By Sharon Apfelbaum
Few resort restaurants can boast the unbroken span of popularity enjoyed by Lyons English Grille. This atmospheric restaurant has been serving English food with a continental flair for many decades. Thanks to the culinary skill of veteran chefs and the high standards of owner David Lyons, the family-operated restaurant has built an enviable reputation for fine food and service. Most of the staff has been on board since the restaurant’s opening, giving Lyons a consistency and quality rarely found in resort dining establishments. That’s why lots of in-the-know locals have standing reservations.
Entering this elegant enclave is like stepping back in history. Reminiscent of a 19th-century London inn, the dimly lit surroundings are filled with antiques and interesting reminders of England’s royal heritage. Leaded-glass windows flank the foyer, with scenes from the reign of raucous Henry VIII on one side and the more somber Houses of Parliament on the other. Colorful coats of arms in leaded glass light the main dining room, while old Toby mugs, copper pots, and Royal Doulton tankards decorate the bar. Costumed waitresses skim past crowded tables while rows of hanging medieval banners gently ripple in the air, beckoning diners into another era.
Separate banquet rooms for private parties, richly paneled and individualized with Anglican treasures, can accommodate parties ranging from 15 to 100, the Pub Room for small groups, and the Parliament Room for a crowd.
Amid all the English embellishments, you’ll dine on the hearty fare kings and queens have favored for centuries. Lyons offers some of the juiciest, most flavorful meats in the desert — Eastern corn-fed USDA Prime Rib, New York Steaks, and Filet Mignon, aged to perfection on site. Also comforting dishes — Chicken in the Pot, Braised Short Ribs, succulent Lamb Shanks, and Lake Superior Whitefish.
The Lyons brothers, David and Arthur (now deceased), have owned and operated restaurants in California since 1938. English immigrants, they brought recipes for steak and kidney pie and the classic custard tryfle from their family home in Lancashire. In the desert, it’s as close as you can get to the “many sceptered isle.”
Lyons English Grille
233 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264