Reservations Recommended

Sustainable and Locally Sourced Ingredients Prevail at the Best New Restaurants of 2012



Workshop Kitchen + Bar

Jon Edwards

Bistro 60

Located in Trilogy Golf Club in La Quinta, Bistro 60 serves American cuisine for breakfast (7 a.m.-3 p.m.), featuring a petite omelet, veggie egg scramble, and a Mexican selection; lunch (11 a.m.-3 p.m.), including Asian chicken salad and French dip; and dinner (5-8 p.m.), highlighted by the tower ahi tuna tartar, prime top sirloin, and pizza. Executive Chef Luis Arroyo taps local farms for the freshest produce. “We make everything fresh with love in the mix,” says Owner/Manager Tom Brown. You also can order small plates (3-6 p.m.) at the bar, which offers select draft beers, wine, and spirits.
Bistro 60
151 Trilogy Parkway, La Quinta
760-501-0620

Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine

The flavors of Spain, Italy, and California prevail on a continually changing menu by Executive Chef Drew Davis. Try the fresh whole-roasted Mediterranean sea bass or Catalan Paella. Davis, who owns Catalan with his father, Mark, imports many ingredients from Valencia, Spain, for authentic integrity and sources others from local farms for a kiss of California. The wine list includes Spanish, Italian, and California vintners and imported beers. Enjoy live Spanish music Thursday-Saturday and half-price bottles of wine list on Wednesday. The restaurant also has an active happy hour and a three-course, prix fixe, early-bird menu (4:30- 5:30 p.m.)
Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine
70026 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage
760-770-9508

Dish Creative Cuisine

Lawyer-turned-restaurant owner Executive Chef Joane Garcia-Colson has created a luxurious yet intimate dining experience with an exhibition kitchen where she and Chef de Cuisine Michael Marshall entertain. Expect surprises such as the complimentary amuse bouche tastings throughout the meal and between courses. The eclectic, contemporary American menu has French accents, employing locally sourced herbs and spices in unbelievable combinations. Although the menu always changes, popular items include white gazpacho, seared jumbo scallops, coq au vin, and wild boar. Leave room for incredible desserts. Dish is open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday.
Dish Creative Cuisine
68525 Ramon Road, Cathedral City
760-832-6526

Fisherman’s Landing Bar & Grille

Louis Pagano, owner of Fisherman’s Market & Grill restaurants, has opened a fresh concept at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa. Chef Jesus Fierros oversees a menu of every type of seafood, as well as prime steaks, lamb, chicken, soups, salads, and a large selection of tacos (the most popular lunch item). For dinner, the king crab legs and lobster bisque are most popular. For brunch on Sunday, try the breakfast burrito. Enjoy views (from inside or on the large patio) of the golf course, pool, mountains, and lake. The restaurant also has a sports bar with large-screen TVs, a bar menu, and live music Friday-Saturday.
Fisherman's Landing Bar & Grille
74855 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert
760-341-2211

The Grill on Main

Executive Chef Brett Maddock, formerly of Arnold Palmer’s Restaurant and Ritz-Carlton, took over this Old Town La Quinta restaurant and introduced a fresh take on classic American fare using locally sourced ingredients. For brunch, try the huevos rancheros or vegetarian scramble. The most popular lunch item is Pacific shrimp salad with almond-crusted avocado and red pepper/tomato gazpacho. For dinner, try braised short ribs with linguine and balsamic glaze. The wine list offers 40 vintages from around the world. Or try a specialty microbrew. Daily happy hours are 2-6 and 9-11 p.m. Friday- Saturday. Enjoy local bands Friday- Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
The Grill on Main
78065 Main St., La Quinta
760-777-7773

Jiao

Tara Lazar and Marco Rossetti, who created Cheeky’s and Birba in Uptown Palm Springs, have added Jiao (Chinese dragon), featuring the healthy street food of Asian countries. Ethan Homes, executive chef of all three restaurants, built the small plates menu of crispy chicken Katamari, Asian salads, mizuna (Japanese lettuce) salad with avocado and yuzo vinaigrette, and soba noodle bowl. Main entrées include Shaking Beef Tenderloin and oxtail fried rice. A popular lunch item is lemongrass pork noodle bowl. For dinner, it’s miso black cod and baby bok choy. Pastry Chef Chantal creates exotic-flavored ice creams and chocolate passion fruit mousse. The beverage list includes Jiao’s Champagne Cocktail, sakes, Asian beers, and imported wines.
Jiao
515 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
760-321-1424

Mastro’s Steakhouse

The nationally known brand has arrived in Palm Desert, serving the finest of hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood. The M bar in the center of the restaurant also proved an instant hit. Order the bone-in filet or the Chilean sea bass to follow the signature Smoking Seafood Tower appetizer. Finish with the warm butter cake with ice cream, oranges, and berries. The wine list boasts more than 500 vintages, and live entertainment rounds out a rich experience.
Mastro's Steakhouse
73405 El Paseo, Palm Desert
760-776-6777

Michael’s Pizzeria

Michael Dene, owner of the Napolistyle restaurant at The River at Rancho Mirage, means it when he says his menu is authentic and special. Zagat awarded Michael’s Best Pizza honors, with a 28 rating out of a possible 30. There are 14 pizzas (or create your own), baked in a wood-fi red oven at 850 degrees and served whole. The antipasti, insalate, and cast-iron entrées such as lasagne Napoletana, roasted octopus, and fennel sausage are exceptional. The menu pairs wines with each dish, and an intimate bistro exhibition kitchen showcases the chefs at work.
Michael's Pizzeria
71800 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage
760-341-4222

Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant & Bar

Owner/Executive Chef Mimmo Di Salvo and his wife, Victoria, prepare dishes with local ingredients. The pasta menu, which includes wholewheat and gluten-free options, features lasagne Bolognese and Veal Ravioli alla Mimmo. Fish, chicken, and meat specialties include salmon, petrale sole, sand dabs, pollo cacciatore, dry-aged New York strip steak, and prime pork chop — all enhanced with herbs from the chef’s garden. For lunch, try the salmon burger. For dinner, we like Mimmo’s Veal Stew. The bar highlights Italian and California wines. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.
Mimmo's Italian Restaurant & Bar
73540 Highway 111, Palm Desert
760-346-9712

Piero’s Pizzavino

Piero Pierattoni’s fun meeting place serves up The History of Pizza, a chronology from 79 A.D to the 20th century on your placemat. The authentic Neapolitan pizzas come via the four key ingredients: a wood-burning oven, San Marzano tomatoes, Fior de Latte mozzarella, and Doppio Zero flour. Chef Robert Wepplo creates mouthwatering options. Piero’s white-sauce pizza made with burrata cheese is a pleaser. Also enjoy the antipasti, salads, pastas, and entrées such as salmon, as well desserts like Piero’s Cheesecake. The most popular lunch item is the vegetable pizza dough sandwich. The cozy bar has a mozzarella menu with sides. The bar serves Italian and Californian wines and imported beers.
Piero's Pizzavino
73722 El Paseo, Palm Desert
760-568-2525

Red Lobster Restaurant

Known for expertly grilled seafood, Red Lobster has expanded with nonseafood selections and more fish, shrimp, and light entrées. Woodfired grills lock in flavors and juices seared into the seafood, steaks, and chicken. The seafood is sourced from around the globe, including lobster from New England and salmon from Norway. Popular lunch items are shrimp and wood-grilled chicken. For dinner, consider seafood-stuffed flounder or lobster pizza. The bar serves draft and imported beers. Ship lanterns and Adirondack-style chairs encourage mingling outside.
Red Lobster
72291 Highway 111, Palm Desert
760-674-5890

Rockwood Grill & Blue Star Lounge

“I am inspired by the healthful, locally produced products available,” Executive Chef Oliver Wolf says of the sustainable ingredients he uses to create contemporary American cuisine. All-day dining in the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa restaurant begins with a daily breakfast/ brunch buffet with communal tables. Lunch and dinner can be buffet or à la carte. A popular lunch item is beet salad with roasted organic beets, goat cheese, Bibb lettuce, and citrus vinaigrette. For dinner, try prime rib and seafood. The adjacent Blue Star Lounge shares the view and luxurious ambiance with an indoor/outdoor terrace and fire pits. Drinks are one of a kind and as carefully selected as the food.
Rockwood Grill & Blue Star Lounge
74855 Country Club Drive, Palm Desert
760-341-2211

Stadium House

Billy Mieldazis has introduced a “House of Blues meets sports bar” concept, serving simple food made great and appealing to all ages. The seasonal American fare includes items from farmers markets and wild Alaskan salmon. Chef John Fritch, formerly of Ritz-Carlton, prepares an extensive all-course menu from appetizers to luscious desserts. The all-day, à la carte menu for lunch, dinner, and late night includes slow-cooked baby back ribs glazed with house sauce. The full bar and appreciable wine list offer a prelude to a good meal. Multiple widescreen TVs show all sporting events. You can also enjoy live music and dancing Monday-Saturday.
Stadium House
69640 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage
760-424-8190

Tinto

Iron Chef Jose Garces delivers Basque cuisine at his richly designed restaurant inside The Saguaro hotel. On-site Executive Chef David Conn explains, “Tinto is a colloquial expression for the red wine served in the tapas bars (Pintxos) in this region.” The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus of classic small plates include seafood, chicken, duck, meat, Serrano ham, and tamales with specials like paella with rabbit, shrimp, and chorizo. Desserts are exotic combinations. Try the buñuelos (doughnuts) with date ice cream. Brunch is served Saturday-Sunday.
Tinto
1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
760-323-1711

Workshop Kitchen + Bar

Transforming the 1926 El Paseo Building into a chic, industrial eatery in Uptown Palm Springs, co-owners Michael Beckman (executive chef) and Joseph Mourani — longtime friends from Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France — serve up New American cuisine, a concept of local market-driven products at their peak of season woven into a changing, eclectic menu of healthy Mediterranean dishes. “I want this to be a neighborhood gathering place for excellent food, wine, and fun,” Beckman says. The versatile food and the wine list amaze. Try the lobster burrito or oxtail burgers. The restaurant also serves Sunday brunch.
Workshop Kitchen + Bar
800 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
760-459-3451

Add your comment:
Dine Out

Related Articles

The Search for Sushi in the Desert

Shortly after making the move from her native Seattle to the desert, our new restaurant/foodie columnist became obsessed with finding her culinary go-to…fresh sushi.

Creative Mexican Cuisine Marks Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club's Reopening

New entertainment, special events, and a new executive chef in Ruben Galvez mark the reopening of Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club in South Palm Springs.

Imaginative Edge Marks New Chef at Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs

The newest restaurant by celebrity chef Kerry Simon, Simon Kitchen + Bar, just opened at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, bringing talented Executive Chef Jeremy Saccardi into the arena.

Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ 2014 James Beard 4-Course Luncheon

To kick off the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ 2014 there was a a four-course gourmet luncheon featuring James Beard-recognized chefs, including David LeFevre, Brooke Williamson, Matthew Accarrino, and Gale Gand,

Cook Like a Pro

Elevate your culinary skills with classes hosted by local chefs.
Search all listings »

Featured Listings

  • Cello's Bistro
    35943 Date Palm Drive
    Cathedral City, CA 92234
    760-328-5353
    Category: Restaurants
    Location: American
  • Mario's Italian Cafe - Bermuda Dunes
    42104 Washington St.
    Bermuda Dunes, CA 92203
    760-772-6100
    Category: Restaurants
    Location: Italian
  • 262 S Palm Canyon Drive
    Palm Springs, CA 92262
    760-325-5200
    Category: Restaurants
    Location: Hamburger
  • Don Diego's of Indian Wells
    74969 Hwy 111
    The Village at Indian Wells
    Indian Wells, CA 92210
    760-340-5588
    Category: Restaurants
    Location: Mexican
  • Mario's Italian Cafe - Sun City
    78152 Varner Rd
    Palm Desert, CA 92260
    760-345-8900
    Category: Restaurants
    Location: Italian
Add a free listing »

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.