Johannes

By | January 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm | No comments | Columns, The Pampered Palate

When it comes to fine dining in our valley, it can be a challenge to find an establishment that parallels fine cuisine with truly professional service. Having worked in this valley as a fine dining server for over a decade, I understand what it takes to be professional and when it is appropriate to be more casual with guests. This week, I believe I have found not only the best food in our desert but perhaps the best service as well! Johannes Restaurant in Palm Springs is quite simply, perfection!
From the moment I arrived, I was impressed with the artistic décor which is welcoming without commanding too much attention. My guests and I were seated in an intimate dining room with large windows that allow a glimpse of Palm Canyon Drive without the intrusive sounds of seasonal traffic. Our service was seemingly choreographed, as each member of the staff performed their tasks effortlessly, without disruptive dialogue. We began with cocktails from their specialty drink menu and the Triple X martini was incredible! It was strong yet full of tropical flavors of mango and passion fruit.
I struggled in deciding what to order as there were not only several amazing selections on the menu, but our server had enticed us with additional items available that particular evening, including an Australian Barramundi that my guest ordered and raved about. I began with the escargot, prepared with a garlic, herb butter and bread crumbs. I should warn you that even if you think you do not like escargot, you may become a fan after trying this appetizer! My guests’ starters were so artistically plated; I wish I had a camera to capture the beauty and effort put into the plating of each dish.
I also noticed how the service team made sure to serve the ladies first and we never had to ask for anything. The lead server was clearly a professional, showing her elegance and sophistication with each approach to our table. While she seemed to be the only lead server, she never seemed rushed, even as the dining room was full of guests.
With an impressive selection of Schnitzel entrées, I ordered the Jager Schnitzel, thinly cut and pounded veal, breaded and topped with a savory sauce of red wine, mushrooms and bacon. Served with oven roasted fingerling potatoes and a small (but incredibly delicious) cucumber and dill salad, this was perhaps the best meal I have had in many months and certainly the best dining experience I have ever had in this valley. The portions are appropriate and some are generous compared to many other fine dining restaurants I have frequented.
For dessert, we took the recommendation of our server and shared a sampler plate of tiramisu, chocolate mousse and crème brulee. I cannot express how incredible this night was. This has instantly become my new favorite restaurant, not only for the amazing food, but for the best service I have found in our valley. I will be revisiting this restaurant time and time again!
Johannes is located on the northeast corner of Indian Canyon and Arenas, downtown Palm Springs and opens nightly at 5pm. You do not want to miss out on this dining experience. Reservations are preferred and can be made over the phone or online through Open Table. Visit them at www.johannesrestaurants.com or call 760-778-0017.

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