It’s a great time to visit the Greater Palm Springs area, with excellent dining options popping up throughout the valley. On our last couple of trips, we’ve made a point of visiting some of the new (and new to us) restaurants that have been getting great reviews, and we weren’t disappointed.
“Traveling through the south of France forever changed my life, and I want everyone to have that experience through Farm.”– Liz Ostoich, owner of Farm
Sold, right? Well, we finally got to the Palm Springs favorite, Farm, for breakfast one morning, and we were not disappointed. Though the restaurant is known for the charming patio, we opted to sit indoors a cozy, Provençal-style dining room, complete with a crackling fireplace.
Since we were there for official review purposes (ahem) we opted to try three of the breakfast dishes, an omelette with crispy duck confit, goat cheese, spinach and scallion, a crepe with mixed mushrooms, cheese, garlic and shallots, and the banana French toast, which featured caramelized banana, rum brown sugar glaze, mascarpone and hazelnuts. Sadly, I was denied my usual latte as the restaurant does not serve espresso drinks, only French press coffee. Of the savory dishes, I preferred the mushroom crepe, which was stuffed with tasty mixed mushrooms and plenty of yummy Gruyère cheese. The French toast got two big thumbs up from us both and disappeared quickly, although we each swore we were only going to have a taste.
We look forward to a return visit, either for lunch or for dinner (Friday and Saturday evenings, Prix Fixe menu only).
This is a great little neighborhood wine bar on the East end of El Paseo with a terrific happy hour with lots of tasty options on the menu, including flatbreads, salad, and small plates. We chose one from each category, with empanadas (we chose meat but cheese is also an option), the house salad, and a mushroom flatbread. The small plates list had a few heartier options, like braised short ribs with grits, which we plan to try on our next visit. The happy hour wine list was short, and we both chose the special of the day, an Argentinian white that was fantastic.
To be honest, our expectations weren’t high for the food, but we were more than pleasantly surprised: we were impressed! Everything we ordered had plenty of flavor and nuance and paired very nicely with the wine. We had the undivided attention of the bartender when we arrived, as we were the first to arrive when the doors opened at 5, but the service continued to be friendly and attentive as the place started to fill up.
This is a great place to stop in for a post-shopping snack and a glass of wine, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to stay awhile.
The chic new Palm Springs location of this beloved Mediterranean eatery has been getting all the attention lately, but it’s the original Palm Desert location we decided to visit for lunch, and we liked it so much we returned the next day! The menu features creative, modern Mediterranean recipes, which the owners describe as having a Greek foundation with Middle Eastern, Spanish and Moroccan flair.
I loved their Shawarma spiced chicken plate, which arrived with plenty of eye appeal, with hummus, quinoa salad, roasted beets and tzatziki sauce accompanying the chicken. It was my favorite kind of meal; generous portions of fresh, healthy and tasty food. Peter chose the lamb kofta burger, which came dressed with Manchego cheese, harissa and tzatziki and was served with hand-cut fries. He reported no regrets. On the second day he opted for the Shashlik Spiced
The Palm Springs location is much larger, with a bar that highlights Champagne, wine, martinis and vermouth (complete with the valley’s first “vermouth hour”.) The smaller Palm Desert restaurant has plenty of charm, with graphic painted walls and a hip, rustic DIY aesthetic. On both of our visits the service was exceptionally friendly.
There are just one or two tables outside, so you can bring your pup but it’s a bit of a gamble.
I’ll admit, I primarily wanted to go to Pink Cabana at the newly renovated Sands hotel in Indian Wells to take in the fabulous over-the-top interior design of Martyn Lawrence Bullard. I was not disappointed – the entrance, walk to the restaurant and the restaurant itself are packed with Morocco-meets-mid-century charm, and I’m sure the place is soon to be Insta-famous (maybe it is already?)
As charming as the restaurant is, it was a beautiful night so we sat outside. We were impressed with the friendliness of the staff, including the restaurant manager who introduced herself to us at one point. When we visited, the restaurant hadn’t been open long, and service was a little slow. We didn’t mind, but it might be something to keep in mind if you’re not in the mood to hang out and people watch.
I ordered the Harissa Chicken, and Peter chose the Tagine of Colorado Lamb Shank. Both meals were delicious, as were the wines we ordered with them. Portions were on the small side, so be warned if you’re traveling with big eaters.
We look forward to returning, maybe for cocktails and appetizers, and definitely for people watching.
Wildest Greens is an organic farm to table restaurant in the former Clementine (R.I.P) space on El Paseo. They have an all-day menu (9 am to 9 pm), as well as brunch from 9-3, a smoothie bar, coffee bar, cold-pressed juices
We visited for breakfast one morning and stuck with the more traditional egg dishes. I tried the Green Eggs and Yam and Peter opted for the Brekkie Burrito. We found both dishes tasty although a little under seasoned –nothing a little salt couldn’t remedy. I also tried one of their cold-pressed juices, the Virgin Mary, which I enjoyed and Peter found disgusting (he’s not much of a tomato juice fan). I appreciated that the sugar content of the juices was identified on the menu and that they were served in glass bottles that can be returned for a credit off your next bill. They also have house-made kombucha, “elixir” shots, and nut and seed “
The restaurant claims that it will change diner’s minds about what health food tastes like, but I’m not so sure. We liked it and will visit again, but we probably wouldn’t bring guests who might be expecting a more decadent meal. Instead, it’s a great place to recover from too many rich meals, to kick-start a healthy eating plan or to grab a juice after a hike.