Right away you’ll notice something different about the recently opened Balisage Bistro in Palm Springs.
The restaurant sits just a few steps from the aircraft tarmac at Palm Springs International Airport.
Tucked inside the Atlantic Aviation complex serving private aircraft on North Gene Autry Trail, Balisage Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, romantically lit at night from the covered patio to the candle lit tables inside.
Balisage is a French military term for dim light navigation during wartime so as not to give away one's position to the enemy.
The restaurant had been closed for a few years until world-traveled, eclectic chef Daniel Villanueva sought to bring a Mediterranean-style bistro to this offbeat locale.
“(Atlantic Aviation proprietor) Karen Davidson was waiting for the right chef with the right vision to come in here,” said Villanueva.
The restaurant’s high vaulted, wood-trussed ceiling with red ducting and white drop lights gives the room a lofty feeling; natural light floods in from a clerestory window above the bar.
Villanueva has chosen a neutral palette of sandy beige and dark brown set off by wood accents. He hopes to invite more local artists to hang work on the walls. Even at breakfast, tables are covered with linen and set with vases of fresh flowers.
For Balisage Bistro's first foray into Restaurant Week, Villanueva offers a $38 three-course menu that includes some of his already best sellers plus a few dishes created especially for the 10-day promotion.
Pan roasted sea bass with braised fennel in an herb, garlic and white wine sauce; seafood paella with sautéed shrimp, white fish, mussels and squid with preserved lemon and saffron rice; and chicken with Spanish chorizo in Romesco sauce are items already popular on the regular menu.
A pork tenderloin roulade with fig compote, goat cheese, and apple brandy reduction, and a duck cassoulet with white beans and Harissa are two Restaurant Week specials.
One of the Restaurant Week first-course choices is Panzanilla, an appetizer with sweet peppers, heirloom tomatoes, capers, garlic and mozzarella cheese on ciabatta. Equally intriguing, Portuguese bacon-wrapped dates are stuffed with Spanish blue cheese and drizzled with rosewater reduction.
Balisage Bistro’s breakfast pastries, cookies and sumptuous desserts are created in-house by noted pastry chef Yasmin Martin. For Restaurant Week, dessert choices include chocolate tiramisu with layered ladyfingers, chocolate mascarpone and espresso syrup with fresh berries; and fig cake with citrus cream cheese frosting and fig port sauce.
Complementing the Mediterranean-inspired cuisine are a house sangria and wines by the glass and bottle from France, Italy, Spain, in addition to international beers.
The restaurant is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Balisage Bistro, 145 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, 760-406-4565.