849 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-325-8490
EIGHT4NINE Restaurant and Lounge continues its rise in popularity this year, now that Bravo Reality TV hit, “Shahs of Sunset,” has filmed segments there. Hollywood — and television viewers — learned what locals in Palm Springs already know: EIGHT4NINE boasts style, yes, but it is also a remarkable place to nosh and socialize.
No doubt some of the vibrant energy that circulated back in the place in 1954, when the building was home to the Palm Springs Post Office, lingers. At “Happy Hour,” which is an all-day thing in EIGHT4NINE, all one needs to do is find a spot in the bar and relish the options.
Begin with something EIGHT4NINE’s signature cocktail, appropriately dubbed “The EIGHT4NINE.” This creature is as colorful as it is potent. Your martini glass arrives, housing Crater Lake Vodka, chilled Mionetto Prosecco, Limoncello, Mandarin Napolean, and muddled with Fresh Strawberry. For $9, have one (or two) to refresh yourself from the heat of the Oasis. While the list of cocktails is attractive, you may want to also consider another standout: “The Skinny Watermelon” — Avian Silver Tequila, Fresh Lime Juice, Fresh Watermelon Juice, and agave nectar. Drink up, or ponder EIGHT4NINE’s Beers On Tap, a variety of 16-ounce marvels, such as the La Quinta Poolside Ale and Hangar 24 Orange Wheat, both $6.
To nosh, go “light.” EIGHT4NINE puts a creative spin on a Half Cobb Salad (pictured above; $9): Smoked Petaluma Chicken, Applewood Bacon, Shaft’s Blue Cheese, Tomato, Farm Egg, Crisp Greens, and Fresh herbs. And gluten-free to boot. Another good “half” is the establishment’s Half Ahi Nicoise Salad: Ahi Tuna Seared Rare, Haricots Vert, Roasted Baby Potatoes, Nicoise Olives, Farm Egg, Lemon Tarragon, and Vinaigrette and capers. Also gluten-free.
There’s plenty to appreciate here — from ambiance and remarkable customer service to a diverse menu and, perhaps, one of the best spacious spots in Uptown to meet with friends.
Copley’s on Palm Canyon
621 North Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-327-9555
Happy Hour happens just at the bar (5:30-7 p.m.) here and it begins with some good news: all wine by the glass is $6. Even better news is the variety of wine that this popular Palm Springs haven offers, including a fine selection of 2011 Castle Rock — a Cabernet from Paso Robles and a Savignon from Lake County. The latter may quench thrists after a day in the sun. So, in that vein, you can’t go wrong with the 2012 Chardonnay here either — its genesis began in Columbia Valley, Washington. Other souls may appreciate the 2009 Stella, a Pinot from Umbria Italy. The truth is out: Copley's boasts one of the more memorable Happy Hour wine lists in Uptown.
Keeping with the $6 theme, one would be remiss not considering the Martini lineup. There’s Copley’s signature “Copley Martini” — Vodka and Grapefruit juice with a dash of Orange Liqueur served up. It arrives in your hand with a sugar rim. I appreciated Copley’s Pomegranate Martini, because there’s some passion and punch behind it — Seagram (extra smooth), Orange Liqueur, and Pomegranate Juice.
Culinary standouts at the bar start with price: $15. These remarkable, and downright delicious, specials include a Kobe Beef Burger (pictured). Cooked to your liking, it features melted cheddar cheese and red wine onions — one powerful combination. It is served with French fries and a tray of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise. Definitely a must-have. Another hearty option is Copley’s Prime Beef Bolognese — quite memorable with spaghetti and shaved Parmesan Cheese. However for something lighter, consider the English Style Fish and Chips, a beer-battered fresh fish served with a petite salad.
Just want the fries? Go for it. For $5, it’s a deal.
There's so much history and charm to Copley's on Palm Canyon. Begin to discover it at Happy Hour and you may find yourself moving onto a full-course dinner at one of its patio tables. Bravo all around.