Tucked within the burgeoning construction of downtown Palm Springs is the secluded and hushed country-chic crêperie, FARM in the courtyard of La Plaza.
Entering through the pastoral FARM fence gate, diners encounter a covered, gardenlike patio behind an arch of blooming morning glory. Rough hewn tables are set with a jumbled mix of silverware and colored glass, inviting and warm. Soothing jazz music and the aroma of French-pressed coffee fill the space. Inside are two dining areas: a cozy room of clustered tables punctuated by an original wood-burning fireplace, and a private dining room — the perfect spot for an intimate family meal.
PHOTOS BY SARAH HUSVAR
Crepes Aux Pommes; apples, cinnamon, and a not-too-sweet crepe.
FARM Palm Springs arrived on the scene a bit more than three years years ago, when new owner Liz Ostoich dined there so often she should have paid rent. The original owner “took what was a spectacular historic building and turned it into something people romanticize about,” says Ostoich, who in seven weeks as owner was inspired to enhance the space after traveling through the south of France.
“I think FARM adds several things to Palm Springs, one being a really unique atmosphere,” says Ostoich. “There is so much hustle and bustle on the main drag and we’re so well known for our midcentury modern architecture, but then you come back here and you feel like you are in a European countryside. When things are really busy out there, you wouldn’t know it in here.”
Bacon, Chicken, and Waffles is wildly popular.
The relaxed ambiance of the breakfast and lunch spot might attract people for the first time, but the exquisite and authentic Provençal-inspired menu keeps them coming back. Farm’s original chef, Alfredo Carrion, helped develop the menu and recipes that are largely sweet and savory crepes, omelettes, French toasts, and brunch classics including croque madame and croquet monsieur. Don’t expect a side of potatoes with your meal unless you ask because these dishes are authenticcally French, served with a judiciously dressed side salad as a refreshing palate-cleanser.
Ostoich describes the menu as “French-inspired,” but they have a few dishes that you might not find in Paris — the Bacon Chicken and Waffles, a favorite with Farm patrons. The sweet, crisp waffle, dripping with gravy, is topped with grilled chicken, bacon, and sausage. The brunch dish can be made better only with a Watermelon Mimosa or spicy Bloody Mary, both highly recommended.
The private dining invokes life in the French countryside.
Nothing at FARM is made in advance. “Everything comes in fresh in the morning from California vendors. Nothing comes out of a can or jar here,” Ostoich says. “Everything is made to order. All of the sauces, jams, and salad dressings are made in house. We just made fig jam this morning from local fig trees.”
Ostoich plans to turn the adjoining Enchanted Garden Wedding Chapel into “The Chapel at FARM,” repurposing the historic landmark. She also plans to expand the outdoor dining area to accommodate more diners and a new dinner service. Expect the dinner menu to focus on French peasant dishes, such as coq au vin and duck cassoulet.
FARM Chef Alfredo Carrion serves brunch.
If the dinner response is anything like weekends at FARM, you’re going to need a reservation.
Farm, open daily except Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 6 La Plaza, Palm Springs, 760-322-2724. http://www.farmpalmsprings.com/