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Classic Club, Palm Desert

Jon Edwards

BELLATRIX
Classic Club

Sweeping views of the golf course and mountains pair perfectly with the excellent food here, such as the expertly cooked classic flat iron steak served with baby vegetables, mashed potatoes, and cabernet glaze. Cuban pulled pork sandwiches and crunchy calamari tacos are lunch favorites. Bellatrix is also known for its stellar happy hour, which features Caesar salads, juicy cheeseburgers, Italian meatball subs, imaginative flatbreads, and tender braised roast French dips. The ambiance inside and on the mountain-facing patio is serene, and the service is as silky as the caramel cheesecake. Bellatrix is open for lunch daily, and for dinner Tuesday to Saturday.
75200 Classic Club Blvd., Palm Desert.
760-601-3690; www.classicclubgolf.com

CIRCA 59
Riviera Palm Springs Resort & Spa

A slick, sultry, art deco space that oozes urban sophistication, Circa 59 also opens to the pool area for a romantic dinner illuminated by candles and twinkle lights. It’s a hard choice between the decadent lobster-truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and one of the ever changing seasonal menu items featuring eco-friendly seafood, boutique farm meats, and Coachella Valley produce. Salmon risotto is a standout. Stop by early in the day for mimosas, made-to-order omelets and moist, lemon/mascarpone cornmeal pancakes. Monthly winemaker dinners are a special treat. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1600 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-778-6659; www.psriviera.com

EUROPA RESTAURANT
Villa Royale Inn

Winner of AAA’s Four Diamond ranking 10 years in a row, Europa might be the most romantic small restaurant in the valley. An antique-filled dining room and intimate patio are tucked away in the heart of the European-style inn, inviting long, leisurely dinners. Come with an appetite, because portions of juicy double crown rack of lamb, fall-off-the-bone braised short ribs, and glazed wild salmon in parchment are huge. After dinner, savor a sorbet, caramelized custard, or flourless chocolate cake, then repair to the sunken outdoor living room to savor the mountain view and sip a fine old brandy. Open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday.
1620 S. Indian Tr., Palm Springs.
760-327-2314; villaroyale.com

THE GROVE ARTISAN KITCHEN
Miramonte Resort & Spa

An inviting space overlooking the pool, lobby, and open kitchen, The Grove prides itself on fresh, seasonal California cuisine, with organic produce, ranchraised meats and poultry, fresh Pacific seafood, house-made pastas, prime dry-aged meats, and innovative vegetarian dishes. Fresh herbs and citrus are harvested from the resort’s own organic gardens on-site. Go for the signature dishes — pan-seared scallops with baby artichokes to start, and an entrée of panko-crusted sea bass, wild mushroom risotto, or seafood paella. Freshly baked snickerdoodles with a Kahlua gelato filling pair beautifully with one of the dessert wines. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
45000 Indian Wells Ln., Indian Wells.
760-341-7200; www.miramonteresort.com

KING’S HIGHWAY and AMIGO ROOM
Ace Hotel & Swim Club

This refurbished Denny’s restaurant has a young, hipster vibe and a commitment to using local, organic, and artisanal products whenever possible. A local family business brings in fresh, hot morning muffins, scones, and pastries. Organic goat’s milk cheese comes from Sonoma, the coffee is Stumptown, and the thick-cut black pepper bacon is from Oakland. The raw kale and quinoa salad with almonds, dates, cranberries, caramelized onions, and steelhead salmon is hugely popular, as is the luscious Key lime pie, and breakfast any time of day. Imaginative cocktails and 21 different beers on tap make the adjacent Amigo Room a great happy hour stop. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
701 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-325-9900; www.acehotel.com/palmsprings

LANTANA
Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa

With its open kitchen and woodburning pizza oven, Lantana focuses on fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Fresh, local, and seasonal are bywords. Perfectly crisped pizzas or build-your-own salads are the best bet for lunch. At dinner, savor the grilled grass-fed natural rib-eye with one of five specialty sauces, a side of white truffle fries or sesame green beans, and a Californian, Italian, or French vintage. The noteworthy kids’ menu offers halibut steak, quinoa, and carrot salad. Drool-worthy desserts include fried pumpkin cheesecake, classic crème brûlée, and the artisan cheese plate with Medjool dates, smoked pistachios, and dried apricots. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
44600 Indian Wells Ln., Indian Wells.
760-674-4165; indianwells.hyatt.com

MORGAN’S IN THE DESERT
La Quinta Resort & Club

Combining choice, locally grown, and responsibly raised foods with traditional cooking methods such as open grilling and slow roasting, James Beard – honored Chef Jimmy Schmidt creates rustic, deliciously healthy dishes. Start with a rosemary salty dog, then dive into a plate of iced Pacific oysters, and share a grilled prime porterhouse crusted with Parmesan, blue cheese, or smoked bacon — accompanied by a side of garlicky broccolini, hot breads, and fine wines by the glass or bottle. Dessert: twisted s’mores with marshmallow ice cream and a glass of sherry. Savor it in the glow of candlelight inside or on the patio. Open for dinner nightly.
49499 Eisenhower Dr., La Quinta.
760-564-7600; www.morgansinthedesert.com

PINZIMINI
Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa

Chef Shawn Aoki is famous for his fresh, modern twist on Italian favorites, starting with the specialty Bellinis, and housemade, organic limoncello. Regulars swear by the antipasti bar’s grilled octopus, crispy zucchini blossoms, handcrafted artisan salamis, and excellent cheeses. Ask the server for the best wine to accompany the Pinzimini bistecca, an Angus T-bone marinated for 24 hours and seared to juicy perfection, or the whole roasted sea bass. Finish a perfect meal with Aoki’s homemade gelatos and sorbets. Thoughtful service extends to the dog-friendly patio, with woof’s own water bowl and treats. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
71333 Dinah Shore Dr., Rancho Mirage.
760-770-2150; www.pinziminipalmsprings.com

PURPLE PALM
Colony Palms Hotel

What started out as a private club for Detroit’s infamous Purple Gang morphed into a glamorous supper club for the Hollywood elite, and now earns raves as a Moorish-inspired oasis with a reputation for great service. Most-requested dishes include the charred lamb sirloin, and seared scallops. Lunch calls for one of the best burgers in the desert and a side of house-made fries with saffron aioli and white wine butter. The five-cheese plate — served with a drizzle of fresh fruit compote and truffle honey — and the lavender-infused Purple Palm mojito are signature tastes. Choose the elegant purple dining room or a casual table poolside. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
572 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-969-1800; www.colonypalmshotel.com

ROCKWOOD GRILL and BLUE STAR LOUNGE
JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa

It’s a short gondola ride from the lobby to the Rockwood Grill’s outdoor fire pits, casual seating, and classics made with fresh, locally sourced foods. A huge breakfast buffet delivers fresh fruit and airy omelets, thick bacon and sausage, crispy potatoes, and fiery salsa. Dinner standouts include Berkshire pork belly and Gemelli pasta with wild-caught shrimp, mussels, capers, lemon, and parsley. There’s a children’s lunch and dinner menu and a dessert menu that includes cinnamon beignets, Coachella Valley date shakes, Valrhona chocolate lava cake, and Fosselman’s ice cream. Begin or end your evening with a creative cocktail at the adjacent Blue Star Lounge. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
74855 Country Club Dr., Palm Desert.
760-341-2211; www.desertspringsresort.com

SIROCCO
Renaissance Esmeralda Indian Wells Resort & Spa

This is a special-occasion spot, with impeccable service and Italian dishes made fresh daily. A memorable meal starts with lobster bisque, followed by a palate-cleansing fruit gelato, then spinach pasta with Kurobuta pork ragu, and grilled bone-in filet mignon with pistachios and Gorgonzola cream. There’s a well-balanced, sophisticated wine selection, edited for optimal pairing. The rich, fragrant coffee is a must — it arrives with a tray of chocolates, cinnamon sticks, espresso beans, crystal sugars, and Grand Marnier cream — and it’s a delectable companion to the classic tiramisú. Open for dinner nightly.
44400 Indian Wells Ln., Indian Wells.
760-773-4444; www.renaissanceesmeralda.com

TINTO and EL JEFE
The Saguaro Palm Springs

Tinto’s sophisticated Basque tapas and specialty drinks can be found nowhere else in the valley. Small plates are meant to share — and James Beard–honored chef Jose Garces’ menu has everything from smoky almonds and melon gazpacho to jamón ibérico, lamb brochettes, and Wagyu steak. Basque ciders and wines are a must, as are the buñuelos (doughnuts) with milk-chocolate ice cream. Ask about the frequent winemaker dinners. Open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday; and for breakfast and brunch Saturday and Sunday. Mexico City is the inspiration for El Jefe’s small plates, including authentic soups, salads, and eight different tacos. The shrimp and chorizo choice is especially popular. Fresh margaritas, Mexican sangria, beer from both sides of the border, and top-shelf tequilas make this a favorite cocktail stop. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1800 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.
760-322-1900; www.thesaguaropalmsprings.com

VUE GRILLE & BAR
Indian Wells Golf Resort

Freshly renovated, with a new menu from Chef Cale Falk that highlights farm-totable cuisine, Vue serves up innovative flavor combinations such as the Scottish salmon with picked Medjool dates, chilis, squash, and honey yogurt. It nestles next to a gastropub with choice local and regional craft brews and multiple flat-screen TVs for those who want more sports after their golf. Sushi Chef Aiko Naito presides over the sushi bar in the former private dining room, creating mouthwatering hand rolls, fresh sushi, and sashimi. A premium selection of California and West Coast wines are featured in a temperature-controlled wine room. Open for lunch and dinner daily, plus Sunday brunch. Sushi is served Tuesday to Saturday, 3-9 p.m.
44500 Indian Wells Ln., Indian Wells.
760-834-3800; www.vuegrilleandbar.com


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