistro is indeed a great place! But what about Prime Grill or Solo? Never tried them? They are the most hottest resturants in the city!

Gabi

Oh! I also forgot the best kosher steakhouse in the world… La Merais on W 46th Street. Dan, never tried it? It’s a must for everyone who enjoys food!

moish

Dan with your patience and humor you should change your name to hillel . even after what you have told ari …..;-)

Thnx again

Ari

Dan,
Just came home from Reserve Cut to find your review from the night before. I agree with you about the value of the food. It is a stunning place though, gotta admit.

Anyway, loved the seminar last night in 5T. I was very impressed with your presentation and charisma. I’ve only read your writings up til now but now I see what a mensch you are in real life; a true class act. Thank you for your tireless work! It is very inspiring to all of your followers.

My humble suggestion for future seminars would be, perhaps you can make a beginners seminar and a separate advanced seminar, this way allowing sufficient time for each group (of course this would mean double the time for you to be talking..but you can split them up..). Good luck!

dovid

do you consider the option of a isreal seminar

Igor Petrovich

Dan, you are an awesome speaker, even though you say you are not professional, you are passionate about miles, deals and travel. You are also passionate about fine dining, is there a way to make seminars on that?

Thisiswhoiam

@Dan, you need to check out pardes….

Ari G

Im glad you had fun in nyc. There’s a lot to do here, but are you kidding me with mikes bistro. I went with there with my wife and we were greatly disappointed with the food portions. We are big foodies and went in with a positive attitude and left very disappointed. We got those dumplings for 16$ and they only gave us 3 tiny pieces! Dont get me started on the steaks. I didnt think it was legal to give such tiny portions. We left hungrier than we came in.

Yk

Seems like after every seminar u get alot of the same comments ,that the second half goes much faster. I know how hard it is to go through so many topics and you do a amazing job, and are extremely paitient answering questions. Just wondering if you would consider doing just airline stuff in a seperate smaller scale seminars I find the credit card stuff if you get the basics you can read the rest easily on ddf. As oppose to the airline stuff I find hard to pick up on the forums. Maybe it’s just me, you can’t make everyone happy just noticing a pattern.

whatever you decide thanks for the great seminars and the effort you expend HELPING OTHERS (I don’t care what you stand to gain you are still helping others and doing it with a smile!)

Anonymous

The only thing missing from the 5T Seminar were the HUCA and PUTPAC hats & teeshirts 🙂
Excellent seminar!!!

Reuvenhunt

Spending the night with your aunt and then your brother in law? Could it be that you’ve finally exhausted your supply of Hyatt and SPG points?

Judah

@Dan:
I think a DansMeals post for NYC would be more practical help for more people then Mauai or Kauai. So maybe do NYC first.

Mahyar

Dan, you picked my favorite 2 things from Noi Due as well. Good choices!

FL

Checked your suggestion re FL w Avios, nearby cities. still nada. zero availability.

jaywhy

Great TR.
Finish up Hawaii first 🙂

shiframeir

Glad to see u took some of my DDF suggestions on RC, I agree 100% with your review, way too expensive, but the space is probably the most expensive of all kosher restaurants I have been in.

If u like the Porcini Mushroom soup, it is (like most things in RC, run by the former PG/Solo chef Hok Chin) the same as the Prime Grill/Solo version that they sell at BB Prime for $10 a pound if u want high class takeout (this is one of the good deals at BB Prime, along with the breaded veal).

Neyomiya

Mike’s Bistro without a mention of the Sweet Yam Fritters? For shame!

M

When are are going to do a seminar in Baltimore?

big eater

dan im all with u on mike but i would say u have to try pardes its something totally different and food just blows u away if u in teaneck area have to try etc its delicious food i would compare it to mike

Dan

@philbenjoe:
I’d assume YQ applies.

@Gabi:
Prime Grill has a great ambiance though service and food don’t justify the price.

Solo is gone.

@Gabi:
Le Marais is the best value steakhouse in the US.

@Ari:
Really stunning place, the nicest I’ve seen since La Seine in LA closed down.
But you’re paying for that ambiance through your nose!

@Igor Petrovich:
😀

@Thisiswhoiam:
Next time.
Though to be honest the menu online intimidates me.

@Ari G:
Every foodie I’ve ever talked to loves Mike’s.
You were disappointed by small portions? Order more apps or sides.
Did you try the ribs or the gnocchi, their best 2 dishes?

@Yk:
I don’t have the time to run separate seminars to cater to several levels of people who want different things discussed.
That would be a full time job!

@Anonymous:
Thanks.

@Reuvenhunt:
Lol.
Not even close.

@Mahyar:
Which are?

@Neyomiya:
It’s funny, I was actually about to order them. Maybe next time.

Judah

@Dan:
Did you ever eat at Smokey Joes in Teaneck, what did you think?

Dan

@Judah:
Haven’t made the effort as reviews seem very mixed.

Anonymous

@Dan: Happens to be that Chezkie is a brother of Shloimy and he opened the Bakery in Montreal long after Shloimy in B.P. and he took his B.P. brothers recipes…

J

Dan, don’t let Pardes intimidate you. You need to order two items and you’ll be happy: Beef Cheek pizza and either the BLT or burger

Harris

@Dan – Tough call if ETC tops Mike’s, certainly close it.

As a whole ETC is on par with some of the nice NYC places, but right here in Teaneck without all without the hassle of going into the city.

Certainly worth a try next time you’re in NJ. You won’t regret it.

Plus it’s BYOB 🙂

Abe

Anonymous (comment #62) is correct, they are brothers. And cheskie did take shlomie recipes.

I guess it’s called brotherly love. 😉

Dov

Dan, Any plans of doing a seminar in Monsey? I would have ran to teaneck but it was sold out before I had a chance to buy!!

Mrs. eliteflyer

Sorry about the horrible parking experience! Hope you enjoyed yourself here otherwise! 🙂

why isnt dan in Miami

i would think with all these frozen cities that dan is speaking in , he would not want to come to miami ? im told folks there have emailed him numerous times and no response so far . i would think he would want to speak where everyone is in the winter & thats miami

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