What: The jamón Iberico
Where: Counter Reformation, inside the Parker Palm Springs, 4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
How much: $14
Contact: 760-770-5000; www.theparkerpalmsprings.com/dine/counter-reformation.php
Why: It’s a treat in every sense of the word.
I was fortunate enough to spend several days in Barcelona at the end of a cruise a while back—and during those several days, I enjoyed some of the best food I’ve ever had.
I was reminded of those glorious meals one recent late afternoon when I met friend and colleague Kevin at Counter Reformation, a hidden gem of a wine bar tucked inside the Parker Palm Springs hotel.
However, Counter Reformation is much more than a mere wine bar; it also serves some of the most decadent small plates around. Along with your glass of lovely wine (all of which are $6 for 3 ounces, $11 for 6 ounces, or $40 for a bottle) or champagne ($11 for 5 ounces, or $40 for a bottle), you can enjoy more than a half-dozen delights such as the grilled prawn brochette ($11), or the fingerling potatoes with a poached egg ($11) or the downright-intriguing foie gras macaron ($12).
However, when I saw the jamón Iberico on the menu, I knew that’s what I had to have. The cured meat from the black Iberian pig was one of the culinary highlights of my Barcelona stay, and the see-through-thin slices on offer at Counter Reformation—served with a tomato relish and two crostini with a creamy spread—were every bit as delicious (if a bit more pricey) as the stuff I enjoyed in Spain.
Almost (but not quite) as great as the jamon were the complimentary jars of olives and cornichons served with the tapas and wine. Wow. Just … wow.
The hours at Counter Reformation are limited (3 to 10 p.m. Thursday through Monday), but it’s worth finding some time to treat yourself there. It’s one of the best wine bars in the Coachella Valley—with some of the best tapas in the Coachella Valley.