Johannes Restaurant, Palm Springs CA
Ok, the title of this blog entry is a little unfair, but I wanted to vent a little bit. I actually had a very good experience at Johannes. The service was excellent as was the food.
But I’m just gonna go out and say it – I hate super dark restaurants!
For me, part of an amazing dining experience is being able to actually see what I’m eating. For instance, my duck appetizer tasted great and I’m sure it looked amazing – BUT I COULDN’T SEE IT! I really wanted to see the amazing roasted duck against the dark lentils and the beautifully drizzled raspberry vinaigrette. BUT everything looked just like a dark lump. I tried positioning the candle to get better shots to no avail. What you see on this blog is WAY better than what I actually saw in person!
How does a dimly lit room improve my dining experience!? I can’t see my food. I can’t see my dining my guest. I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING!!!
This is becoming such a pet peeve for me that I’m tempted to decline my next reservation if I enter a restaurant and see that it’s lit like a Paleozoic cave! Just wait, I’m gonna do it! This is ridiculous!
So in conclusion, I enjoyed my dinner but it was a little overpriced considering that I couldn’t FULLY enjoy my meal.
Lillet blonde. Over ice, orange zest. $9
Grey Goose vodka martini up with olives. $11
Pimm’s cup, lemon juice, over ice. $9
Brussels sprouts salad (special). Lemon juice, olive oil, pecorino cheese and walnuts. $12
Very bright and refreshing. This was a simple salad that you can easily make at home. I think the hardest part would be leafing the brussels sprouts, probably very labor intensive.
Honey and soy glazed duck breast. Sliced roasted duck breast, Beluga lentil salad, tiny greens and raspberry vinaigrette. $11
My favorite dish of the night. It was served cold and tasted amazing. I’m sure it was beautifully composed, but I really couldn’t see much of it. The dark duck on the dark lentils looked like a black blob in the restaurant. The flavor were great and the textures were fun.
Australian grass fed kangaroo loin. Glazed bosc pear, veal bacon, walnuts, orange, cranberries, broccolini, juniper merlot reduction. $29
The kangaroo didn’t taste as crazy as I thought it would. I guess the chef recommends it served medium rare, but this came out pretty rare. I wish I would have ordered it medium instead. It was very tender and the reduction tasted great. The bosc pear came out super hot and delicious, and I loved the mixed topping.
New Zealand grass fed young lamb rack. White beans, zucchini, tomatoes, grilled green onions, triple Dijon mustard sauce. $36
Wow, you get a LOT of lamb – 6 ribs of it! This was very delicious and super tender. I wish the grilled green onions weren’t on the plate though. They seemed too clunky for an otherwise beautiful plate.
Baguette and pesto butter.