Let’s face it, there are some things in life that we have to do even though we don’t want to. I’m sure you can think of one or two, right? We all learned this little fact of life most probably from our parents. Case in point: buying (or leasing) a new car. Haggling back and forth with the car salesman is not particularly how most of us want to spend our time, am I right? Well, I have good news for you. In case you didn’t know that such a service exists, I am here to spare you from future angst by sharing my recent delightful car buying (leasing) experience with you. Yep, you read that right…I did use the word delightful and car buying in the same sentence. And I have a gentleman named David Rojas, aka The Deal Creator to thank for that. You see, David is a buyer’s representative. (Not to be confused for a car broker).
Sometimes I post questions on my facebook page when I’m looking for recommendations on certain things and this time I decided to ask my friends their opinions on buying or leasing a car. Talk about a hot topic; people came out in full force to share their opinions on the subject matter. Through it all, I got a phone call from David who had somehow got wind of the thread. Although by the time I got the call from David, I had already started speaking with someone else and politely thanked David for the call. It didn’t take me long to figure out that this initial person I had been speaking to was not going to be the one to help me. Thankfully, even though it didn’t look like David was going to get my business, he remained very professional and took just a few extra minutes to educate me on the difference between a car broker and a buyer’s representative. I thanked him and we hung up. A day or two later I called him back.
He asked me to narrow my choices down to my top two – three picks and then he arranged to meet me and take me to the dealerships to test drive the vehicles. We went in, test drove all three and left. None of the car salesmen even attempted to talk to us about pricing. That was a bit weird, but in a pleasant way. Once I decided on which vehicle I wanted, David and I discussed my options (to buy or to lease). I had never leased before and I really didn’t think I was a good candidate for it due in part to the number of miles I drive and also the fear of what if the car gets dinged or damaged in some way. David and I discussed my budget and in the end (which was super quick by the way), he was able to get me into the car that I desired, under budget and allayed any fears I had by including a wear & tear policy into the monthly payment, making sure that when I turned my car in at the end of 3 years that I would not owe one cent.
David Rojas is truly the Deal Creator and provides an invaluable service. He’s up there in my book right next to the other indispensables: a good lawyer, doctor and accountant. Need a new car or know someone else who does? Contact David at (954) 638-1900.
Well it has been some time now since I have written a recent post (for those of you who notice). I have been a little bit on hiatus trying to acclimate myself to a more healthy eating pattern. In order to do this, I must refrain from personally eating out (and drinking wine) as much (I know, why would someone in their right mind voluntarily give these things up, especially wine, right?!?) Well fortunately, Savor Our City has a couple new contributors who have been graciously accepting the invites I have been receiving (for the most part) for these last couple months while I attain my goal weight. Here is one place I did decide to scope out personally last week.
It’s called Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktail, opened by Top Chef alum, Chef Alex Reznik formerly of La Seine, FigOly & Ivan Kane’s Cafe Was and run by Chef Joseph Reuter. It is a kosher restaurant. Apparently, there is a kosher restaurant trend happening right now I read somewhere. Who knew?!? I really didn’t know much about the restaurant until I heard about it from my friend Shaina from Take A Bite Out of Boca, who was kind enough to invite me on behalf of Ditmas to experience it for myself, I just couldn’t pass this up. (Don’t worry, I didn’t blow my healthy eating too bad at all and didn’t have to give up anything in flavor at all. I tried everything prepared by Chef Joe that GM Larry had brought out to us. Here, see for yourself…
Being a kosher restaurant certainly has its challenges/constraints, one of which is being closed on Friday & Saturday nights, two of the busiest nights of the week and where most restaurants make the bulk of their revenue for the week. Another constraint is cooking kosher; A kosher menu puts many things off limits. Of course, there is no pork or shellfish. Ditmas also is dairy-free, negating the need for the requisite separate kitchens and sets of equipment to handle meat and dairy. But Chef Alex and Chef Joe have learned and, if I may say, mastered how to adapt to cooking without certain popular ingredients and find the challenge is not so much what they are limited to cooking with, but pleasing the palates of the kosher clienteles’ tastes who are not so accustomed to more sophisticated interpretations on traditional kosher fare.
So how does Ditmas not only seem to be surviving these challenges, …er thriving despite them? I encourage you to head on into the restaurant yourself to experience these yummy creations and you will see just how it is Chef Alex & his team are winning over both kosher and non-kosher palates one bite at a time. You’ll be hooked too!
Ditmas is open for Lunch: Mon – Thurs 11:30 – 2:30 and Dinner – Sun – Thurs 5pm till 10pm
They are located in Central Boca Raton on Powerline Rd. between Palmetto and Glades Rd.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, a AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star resort in Manalapan, Fla., has named David Viviano as Executive Chef. With more than 20 years’ experience that spans independent fine dining restaurants and luxury hotels, Viviano will oversee all culinary operations of the oceanfront property including fine dining room Angle, alfresco eatery Breeze Ocean Kitchen, Temple Orange Mediterranean Bistro, Stir Bar & Lounge, in-room dining and social events.
“The breadth of David’s expertise made him a natural fit as we continue to further evolve our dining experiences to anticipate the changing desires of our guests,” said Cindy Racco, general manager of Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. “His knowledge, passion for people and the art of culinary are a perfect combination for the deeply personal standards of excellence that drives all of us at Eau Palm Beach.”
Most recently, Chef Viviano served as executive chef at Montage Kapalua Bay in Maui. There, he led a team of more than 40 associates, managing all culinary operations across the luxury resort including menu creation and kitchen operations for signature restaurant Cane & Canoe. During his tenure, the oceanfront property was awarded the Forbes Five-Star designation and Cane & Canoe, the Forbes Four-Star designation for two years running.
Previous to that, Chef Viviano held the unique title of “CheF&B’ at the St. Regis Aspen Resort & Spa, where he oversaw all culinary operations and a team of more than 70 professionals. Viviano designed and implemented a successful sustainability program, composting 6,000 pounds per week, the largest in the area. Additionally, Viviano drove the re-conception of the resort’s three-meal-a-day restaurant to traditional Italian, acted as host chef of the renowned Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and took home the gold in 2014 as the winner of the Aspen Mac & Cheese Festival.
Steve Pike (www,myspiketravel.com) is an award-winning food and travel writer. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla.