Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Purple Palm and Riccio's in Palm Springs

Purple Palm
572 N. Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262

After staying near the Colony Palms Hotel several times and dining each time at the Purple Palm on their premises, I finally got to stay at the Colony Palms Hotel myself. Then, ironically, we decided to eat elsewhere. Foolishly, in my opinion. Above is the gorgeous indoor/outdoor bar at the Purple Palm.

Being Palm Springs, the weather is warm enough in early November to eat right outside with no heat lamps. We met a couple of friendly software guys in town on business, one of them who insisted the only way to successfully implement an underground transportation system in a major metropolis was to do so from the ground up, or in other words, build the infrastructure before the city is populated. Which of course must be true, because the underground networks in London, Tokyo, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Washington D.C., Beijing, Berlin, Hong Kong, Osaka, and Vienna have all been so unsuccessful. Based on that logic, Hemet better start digging now. People are weird.

The outdoor seating at the bar and on the patio are right poolside. This is so beautiful, night and day.

I can barely remember what was in D's crab salad. I remember it was delicious. I so rarely write anything down. Shame on me. I see olive oil...and some lettuces...

I strayed from my foie gras ban, for shame again, to order the grilled foie atop artichoke heart (I find artichokes so seductive). This dish was delicious yet weird. The yellow stuff up in the left corner is sweet and lemony. Like a lemon custard or sabayon. It tasted completely out of place in this dish. There were also a couple large chunks of grilled and skinned tomato which were delicious.

Another shot at the dish. There was a lot of artichoke in this dish. I didn't really experience all the elements until the foie was pushed to the side and I deconstructed it a bit. It was pretty damn good despite the lemon curd.

For some reason, I know not why, we left the Purple Palm so we could get out of the hotel and go somewhere in town. Dumb. We ended at Riccio's, where last spring we had a beautiful lunch with friends.

2155 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 325-2369

D started with the Boston Clam Chowder.

It was pretty tasty, not too thick. Had lots of clams and red bell pepper chunks. The red bell pepper chunks, as usual, too the dominant flavor role. It still tasted good, clearly not out of a can but not to my high clam chowder standards.

For an entree, I tried the petite filet mignon in a truffle demi glace with rosemary potatoes. This was a very nice quality beef, and the sauce was nice tasting. Not steakhouse level, but not diner level either. The potatoes did not taste oven roasted. They tasted deep fried.

The disappointment if the evening was the scallop and shrimp marinara. Riccio's is supposed to be an Italian restaurant, and this was a sad little marinara. Just no spice, no bite. Not a lot of flavor. I have had better marinara out of a can.

I love Palm Springs, and sadly my favorite restaurants there are not in the town of Palm Springs. Blend is in La Quinta and Roy's is in Palm Desert. But the search for good food in Palm Springs itself will continue as long as I continue to have clients there.

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