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Hot New Restaurants In Palm Springs

Citron

Designer Kelly Wearstler’s Hollywood Regency makeover of the Viceroy back in 2003 made it one of the top choices for the hip crowd. More than a decade later, recently hired executive chef Patrice Martineau (a Champagne, France, native who’s worked under Daniel Boulud at Manhattan’s Daniel) is elevating onsite restaurant Citron to fine-dining heights with a clear attention to detail using a blend of French and Asian techniques, turning out truly beautiful food. Carrot veloute is topped with glistening candied ginger; yuzu-kosho-crusted salmon is cured in salt and sugar for three hours to coax out flavors; and a plate of Peruvian Hamachi ceviche is dotted with dollops of dates and garnished with Technicolor flowers. Lunch features a fun play of bento boxes giving diners a chance to try mini versions of several of Martineau’s creations.

415 S Belardo Rd
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 320-4117

Gyoro Gyoro

Despite the fact the closest ocean is 120 miles away, there’s indeed good sushi to be had in the desert, though many of the valley’s existing spots are lacking in atmosphere and heavy on fluorescent lighting. Gyoro Gyoro, run by a giant Tokyo-based restaurant operator, manages to get it all right with a glitzy indoor-outdoor eatery and dauntingly large menu that will please both sushi purists with its top-notch nigiri choices and those who love their spicy tuna rolls tempura-fried and drizzled with three kinds of sauces. There are also a few dozen Yakitori skewer choices ranging from Brussels sprouts to beef tongue.

105 S Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
(760) 325-3005

Essense

Turns out one of the best new restaurants in the valley is actually in Desert Hot Springs (a town not exactly known for culinary gems). After a $9 million facelift, the 75-year-old Two Bunch Palms resort and spa has reopened with the sophisticated Essense in place of the worn Casino restaurant. French-born chef Cossi Houegban – who’s had stints at West Hollywood’s The London and The Four Seasons Beverly Hills – joined earlier this year, creating a menu that walks the line between healthy and indulgent. Depending on how much yoga you did that day, you can order your blue lake green beans tempura fried with a white truffle emulsion or steamed with garlic, then go for the salmon atop flaxseed quinoa or a Wagyu beef filet garnished with local corn aioli. The comfy dining room – full of natural wood and stone appointments and anchored by a whimsical petrified willow tree – also features perfect mountain views.

67425 Two Bunch Palms Trl
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240

Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club

At night, Palm Springs’ new day club turns into a modern Mexican cantina inside the adjacent sprawling restaurant with multiple bars, splashed with Day of the Dead-style artwork. Try one of the platters of tacos stuffed with adobo grilled steak, fried Mexican shrimp, or carnitas, or opt for more bikini-friendly fare like honey-citrus white fish ceviche or a cilantro-crusted salmon created by chef Ruben Galvez, who’s traveled his native Mexico to hone his regional cuisine skills. Weekend brunch gets creative with an eggs benedict over jalapeno corn bread cakes served up with chorizo hash.

1555 South Palm Canyon
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 778-8954

Tinto

Iron Chef Jose Garces’s once-cavernous restaurant at the Sagauro hotel has been transformed into a cozier, more intimate tapas bar since undergoing a four-month renovation and reopening earlier this month. The menu’s now focused on more traditional tapas and pintxos – think sizzling shrimp sautéed in garlic and lemon; an array of Spanish cheeses; and marinated anchovies garnished with pickled veggies and pine nuts. The bar offerings have been revamped too with a wider variety of both Spanish and domestic wines by the glass and a craft cocktail program with an emphasis on Spain’s favorite spirit, gin. Groups can order an entire bottle No. 209 served alongside high-end Fever-Tree tonic and an array of botanicals for infusing.

1800 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 323-1711

Simon Kitchen + Bar

Vegas-based chef Kerry Simon took over the restaurant at the year-old Hard Rock Hotel in September, reopening it as Simon Kitchen + Bar, a lobby-adjacent space filled with giant circular booths, leather-upholstered bar stools, and a wall-size photo of Simon peering out at diners. The refreshingly reasonable menu is a sophisticated blend of comfort and soul food with oxtail and black rice risotto, chicken thighs paired with a citrus chimichurri, and fried green tomatoes served with a lump crab-flecked vinaigrette. Though the $5 happy hour menu sounds great, the fact that it’s only available for 55 minutes a day makes it kind of a fake-out.

150 S Indian Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262

Appetito Deli

Executive chef Chad Shaner and owner Patrick Service (whose grandparents founded Palm Springs’ longstanding Mexican restaurant Las Caseulas) met while working for Danny Meyer in New York, where Shaner served as sous chef at Union Square Grill. They partnered to open this Italian spot a stone’s throw from hipster haven the Ace hotel earlier this year and hired fabled local designer Christopher Kennedy to create the modern room with concrete floors, subway-tile walls, and a super-cool collection of lamps strung from the ceiling. The casual menu features eggplant parm sliders, sausage-and-pepper pizzette, and boasts some of the town’s only handmade pastas. (Don’t miss the ricotta gnocchi with kale-walnut pesto.)

1700 S Camino Real Ste 2
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 327-1929

Smoke Tree BBQ Bar + Grill

The third venture for the family who also owns the nearby Italian spot Giuseppe’s and cocktail hot spot Bar launched with a grill-your-own concept earlier this year before rejiggering the concept into more of a barbeque joint. Though those grills are still in place and there are a handful of offerings diners can cook themselves if the mood strikes, it’s the in-house mesquite-smoked dishes that’s now the draw at the made-to-look-rustic restaurant. The meaty menu features pulled pork, baby back ribs, and brisket along with a vast array of Southern-inspired, belt-loosening sides (hello, potato salad and creamed corn!) and a standout cocktail menu with plenty of mezcal to keep with the smoke theme.

Smoke Tree Village Shopping Center
1775 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264

Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club

The institution Davey’s Hideaway (once famous for its prime rib, wedge salads, fishbowl-size martinis and those red leather booths that got a second chance over at Tonga Hut) shut its doors in 2012, but has since been reincarnated by a couple of new owners who’ve named the place after Davey’s old maitre ‘d. Though the space feels more or less the same, the menu has moved out of the ’60s (not that that’s necessarily a good thing in a mid-century-obsessed city) and into trendier territory with things like little gem lettuce, Hokkaido scallops, and heirloom carrots. Though there’s still prime rib and early-bird specials to be had, too. Don’t miss nightly crooning by Patterson, N.J.-imported Bill Gulino.

292 E Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92264
(760) 537-7082
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