Friday, March 11, 2011

Johannes Restaurant: Getting Reintroduced to a Neighborhood Favorite

A recent feast I enjoyed at Johannes Restaurant in Palm Springs certainly wasn't my first experience at the popular downtown eatery, but it was definitely the most memorable to date.
Chef Johannes Bacher is known for his European flair in combining unique flavors that tantalize the palate, and this meal was no exception. I started my epicurean adventure with a heady wild mushroom soup touched with intoxicating white truffle oil, well matched with a minerally and delicately spicy Austrian Riesling. 
My dining partner enjoyed a fragrant escargot appetizer plated in an aromatic garlic and green herb butter, for which our server recommended a velvety smooth and tropical fruit-inspired Gruner Veltliner from Fred Loimer.
Next was an unbelievably tender, grass-fed New Zealand lamb rack served in a Dijon mustard sauce, which we paired with an '06 Burgess Napa Syrah, full of dark fruit and stunningly delicious in its richness. What a twosome!
I enjoyed a savory roasted duck breast with sauteed spinach and roasted Bosc pear in an orange Tarragon glaze, matching it with a juicy Oregon Pinot called Les Cousins by Beaux Freres. The slightly spicy fruit in the wine matched well with the tangy sauce, subduing the fibers in the duck meat like an experienced lion tamer.
Instead of ordering dessert wine, we opted to stick with one of the evening's favorites...the Burgess Syrah, which we sipped while indulging in a perfect trio of creme brulee, apple strudel and a winter bread pudding. Suffice it to say, there goes the neighborhood...if only every town could be so lucky.
Follow me on Twitter @vinochick75. For more information about Johannes Restaurant, call 760-778-0017 or go to:

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