The 6-month absence has finally been broken! Apologies all round for the severe lack of blogging and unexplained disappearance. A new job and new goals have occupied most of my time this year which has caused travel plans and blogging to take a severe blow. However, autumn is shaping up to become a season of flying, eating and drinking with things kicking off in four weeks with a belated summer holiday in Thessaloniki, Greece. In the meantime, it’s time to work on reducing the immense backlog of trip reports and restaurant reviews.
What better way to catch up on writing than with a first class flight on Lufthansa from New York (JFK) to Munich. After a wonderful stay at the Ritz Carlton Battery Park it was off to JFK to catch an overnight flight to Munich. On a side note, I used and have continually used the services of Dial 7 Limousines in New York and have had nothing but great experiences with reliable and friendly service.
The Lufthansa First Class counter at JFK is very inconspicuous. So much so, I went around twice looking for it before I realised it was only the one small counter. Minutes later, my boarding pass for LH 411 popped out with 1A stamped on it. Time to hit the lounge for some Champagne!
The lounge complex is made up of three sections. The Business Lounge on the first floor for business class passengers, the Senator Lounge on the second level for Star Alliance Gold members and non-Lufthansa first class passengers, and a dedicated First Class Lounge on the third floor for Lufthansa’s HON and First Class passengers.
Great views of the tarmac
Views of the Senator Lounge
I was escorted via lift to the third floor where an empty lounge awaited me. Jackpot! The lounge isn’t very large, actually, it is quite small, but seeing as it only serves a handful of flights a day to FRA and MUC, it is perfectly adequate. I immediately found a table in the dining area as I was feeling a little peckish, not to mention thirsty!
The pre-flight dining room
A waitress promptly took my drink order. Champagne please! And I perused the menu. The lounge offers an extensive self-serve buffet with hot and cold items as well as an a la carte menu with a variety of international dishes.
I ordered the crab cakes as a “main” and made a beeline for the buffet to scout out some delicious appetizers.
As you can see, the buffet is quite impressive and even comes with its own Bright Red Parma Ham Shaver! If you came here with an appetite you would leave the lounge a very happy camper. Very unlike me, I held back knowing that a multi-course dinner was awaiting me onboard.
Some time later, my freshly prepared Maryland Crab Cakes arrived. And what a revelation they were! Hands down the best crab cakes I’ve ever eaten! I even popped by the mini kitchen and paid compliments to the Chef, who happened to be German. A definite MUST for any visit to this lounge.
Crab Cakes to die for
Fighting back the urge to order a second helping, I took my glass of Champagne and retired to the lounge area, passing by the vast selection of liquor.
In contrast to Lufthansa’s First Class lounges in Munich and Frankfurt, this one doesn’t have a manned bar, which requires one to have a certain level of self-control in order to board the plane in a respectable manner. I passed on kidnapping the bottle of Patron and downing tequila shots as there was no one else around to be rowdy with.
After enjoying a couple more cocktails and one or two glasses of Champagne, it was time to board the Airbus 340-600 that would be taking me home. But not before adding to the Guest Book! Thanks for a fantastic stay!
Boarding was uncomplicated and after taking my seat, the great Lufthansa service started, beginning with Champagne and Smoked Almonds (where are the Macadamia Nuts???).
Missing my macadamias
After take-off, dinner service began with more Champagne and an Amuse Bouche of Seared Tuna with Avocado and Cucumber.
On the whole, I really enjoy Lufthansa’s catering. They sometimes come out with strange dishes in an attempt to be modern and avantgarde, but when they do it right, they’re one of the best. Not to mention that they are one of the depleting number of airlines that still serve caviar in first class, a novelty that won’t wear off.
Appetizers incl. Caviar
The other appetizers included Dungeness Crab and California Citrus Salad, Seared Beef Carpaccio with Baby Arugula and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed with Goat Cheese. All were delicious, apart from the citrus salad which came with the crab. I’m not a fan of mixing fruit with savoury dishes.
Dungeness Crab and California Citrus Salad
Seared Beef Carpaccio with Baby Arugula
Ordering beef on a plane is risky even in first class. Experience has told me not to choose red meat when it is offered as it usually ends in tears, but the Grilled Tenderloin of Beef with Porcini Butter sounded too good to pass up and my risk paid off big time! I enjoyed the most perfectly cooked piece of meat I have ever encountered in the sky. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
What a piece of meat!
After such a filling main I didn’t think I’d have room for dessert, but thanks to the charming flight attendant, I was convinced otherwise. The Almond Puff Pastry Tart was as spectacular as the main course.
As is often the case when flying in the pointy end of the plane, a food/drink coma rapidly follows. I alleviated this by snoozing for a couple of hours before waking up to yet another meal. Still full after a heavy dinner, I chose the light option which consisted of fruit and granola mix.
Another fantastic flight with my favourite European airline. Lufthansa really are experts at providing consistently good service and quality catering. If you take into account the stellar ground services in Munich and Frankfurt, they are very hard to beat when flying from mainland Europe. I can’t wait to try out the new first class in a few months!
-The Young Foodie