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Restaurants & Bars 1

Johannes in Boca

Bsal | May 15, 200210:00 AM

I'm new to this board and this may have been discussed before, but I feel compelled to bring up Johannes in Boca. I went for the first time this past weekend.

It's certainly an interesting place for staid Boca: Small, nicely designed space with attention to mood and detail, ambitious menu chock full of luxury ingredients (foie gras, caviar, kobe beef), and inventive, modern preparations.

It wants to be a big-time, european-style luxury restaurant, and it succeeds on some levels and fails miserably on others.

The cooking is uneven: The crabcake with mango gaspacho was possibly perfect, but the vichysoise was preposterously over-salted. The rum-pineapple sauce accompanying the foie gras was insanely delicious, but the duck liver was poorly cooked and cold. The pistachio-crusted lamb chops were the best I've had in Florida, but the kobe beef (a $27 surcharge) was overcooked and under-salted and the hong kong lobster tail ($16 surcharge) arrived cold and tough.

Worst of all, they had no clue how to deal with our complaints. At a restaurant charging $79 for a tasting menu (which we got) plus $27 for kobe beef, it's just not acceptable for the steak to be anything other than perfect. It's an insult to the diner and the beef. But when we pointed out that it was overcooked (and that the lobster was cold), the waiter just said "oh" and walked away. Nor did the chef come out to discuss the matter.

Perhaps they didn't think we knew what we were talking about. Or perhaps they were just embarrassed. Either way, Johannes will never be a truly world-class restaurant until it insits on perfection. Sloppy cooking like this would never make it out of the kitchen in in top NYC or Paris restaurants -- and if by some chance it did, the chef would strangle the person responsible and take the offending item off the bill without question.

Johaness simply ignored the problems, which is sure to infuriate people -- especially at these prices.

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