Love Bites

If charming that special person is through their appetite, then these Valentine's Day choices will stir the romance

June Allan Corrigan Restaurants 0 Comments


Copley’s on Palm Canyon

Cary Grant slept here. Ate here. Sort of. As part of his former estate, this indoor-outdoor charmer is as contemporarily American as Cary was suavely British. The three-course meal wasn’t set as of press time, but owner/manager Greg Butterfield promises “a little something for everybody” for Valentine’s Day.”

621 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-327-9555;

Le Vallauris

It’s even money on who are the better lovers, the French or the Italians, but when it comes to haute cuisine, nous adorons les Français. The fairy-lit trees on the patio, and the Flemish tapestry and Louis XV furniture in the dining rooms set the proper mood for savoring classic Baked Escargot, Roasted Veal Filet with Cognac Truffle Sauce, and a Vanilla and Raspberry Vacherin.

385 W. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs. 760-325-5059;

Pomme Frite

We also make the French connection here, by way of Belgium. The bistro’s three-course prix fixe dinner has options covering the protein spectrum — Rack of Lamb,  Roasted Duck a L’Orange, and Mixed Grill Surf and Turf.  There are several choices for dessert, but “true love” translates as “chocolate mousse with raspberries.”

256 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. 760-778-3727;

Spencer’s Restaurant

Nestled at the base of Mount San Jacinto, this is the kind of place that makes meat loaf elegant; sexy, even. Sit among fire pits and twinkling lights on the patio, or in the elegant dining room, where live piano music stokes the appetite for dinner and all the activities that follow. Pan Roasted Garlic Gulf Shrimp and Grilled Tenderloin of Beef are but two selections from the expansive three-course prix fixe menu.

701 W. Baristo Road, Palm Springs. 760-327-3446;

Europa Restaurant

The adjective “lovely” wasn’t invented to describe these environs, but it should have been. Then if  “lovely” marries (or at least has an affair with) “privacy,”  relationships will flourish. Tucked inside Palm Springs’ Villa Royale Inn, you’re practically expected to steal a kiss or two as an appetizer to the Mediterranean cuisine whose new chef promises welcome surprises on Valentine’s Day.

1620 S. Indian Trail, Palm Springs. 760-327-2314;

The Edge Steakhouse

No one goes out on a limb like someone in love, but servers find it difficult to work in a tree. That’s why God invented the cliff. Take your love to new heights here, where the views make your head swoon and your heart pound. Share a 32-oz. Australian Wagyu Tomahawk Rib-Eye Chop, dry-aged on the premises, pair it with Veuve Clicquot, and toast your good fortune.

68900 Frank Sinatra Drive, Rancho Mirage. 760-321-8282;

Wally’s Desert Turtle

You’re sophisticated, you’re modern, you’re Californian … you belong here, the desert’s default for anybody who’s anybody. Test the oyster theory with the Long Island Fat Baby variety, with caviar and green apple wasabi gratiné. Finish your meal with warm Dark Belgian Chocolate Lava Cake kissed with cherries jubilee and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

71775 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage. 760-568-9321;

La Spiga Ristorante Italiano

Take it to Tuscany by way of Palm Desert. The villa-style stone edifice spreads the love with a wraparound patio accessorized by rose and herb gardens, and the nature-given mountain view. Dine on Ravioli con Aragosta (lobster ravioli), Filetto di Manzo (filet mignon), and Cassata Siciliana (ladyfinger cookies and gelato cake). Now that’s amore!

72557 Highway 111, Palm Desert. 760-340-9318;

Cuistot Restaurant

It gets cold in Condrieu, France, where chef/owner Bernard Dervieux grew up, and what must have been a bummer for him is a bonus for us. Several fireplaces warm this rustic farmhouse-style establishment where country goes uptown with Roasted Duck Leg Confit with mango ginger and Madeira sauce and the Melting My Heart chocolate cake that’s almost too pretty to touch. As if.

72595 El Paseo, Palm Desert. 760-340-1000;

Lavender Bistro

Lavender not only smells great, the plant’s essential oil makes anyone who breathes feel great. Not unlike the experience here on the Provence-inspired patio and in the more formal dining room where tables are generously spaced and your sweet nothings remain private. Tame your appetite with Wild Mushroom Soup, Oven-Roasted Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb, and Tulip of Raspberry Mousse.

78073 Calle Barcelona, La Quinta. 760-564-5353;

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