Stay cool out there, they say. Drink plenty of water. The heat may be unbearable at times, but that’s why I’m in love with these appetizers that are served cold.
Purple Pickled Deviled Eggs
Revel Public House, Palm Springs
It’s not easy reinventing a classic, but the new Revel Public House does an impressive job. The eggs are soaked gently in beet juice — the culinary secret used to turn them that vibrant color. Just channel your inner childhood Easter egg coloring session and you get the idea. The whipped yolk is simplistically topped with chives and smoked paprika. The combination of the pickled hard-boiled egg with the fluffy yolk center and chives is a winning combination.
Heirloom Watermelon Salad
Twenty6 at La Quinta Resort & Club
A culinary symbol of summer, the watermelon, is the base of this beautifully curated salad at Twenty6. The Heirloom Watermelon Salad is a Miró painting come to life with an artistic pairing of watermelon, feta cheese, pistachios, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Each bite is another brush stroke in flavor — a little sweet from the balsamic, salty from the feta cheese, and a crunchy texture from the nuts. “This salad is very special because all the ingredients are from the Coachella Valley,” says Chef Sergio Gazca. All the flavors balance perfectly to create a dish best enjoyed outdoors on a hot summer day with a glass of Pinot Grigio and extra large sunglasses.
PHOTOGRAPH BY TIFFANY CARTER
The Heirloom Watermelon Salad is an artistic pairing of watermelon, feta cheese, pistachios, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
PHOTOGRAPH BY STEVEN SALISBURY
The Grapefruit Crudo dish is bursting with flavors that never overwhelm or under deliver.
Hawaiian Dayboat Crudo
The Pink Cabana, Indian Wells
Refreshing and unexpected. Those are the words to describe the Hawaiian Dayboat Crudo appetizer from Chef Jason Niederkorn at The Pink Cabana, the newly opened hotspot at the Sands Hotel & Spa in Indian Wells. I’m not a lover of grapefruit, but this dish sings to me. The Grapefruit Crudo dish is bursting with flavors that never overwhelm or under deliver, but create a nice harmony on the palate. The mild avocado balances out the flavor of the bitter-sour fruit, which is topped with crunchy garlic chips and espelette, a pepper imported from France.
Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese Napoleon
Pomme Frite, Palm Springs
Call me odd, but I love beets. So, it’s strange I wasn’t dying of amorous love when I had the Beets Napoleon from Pomme Frite. It’s a jenga-stacked marvel of different colored beets (red and gold) sandwiched between creamy circles of goat cheese. Savory and light at the same time, this dish fills up my foodie love tank. The napoleon is eight layers of golden beets, red beets, goat cheese, gold, red, goat … and so on. Topped with light greens and drizzled with olive oil, it’s the appetizer paired perfectly with a glass of white wine or a nice Belgian beer. Each bite is divine The dish is great on its own, but also a great lead into Pomme Frite’s heartier dishes like the Braised Veal Shank Osso Bucco and the New Zealand Rack of Lamb.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY POMME FRITE
This is a jenga-stacked marvel of different colored beets (red and gold) sandwiched between creamy circles of goat cheese.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY THE TROPICALE
The Palm Springs restaurant sources their fish from Vietnamese farmers where it is raised in healthy mangroves.
Iced Big Ass Shrimp Cocktail
The Tropicale, Palm Springs
No lies within the name of this dish. This tasty dish is not only one for the Instagram, it has a beautiful story about where these shrimps and prawns are sourced. Tropicale sources their fish from Vietnamese farmers where it is raised in healthy mangroves. “The ecosystems provide everything the animal needs to grow without any artificial feeds,” says owner Tony Di Lembo. “Using shrimp or prawns from small-scale local farmers ensures mangrove conservation and creates a direct incentive for them to keep these forests intact – plus it enables them and their families to earn a fair income.” Knowing this, you can proudly dip your succulent, iced prawns in Tropicale’s addicting bloody mary cocktail sauce, knowing that the food is sustainable, naturally raised, and helping small farming communities.
Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar, Palm Springs
It wouldn’t be a chilly apps list without ceviche. Imagine a dish where this fish is cooked only with the brightness of flavor and acidity of citrus. The Halibut Ceviche at the Marlin Bar in Downtown Palm Springs is a tropical paradise on a plate. Coconut Mango broth, Aji Amarillo, avocado, cherry tomatoes, red quinoa, Red Fresno chiles, and cilantro add zest to the raw halibut, leaving you feeling satisfied and healthy at that. The omega 3s and antioxidants that are bursting from this dish will make you feel less guilty for binging on those salty fries the previous night. A great dish to get the night started or to end with while sipping on one of their many signature cocktails. The ceviche pairs in synch with the Mango Habanero Margarita or their Grapefruit Basil martini.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TOMMY BAHAMA MARLIN BAR
The Halibut Ceviche at the Marlin Bar is a tropical paradise on a plate.