Bareiss is set in a 99 room hotel in a beautiful Black Forest setting. The dining room has picture windows and sumptuous fittings. There is a thick blue carpet, wood panelling below the windows, a fairly low ceiling and generous chairs. The menu has starters from EUR 45 – 65, and main courses from EUR 56 – 70. The wine list arrives with a thud as 53 densely packed pages. Examples are 2005 Hugel Pinot Gris at EUR 40 for a wine that costs EUR 20 in the shops, and Opus One 1997 at EUR 310 compared to a retail price of perhaps EUR 220, so it can be seen that mark-ups are on the kindly side. Chef Claus-Peter Lumpp has cooked here for 25 years, doing brief stages at Louis XV and Heinz Winkler amongst others.
Nibbles began with a superb sushi of kingfish with a hint of wasabi, tartare of salmon, smoked eel on a bed of apples and a little pata negra on a piece of melon (18/20). Next was smoked salmon with a smoked fish mousse with a little caviar (18/20). Three variants on tuna raised the level, with a cube of tuna with a red pepper jus, tartare of tuna with wasabi cream and a superb piece of tuna loin marinated with spices (19/20).
Veal with a risotto of pine nuts was a clever texture mix and the veal both tasted good and was very nicely seasoned (19/20). Terrine of foie gras was served with frozen “air” of liver and port wine jelly, sweet corn mousse and a foam of goose liver with a piece of toasted brioche. The foie gras had deep taste and silky texture, while the sweet corn mousse gave an earthy contrast of taste (19/20). A pair of langoustines were superbly poached, served with a ratatouille of diced vegetables and resting in an octopus sauce, with a little potato disc under each langoustine. The shellfish had remarkable flavour and the sauce worked really well (20/20).
Next, kingfish was cooked with Tobbiko caviar, resting in a tarragon risotto made with black rice, with fleur de sel. The fish itself was lovely, the natural saltiness of the caviar working well with the risotto (18/20). Sweetbreads with a balsamic glaze was served on a puree of white haricot beans, with just a hint (but no more) of vanilla. Again this showed careful composition, the balsamic glaze giving a useful contrast to the richness of the sweetbreads (19/20).
Wild duck was glazed and served with a chestnut sauce, served with a dumpling of mushrooms (this was very good, though the duck was cooked a minute or two longer than ideal); on the side was a superb, intense confit of duck on a bed of diced vegetables (18/20). The extensive cheese board featured two German cheeses, something I have not seen before. A good goat cheese and a nice hard cheese from Lake Constance, these were alongside the usual array of classic French offerings (supplied by Tourette of Strasbourg). Morbiere, Comte etc were in very good condition, served with a broad selection of breads and a few chutneys, including a lively fig and mustard chutney (19/20).
Chocolate soufflé was served with an ice cream made from Valrhona chocolate, the soufflé a fraction undercooked (18/20). A passion fruit tart was served as a hemisphere with a very thin tart base, the passion fruit mousse itself just a little grainy, and on the side some very ripe bananas, which I am not sure were needed with the passion fruit (18/20). Coffee was excellent, and there was an array of petit fours. Florentines, jellies, fruit and chocolates were there on a vast trolley, as well as macaroons, caramels and marshmallows of assorted varieties. A chocolate cake was all I could manage (19/20) apart from a nibble of perfect plum tart (20/20).
Service was superb throughout, friendly, attentive and helpful. The bill was EUR 483 for two people, with extensive wines. Overall this was a very fine meal indeed. There were one or two tiny flaws if I am to be very picky, but this was overall a very genuine 3 star experience.