A Labor Of Love

The Hip Flock To Urban-Styled Workshop Kitchen+Bar



DAVID A. LEE

Workshop Kitchen + Bar, a hip collaboration between Chef Michael Beckman and international impresario Joseph Mourani, opened recently in the Uptown Design District bringing top-shelf casual cuisine, an ultra-cool bar, and high-end design to the already cool neighborhood.

“The concept is farm-to-table, seasonal cooking,” Beckman says. “I love the challenge of being presented ingredients and using them as inspiration for what I’m cooking. This ties into being local and green, and it keeps prices reasonable because you’re not using something that you have to import.” Beckman’s adaptive, seasonal style is an outgrowth of his extensive training in Europe, where farm-to-table cuisine is the norm.

Workshop’s menu comprises an eclectic, ever-changing mix of bowls (soups and salads), small plates (tapas and appetizers), and entrées. Typical small plates include duck confit quesadilla with mango guacamole and mint salsa; mussels with Spanish chorizo and habañero; and chile relleno with rock shrimp and Spanish chorizo. Typical entrées include: toasted chicken with chanterelles, arugula, and pesto smashed gold potatoes; pork chop with sunchoke puree, chard, and smoky guajillo chili-maple jus; and slow-roasted lamb tajine with baby vegetables, couscous, and harissa broth.

Designed by SOMA, a well known creative group headquartered in New York, Beirut, and Mexico City, Workshop features polished wood floors, with individual booths around the circumference and a communal table in the center. At the far end, a sunken bar seats approximately a dozen patrons. The resultant atmosphere somehow manages to be upscale and urban yet casual and rustic. www.workshoppalmsprings.com

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