Rockwood Grill and Blue Star Lounge
At JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. Locally Sourced and Farm-Fresh Cuisine
By Pamela Bieri
Located in the former Lake View restaurant, Rockwood Grill opened this spring at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. This sophisticated venue with upscale, all-day dining features foods from California’s abundant farms and local producers.
Adjacent to Rockwood Grill is Blue Star Lounge, encompassing an 80-seat indoor and outdoor terrace with fire pits creating a magical alfresco experience.
The modern contemporary vibe incorporates earthy textures of wood, iron, and rock with a natural color palette, incorporating sustainable decor in keeping with the restaurant’s sustainable, locally sourced menu.
Several “communal” tables provide for guests to mingle over breakfast or brunch, served buffet style or a la carte for lunch and dinner. The flexible buffet area opens up or closes off by sliding wood and amber glass doors. Similarly, a private dining room for up to 60 and a smaller area for up to 20 allows for overflow seating or private events.
Hearty, healthful, and locally sourced products as well as from California’s abundant regional farms inspire Executive Chef Oliver Wolf.
The all-natural, antibiotics and hormone-free beef comes from Brandt Farms in Brawley, north of El Centro. Laura Chenel’s chevre cheese is from Sonoma, and from Point Reyes are well-known blue and toma cheeses. Suzie’s Farms, a USDA certified organic grower near San Diego, provides farm greens, beets, tomatoes, mint, and eggplant.
Drinks from the Blue Star Lounge are as carefully selected as the food ingredients, with handcrafted cocktails, local microbrews and a selection of regional California, Washington, and international wines.
Rockwood is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday- Thursday, until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Blue Star Lounge is open until midnight Sunday- Thursday and until 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Rockwood Grill & Blue Star Lounge
Price Range: $$$
JW Marriott Desert Spring’s Executive Sous Chef Jonathan Wills (left) and Restaurant Operations Manager Elias Serrano are proud of the resort’s newest dining experience, Rockwood Grill.
Rockwood Grill’s creative menu is based on locally sourced, sustainable, and organically grown products. Featured are (clockwise, from bottom) the Gemelli pasta with wild-caught shrimp and mussels in a caper lemon sauce; Mac & Cheese Trio with Brandt Farms short rib, wild-caught rock shrimp and classic cheddar; a portion of the Valley Sampler with bacon-wrapped dates, smoked eggplant dip, and baked naan bread; beet salad with roasted organic beets, goat cheese, and bibb lettuce in a citrus vinaigrette. Next is the artichoke heirloom tomato salad with marinated artichoke hearts, and baby heirloom tomatoes, on bibb lettuce with fresh basil chiffonade and extra virgin olive oil.
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