Tastes to Track Down from Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert 2015

Discover local bites to delight post-festival

Lori Cohen-Sanford Restaurants 0 Comments


As a first-time attendee of Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert, and a self-proclaimed fervent-foodie and wine-worshiper, I was a “girl gone wild” at this year’s festival.

As a food blogger on-the-clock, it was sip-sip, nom-nom, snap-snap, tweet-tweet…a magical blur of bacchanalian proportions (in 100-degree heat).

Part of the excitement of Food & Wine is the opportunity to connect with local chefs, watch cooking demonstrations, attend wine seminars, and interact with celebrity chefs. Perhaps the best part of tasting food and wines from more than 40 top restaurants and 70 wineries is the realization that we are lucky enough to be able to visit these restaurants once the festival is over.

Here is a snapshot of one food and wine lover’s “must visit” list across the Coachella Valley after tasting their delicious festival offerings.


Photo by Brad Arnold Photography

Melt-in-your mouth pork belly was made even more crave-worthy with a glaze of barrel-aged bourbon and maple syrup. The stone ground grits were there to soak up the rich, savory-sweet, flavors in all their glory.


Workshop Kitchen & Bar served up gourmet comfort in a fantastical combination of Pork Belly with Bourbon-Maple Glaze over Grits. Located in the Uptown Design District in Palm Springs, the sleek interior and locally-sourced dishes make for a unique dining experience. Don’t miss their hand-crafted, artisan cocktails.


Photo by Brad Arnold Photography

Fresh, light, and beautifully presented, the Hamachi was clean and delicate, a much-appreciated bite to savor during the heat of the day.


Citron Restaurant at the Viceroy Hotel in Palm Springs is a classic French dining experience with Japanese fusion to keep things fresh and bright. Chef Patrice Martineau is getting raves during his first “season” in the valley, and the fresh bite of Hamachi Ceviche served to festival-goers made it clear why.


Photo by Brad Arnold Photography

Hand-carved, Bone-in Ribeye Steak was a festival highlight, perfectly prepared with a caramelized exterior crust and tender, juicy interior.


The Steakhouse at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage did not disappoint meat lovers. They served to the sweet spot, hand-carving bites of their famous Bone-in Rib Eye, making them a very popular stop with steak aficionados. The Steakhouse is a fine dining stop for USDA prime steaks, seafood and wine.


photo by Lori Cohen-Sanford

Freshly prepared by Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club chef Ruben Galvez and his team, crispy-air-light tortillas were piled with fresh vegetables and seasoned meats for an upscale Mex-fix.


Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club in South Palm Springs is a new addition to the dining scene. Offering food, drink, dj’s/entertainment and swimming, you can spend the day poolside, in a cabana, or enjoy their upscale, authentic Mexican food and multiple bars featuring a wide array of tequilas and speciality tequila cocktails. Hacienda served up crispy tostadas – a light and fresh option for Mexican food fans.


Photo by Brad Arnold Photography

The wafting aroma of freshly made waffles drew attention to this popular foodie find.


Broken Yolk Café in La Quinta drew crowds delighting in the sweeter side. Fluffy, crispy, waffles were topped with a variety of berries, maple syrup, and dusted with powdered sugar.  Appealing to the inner-kid in all of us, the waffles were served up by the owner and his wife with a heavy dose of friendliness. Broken Yolk Café is located in the Point Happy Center in La Quinta, and has a loyal following for breakfast lovers on that side of the valley.


Photo by Brad Arnold Photography

TRIO Restaurant offered its popular, house made potato chips, which are addictively crispy.


TRIO Restaurant in the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs was a sponsor for the festival and furnished wineglass “necklace” holders that made wine tasting and food sampling possible with a minimum of fuss. On the food side, TRIO enticed attendees with their house made potato chips with dip. The restaurant's midcentury décor and spot-on service have created a loyal base of local customers and tourists who return year after year.


Photo by Lori Cohen-Sanford

Balisage Bistro features farmer’s market-sourced, organic ingredients on the Mediterranean menu.


Aside from the belt-loosening array of bites offered at booths inside the main tents, festival-goers had the opportunity to attend cooking demonstrations in separate tents. Chef Daniel Villaneuva from Balisage Bistro, located near the Palm Springs airport, demonstrated his cooking chops featuring a bounty of ingredients from the local Certified Farmer’s Markets. He prepared seared bass with a market fresh salad featuring greens, baby broccoli, and fava beans, tossed in rosewater-citrus vinaigrette.


Photo by Lori Cohen-Sanford

Purple Room Chef Jennifer Townsend served up the Purple Room's signature Purple Pear Salad, featuring a pear poached in wine, chevre mousse, and spiced pecans.


Chef Jennifer Townsend gave a demonstration from The Purple Room, a Palm Springs supper club and entertainment venue with a speakeasy-vibe that celebrates the days of the Hollywood Rat Pack.

Whether you enjoyed the tastes of this year’s Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert or just want an inside look at the 2015 participants, these restaurants are sure to please those looking for a taste of the town in Greater Palm Springs.


Lori Cohen-Sanford is a private/personal chef, cooking class instructor and owner of Nourishfoods Organic Meal Services www.nourishfoods.biz. Her food column, Tastes Around Town, will appear weekly on Wednesdays. Have a story idea? You can contact Lori at info@nourishfoods.biz or follow her on Twitter @nourishfoodsps.

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