The cool factor
in the Palm Springs dining scene has just been turned up a few notches with
three new exciting dining options.
Mexican street food to Italian cuisine with Sicilian roots, and a fresh
Vietnamese-inspired menu, visitors to Palm Springs this summer are getting the
first taste of these newly-opened eateries. These ethnically-diverse dining
options are sure to please any palate with these tempting menus.
like Rosario Cultraro and Teresa Attardi leave their homeland in Italy to open
a restaurant 10,000 miles away in Palm Springs, there has to be pretty strong
pull. They are not the only European entrepreneurs who have relocated to Palm
Springs recently – evidence that Palm Springs is indeed a hot global
Attardi, former Milan residents, opened IL GIARDINO on South Indian Canyon, just
north of the old Staples, in the space that had been the Wasabi Japanese
restaurant for many years. They’ve only been opened a couple of weeks and
already they have developed a loyal following of regulars.
Sicilians, the husband and wife team had been in the restaurant business in
Milan where they were long-time residents. Attardi is IL GIARDINO’s chef while
Cultraro manages the front of the house.
features the best of Italy – both
Northern and Southern Italian culinary influences that represent their Sicilian
roots and culinary traditions from Milan. For example, a couple of Attardi’s
recent evening specials were a Sicilian pesto penne pasta (Southern) and a
radicchio, mushroom fusilli pasta with asiago cheese (Northern) – both
Classica al Ragù has already become a favorite. The menu is organized as a
typical restaurant you’d find in Italy – Antipasti, Insalate + Zuppe, Primi,
Secondi. Choose from a selection of California and Italian wines or Italian and
American beers to enjoy with your meal.
As the summer
turns to the busy season in Palm Springs, look forward to a changing menu that
Attardi will introduce to give their patrons fresh, revolving menu choices. With
a refined but relaxed ambiance, IL GIARDINO offers diners comfortable inside
seating and will offer outdoor dining when the weather is suitable.
While they may
have left their homeland, they have strong familial connections here in the
desert – Rosario’s brother and sister-in-law, Vince and Connie, own the
celebrated Palm Desert Italian restaurant La Spiga.
You may be
dining in Palm Springs but your palate will think it’s in Italy…buon appetito!
333 S. Indian Canyon
Open daily 4:30 p.m.
til 9:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesday
Rooster and The Pig
Ya gotta love a
restaurant with a name like that! Chef/owner Tai Spendley has been in the
hospitality and food and beverage business for more than 25 years, long enough
to approach his new Palm Springs restaurant with a fun sense of humor.
But it’s the
food that will make you smile. Rooster and the Pig is a fresh take on
Vietnamese cuisine featuring a tempting menu inspired by Spendley’s Vietnamese
roots with an American twist.
concept for Rooster and the Pig was developed from his long track record in
food and beverage for ACE, Renaissance Hotel, and Two Bunch Palms among others,
as well as dining establishments in Chicago.
As you peruse
the menu, you’ll be served a small welcome taste of rice porridge just to whet
your appetite. Many of the menu items are small bites and designed to share. Sharing
makes for a fun dining experience and gives you the opportunity to sample a
wider range of menu choices. The menu features a variety of starters – the
lemongrass shrimp lettuce wraps and crispy eggroll with sweet potato, quinoa,
and kale are excellent.
entrée menu items such as the whole red snapper, caramelized ginger chicken and
five spice marinated beef -- all ample portions. In addition, there are also several
tempting “summer rolls” to choose from. Rooster and the Pig’s menu also offers
global wines, international beers, and specialty “high spirited cocktails” such
as Watermelon Crush, Vietnamese Squeeze, and Lychee Martini.
Rooster and the
Pig eatery is small (45 seats) with a stylishly understated décor and lively ambiance.
There is a small friendly bar for a communal dining experience.
forewarned: If you’ve had a bad day and are not a happy camper, check your mood
at the door. Their website has this warning: If you are grumpy, pouty, crabby or just plain mean,
this may not be the place for you. We look forward to serving you
with all of our hearts and a smile.
In other words, Rooster and the Pig is a place
to savor and imbibe in a convivial setting, so enjoy!
Rooster and The Pig
356 S. Indian Canyon
Summer Hours: 5:00-
9:00 p.m. Thursday – Monday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)
No reservations. 760
Chi Chi at Avalon
If you are a
fan of Cheekys and Birba restaurants, you won’t be disappointed in Chi Chi at
Avalon. Restaurateur Tara Lazar, whose
other restaurants are two of Palm Springs’ most popular favorites with visitors
and residents alike, has rebranded the restaurant at the former Viceroy Hotel which
has also been rebranded as Avalon. Watch for a complete décor rebranding in the
coming months by design diva Kelly Wearstler who had originally designed
Viceroy’s distinctive Hollywood Regency look.
In this new rebranded
culinary era at Avalon, Chi Chi brings a fresh flair to casual but
sophisticated cuisine in an environment that evokes a breezy tropical south-of-the-border
vibe. The menu that Lazar has created incorporates flavors and hybrid dishes
from Peru, Argentina, Yucatan, and Mexico. The result is an eclectic Latin
American menu that offers flavorful surprises at every turn.
There is a
reimagined menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a special menu to enjoy
poolside. For breakfast, try the Latin Fruit Cart, Yam and Pork Belly Hash, or
Cheeky’s Chilaquiles. Featured on the lunch menu: Leche de Tigre Shrimp Ceviche
with guacamole, taro and yucca chips; or the Palmito Salad with hearts of palm,
avocado, corn, asparagus, and squash blossoms. The Grilled Fish Tacos with
mango salsa will remind you of a beachfront taco stand in La Paz and the Shrimp
Burger with pickled cucumber and sweet potato fries is truly a tasty
celebration for your palate.
Dinner at Chi
Chi is also a savory culinary adventure – among the tempting entrees are Banana
Leaf Steamed Salmon, Grass Fed New York Strip with Chimichurri, and a classic
Conchinita Pibil (banana leaf roasted pork).
And, of course,
Lazar has outdone herself with crazy good desserts – Mexican Wedding Cookies, Chi
Chi Zinger (fab coconut cake), Espresso Granita, and other divine treats.
Tara Lazar has
also rebranded the staid “happy hour” into the “Summer Sessions.” Drop in any
day Sunday-Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m. for tempting bites and cool cocktails
– all under ten bucks!
Chi Chi at Avalon
415 S. Belardo Road
Daily breakfast, lunch,
dinner and Sunday brunch
Hours 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
All images credit to Lydia Kremer