Purple Room Casts a New Shade of Food Offerings

Trio Restaurant owners offer classic and regional American dishes

Pamela Bieri Restaurants 0 Comments


Back in its 1960s heyday, the modernist Club Trinidad’s Purple Room was one of the Rat Pack’s favorite haunts, according to local legends.

You can just imagine glitz and glamor of this little purple-hued supper club/lounge when Frank Sinatra’s entourage arrived in sleek cars, starlets draped around their arms, smoking cigarettes and tipping up their martini glasses.

Maybe Sinatra sang a few numbers on the tiny spot-lit stage with pal Dean Martin, or told a couple of jokes with Sammy Davis Jr. while Peter Lawford sat at one of the stage-side tables, enjoying the ribald humor.

Two very successful restaurateurs have re-envisioned The Purple Room: Tony Marchese and Mark Van Laanen, owners of the popular Trio Restaurant. The duo have brought back the classy ‘60’s to the Purple Room with great libations, top entertainment, and up-to-date American fare – and a completely renovated, updated supper club.

“Cats like Frank and Dino hung with their pals to eat, drink and play here,” says Marchese. “The Purple Room re-opens with its pedigree legacy in mind.”

The Purple Room’s menu of small plates, salads and mains reflects the classic and regional American dishes for which Chef Van Laanen is well known, adding a bit of a Southern twist from his sojourns in Louisiana.

Dishes like Shrimp and Goat Cheese Grits, a twist on classic grits; Blackened Catfish, pan seared with house made creole seasonings; cornmeal Fried Oysters; a rich Gumbo Stew with chicken and sausage; and the Fried Green Tomato Salad are “some Southern items that were popular in one of my Wisconsin restaurants,” said Van Laanen.

Small plates range from a Colossal Shrimp Cocktail with tangy horseradish sauce, and Creamed Mustard Herring with crostini, to an Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie plate with dried fruit and honey. A classic Green Goddess Salad with baby greens, chopped tomato and picked red onion tops the salad list, along with an innovative Brussels Sprout Salad with feta, dried cranberries, walnuts and lemon vinaigrette.

Main dishes include a Duck Leg Quarter Confit with braised red cabbage; St Louis Style Ribs served with sweet potato fries; an Asian brined and slow roasted Pork Chop with garlic mashed potatoes; a Blonde Mac and Cheese, blending blue, goat and parmesan cheeses topped with toasty bread crumbs; and a New Zealand Rack of Lamb, herb-crusted, served with baby red potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

“Whenever possible, we serve sustainable, organic seafood, all natural, organic meats, and seasonal local products,” said Van Laanen. Gluten free menu items are also indicated on the menu.

The Purple Room at Club Trinidad, 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. Hours: 3 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Sunday, and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday with a late night menu from 11 p.m. Happy hour: 3 to 7 p.m. daily in the bar with $3 well and half price bar bites. (760) 322-4422

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