Simply Extraordinary: Copley's on Palm Canyon
Chef Andrew Manion Copley does simple things in an extraordinary way. Salmon is a staple at nearly every restaurant, but at Copley's on Palm Canyon, the salmon is flown in from Scotland and served with the unexpected flourish of tandoori spices. His Colorado rack of lamb is seasoned with a crust of lavender and parsley. And for a signature dish, he brings the subtly flavored white fish barramundi in from Australia, and serves it over a minted pea and potato puree.
Dessert also features the unexpected: Look for tarragon or basil ice cream, pound cake topped with lavender sauce and sticky pudding with toffee and dates.
Even with the exquisite menu, and accolades from Bon Appetit, Zagat's, the New York Times and the Washington Post, to mention just a few , the chef insists Copley's is not a fine dining restaurant. "We have more of a Palm Springs casual vibe," he says.
In fact, eating under the stars is the norm at Copley's, which has seating for nearly 100 on its patios and 50 inside the cozy restaurant building. Copley, his wife Juliana and their business partner Greg opened the restaurant in 2004, snapping up the contract on a guest house and grounds that were once part of actor Cary Grant's Palm Springs' estate, refurbishing the house and creating the restaurant's wonderful outdoor spaces.
Andrew Copley says the Copley's experience starts at the door. Even the valet knows the menu inside and out. "He's the first person people see when they arrive and the last one they see when they leave," the chef says. "He can comment on what's on the menu or ask them how they enjoyed a certain dish." The wait staff is skilled and knowledgeable: 80 percent of them have been with Copley's since the start.
To Andrew Copley, it's all part of delivering an exciting dining experience.
"People in this country are wonderful. They're excited to go out to eat," he says. "And I want them to be excited from start to finish."
Copley's on Palm Canyon is located at 621 North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. The restaurant is open evenings 7 days a week September through May. Reservations are recommended: 760-327-9555