While a nori-wrapped “sushi-rito” topped with an artistic drizzle of Sriracha mayo may get you more Instagram likes, your foodie soul aches for the simple life. You know, the days when people donned smoking jackets for a thoughtful and perfectly prepared meal of good old steak and potatoes. The desert is still a hot spot for authentic steakhouses that pride themselves in quality ingredients and service. With all the new restaurants popping up in the desert, these mainstay establishments have raised the bar on the fine dining game. The days of supping, old-school meat-and-taters style, are alive and thriving in the Coachella Valley — and these are just the places to satisfy that classic craving.
Because Your First Name Is Greatest
and Your Last Name Is Steak and Potatoes
Prime Chop House at Jackalope Ranch, Indio
Owner Lee Morcus grew up around cattle and a butcher shop and trained chef Juan Femat on all things meat. “Our emphasis on premium quality starts with the cattle,” says Femat, who has been with Chop House’s parent Kaiser Restaurant Group for more than 17 years. “Select breeding combines Hereford and Black Angus with Charolais, with traced and tracked bloodlines [and] sustainable ranching practices that emphasize the health of the cattle. This includes open grazing and ethical treatment and diet.” Arrive with an appetite and order the sizzling 36-ounce tomahawk chop with a side of Yukon Gold whipped potatoes made with European butter and sour cream.
Because You Want to Dine
Like a Godfather
Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Palm Desert
Yes, there are a few steakhouses in the desert designed with those curvy leather booths that scream, “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.” But beyond the comfortable seats, Sullivan’s offers an inspiring selection of succulent bone-in cuts, including a cowboy rib-eye, wagyu strip, Kansas City strip, and dry-aged long-bone rib-eye. There’s a choose-your-own tasting adventure when it comes to enhancements: Oscar style, with lump crab, asparagus, and béarnaise, or housemade butters flavored with Cajun spices, Gorgonzola, or cabernet goat cheese. Let me repeat — cabernet goat cheese. The biggest dilemma, though, is how you’ll take your spuds: au gratin with white cheddar and bacon, mashed with garlic horseradish, or baked and crusted in sea salt?
Because Everyone Should Enjoy a Steak
With a Side of Breathtaking Desert Views
The Edge Steakhouse at The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
This four-and-a-half-star restaurant knows a thing or two about exquisite cuisine, and when it comes to serving premium steaks, you can rest assured that executive chef Bruno Lopez and his team will deliver a gastronomic experience to remember. “Our exceptional culinary team prepares prime beef and dry-aged rib-eye for ladies and gentlemen with an affection for fine dining,” Lopez says. “Guests dining at The Edge Steakhouse will feel like a star on top of the world. Not only is The Edge special because of our dry-aging room, but also because [we serve] wagyu flown in from Japan.” Pair it with the potato purée made with sweet roasted-garlic Cantal cheese or even the homemade fries with signature Edge aioli.
Because You Need Wasabi
Mashed Potatoes in Your Life
Shame on the Moon, Rancho Mirage
For 30 years, Shame on the Moon has been serving the Coachella Valley a gourmet spin on comfort food, which it pairs with impeccable service and interiors that toast to the yesteryears. Chef Jorge Villabona has been a large part of this long and tasty marriage and knows how to keep things spicy. Read: wasabi mashed potatoes. This marvel of a fusion in culinary creativity makes for a delectable side dish that hits all the right flavors. The sink-your-teeth-in filet mignon and grilled flank steak entrées get dressed up with mouthwatering additions like bleu cheese glaze, cabernet sauce, or peanut-and-teriyaki glaze.
Because Happiness Should
Rare or Medium Rare
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Palm Desert
It’s no secret that Ruth’s Chris knows how to deliver one of the best sit-down steak dinners in the desert. And the kitchen team gets the temperature just right. From the generous 22-ounce cuts of cowboy rib-eye to the tender 8-ounce petite filet, there are enough options to ensure each trip is never the same and always delicious. Of course no one will judge you if you get the same thing every time. “We partner with premier ranches to source the finest steak available — USDA prime,” says Elise Cushing, executive chef at Ruth’s Chris’ Palm Desert location. “[We] carefully hand-select only cuts that meet our exacting standards. Our steaks are broiled in a special 1,800-degree oven and served in our signature style: sizzling on a 500-degree plate so that every last bite stays warm and delicious.” A variety of potato dishes rooted in the restaurant’s New Orleans heritage, like roasted Lyonnaise fingerling potatoes or the delectable sweet-potato casserole, put the finishing touch on an exceptional meal. Bon appétit! ruthschris.com
Because #YOLO When it Comes to Never Having Too Many Potato Options
Vicky’s of Santa Fe, Indian Wells
“I’ll have a side of steak with my potatoes, please.” At Vicky’s of Santa Fe the variations on potatoes makes it easy to add “and” to your order: potato gratin “and” mashed potatoes “and” Saratoga chips “and” seasoned baked potato “and” Parmesan truffle fries “and” twice-baked potato. But don’t let tattie envy blind you to the restaurant’s remarkable filets. “With three different steaks on the menu, my go-to is always the filet,” shares owner Marc Laliberte. “Cooked rare, melt some bleu cheese crumbles over it, and add a twice-baked potato that’s rubbed with Lawry’s seasoning, loaded with butter, sour cream, and parmesan cheese, and baked a second time.” You had us at melted bleu cheese. vickysofsantafe.com