5 Best Restaurants in Palm Springs
1. Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Owner/chef Michael Beckman’s past stints in France and Beverly Hills informed his international take on a rotating menu of Americana dishes. The 30-ounce rib eye is presented on a large wooden cutting board and comes with mushroom conserva, and the rich herbes de Provence fries are cooked in duck fat. Most ingredients are sourced within 100 miles, and the cocktails are 1800s-era recipes made with ingredients such as white whiskey and house-made ginger beer.
Seasonal organic items from the immediate region become a decadent pleas-ure in the form of truffle tater tots, waffles stuffed with cheddar cheese, and bacon “flights” (samples of five different flavors such as apple cinnamon, maple, honey smoke and jalapeno). Cheeky’s loyal following — including fashion designers Trina Turk and Wil Stiles — knows that it’s well worth the wait for one of the 30 orange plastic seats in the small, white-walled dining room with a clanky open kitchen.
Reasonably priced Midwest comfort food meets hip West Coast innovation on Trio’s menu: thick, hand-cut potato chips dipped in house-made ranch, St. Louis-style spare ribs with chipotle rub, “Mac and 5 Cheese” (gouda, cheddar, blue, goat and Romano). In 2013, Trio’s menu was replicated when its owners refurbished and reopened The Purple Room, Palm Springs’ legendary live performance supper club, a former hangout of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
4. Le Vallauris
The ficus-lined patio is sprawling yet intimate, and Flemish tapestries and Louis XV furniture fill the cozy dining room. Braised rabbit with onion and Ma-deira wine, or foie gras ravioli in cream of aged Parmesan and truffle oil are presented by old-timer, French-speaking waiters. Chef Jean Paul Lair sojourns to France every summer to find new inspiration for his 5-star Continental prix-fixe menu.
5. The Tropicale
A sparkling East-meets-West menu features spicy Kore-an-style skirt steak skewers with citrus kim chee, or “Big Ass” shrimp with bacon grits étouffée. All meat and fish is organically raised and hormone-free, and gourmet weekend brunches last a good, long five hours on both Saturday and Sunday. Daily specialty cocktails include the likes of lemongrass basil mojitos and raspberry passion-fruit margaritas. In late 2013, Tropicale’s owners opened Copa Room, a 6,000-square-foot nightclub/cabaret, next door.
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