Looking for that place where the ambiance alone cools off the desert heat? Here are five suggestions in Greater Palm Springs for patio dining that can be just as enjoyable during triple-digit temperatures thanks to authentic cuisine, cool drinks, and hot times.
Cuisine: Authentic Italian
Why it’s Cool: Welcoming hospitality in the heart of El Paseo.
Must-try: Costoletta D’Agnello alla Griglia — grilled lamb chops with rosemary served with vegetables. Mamma mia!
Details: 73520 El Paseo, Suite B, Palm Desert. 760-341-6700; www.ilcorsopd.com
La Brasserie Bistro & Bar
Cuisine: Traditional fine French
Why it’s Cool: A Parisian-style bistro with a très chic patio setting.
Must-try: Steamed Mussels Marinière With Brasserie Fries. There’s nothing better than French-style mussels steamed in white wine, shallots, garlic, and thyme.
Details: 78477 Highway 111, La Quinta. 760-771-4400; www.labrasserielaquinta.com
Las Casuelas Terraza
Why it’s Cool: This downtown festive terraza boasts nightly dancing and entertainment. The Tequila Hall of Fame has been satiating guests for more than 40 years.
Must-try: The tasty Tropical Salad with grilled achiote chicken, diced mango, dates, and avocado. Order the Blood Orange Casamigos margarita to go with it.
Details: 222 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-325-2794; www.lascasuelas.com
Cuisine: Classic continental
Why it’s Cool: The ficus tree–shaded patio at the base of the San Jacinto is the perfect setting for romantic dining.
Must-try: Start with the Chilled Gazpacho With Maine Lobster made with vine-ripened tomato, yellow peppers, and cucumber essence. Dive into the Pan-Fried Chilean Sea Bass cooked in saffron sauce and served with a side of au gratin potatoes and green beans.
Details: 701 W. Baristo Road, Palm Springs. 760-327-3446; www.spencersrestaurant.com
Cuisine: California comfort
Why it’s Cool: This sidewalk café in the ultra-hip Uptown Design District is great place to see and be seen.
Must-try: Australian Sole. Oven-roasted with lemon zest, capers, and parsley and served with Israeli couscous.
Details: 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-534-2851; www.triopalmsprings.com
Cuisine: World cuisine with Pacific Rim flair
Why it’s Cool: Happy hour makes this scene fun and electric.
Must-try: Always a crowd-pleaser, the Crispy Boneless Southern Fried Chicken marinated in buttermilk and paprika melts in your mouth.
Details: 333 E. Amado Road, Palm Springs. 760-866-1952; www.thetropicale.com
Lulu California Bistro
Cuisine: California Dreamin’
Why it’s cool: Bright and airy ambiance with a colorful central bar and an inviting, metro-style terrace serving up lots of sunny energy.
Must-try: The Chicken Florentine, stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, spinach, and a rich mushroom sauce and served with mashed red skin potatoes, captures the essence of California’s bounty.
Details: 200 S. Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs. 760-327-5858; www.lulupalmsprings.com