Dining in Palm Springs, Restaurant Week Preview

Tamarind Shrimp
Tamarind shrimp from Citron at The Viceroy, Palm Springs

When I learned that I would be invited to preview some menu items for Palm Springs Restaurant Week  (May 31 – June 16, 2013) my mouth started watering like Pavlov’s dog experiment, only no one had to ring the bell for me to salivate! You see, I remembered my last visit to Palm Spring, California in the fall.  This was my first time to visit this desert community and I didn’t really know what to expect.  There are so many things to see and do in Palm Springs, California and the restaurant scene is really heating up (pun intended.)

Value dining in Palm Springs

Now in its sixth year, Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week is a chance for locals and visitors alike to sample signature dishes, meet restaurant owners and chefs, visit Palm Springs attractions and save money. How’s that for value dining? And the savings aren’t limited to Palm Springs; over 100 restaurants, hotels and attractions from the entire Coachella Valley participate in Restaurant Week. During this 10 day time frame, foodies and frugal travelers visit their favorite restaurants, hotels or spas.

Viceroy pool
Stay at the Viceroy Hotel and take a dip in the pool

Palm Springs Restaurant Week

Special prix fixe dinner menus are offered over the 10 days. All of the restaurants offer three-course dinners, offering several choices for each course. FYI, the $26 or $38 per person restaurant menu does not include  beverages, tax or gratuity.

Eat, see, stay in Palm Springs

If you like dining deals and hotel package offers, Restaurant Week offers value. During my Palm Springs visit, I stayed at The Saguaro. Condé Nast Traveler recently named The Saguaro one of the best new hotels of 2013. For my next trip, I’d stay at the Viceroy Hotel. In addition to California creations from Citron restaurant, this place has multiple swimming pools and looks like a private estate.

Soft shell crab BLT Jakes
Soft shell crab BLT from Jakes

One of my favorite restaurants was Tinto,  inside The Saguaro. Iron Chef Jose Garces offers up pintxos like the ones I discovered during my travels in northwestern Spain. We also traveled to Austria via Johannes Restaurant in Palm Springs and made it to Norma’s at The Park Palm Springs for decadent desserts.

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Head out on the Palm Springs highway

Day two found us at King’s Highway at ACE Hotel for breakfast before a morning Red Jeep Tour to Indian Canyons with Desert Adventures. This tour was a Palm Springs highlight for me because our naturalist guide, Morgan Levine, brought Andreas Canyon to life with stories of the Aqua Caliente Cahuilla Indians. After our jeep tour we dined Al Fresco at Jakes. I ordered the soft shell crab BLT, but the show stopper at Jakes was the dessert – a chocolate peanut butter cupcake. Jakes has not one, but three pastry chefs. Dine here simply for the desserts!

Workshop Kitchen + Bar interior
Workshop Kitchen + Bar arrives on the Palm Springs restaurant scene

Cooking and cocktails in Palm Springs

My last day in Palm Springs included a cooking class with Chef Andrew Copley of Copley’s on Palm Canyon and small plates at Workshop Kitchen + Bar, Palm Springs latest newcomer to the restaurant scene.

Don’t miss the bar scene in Palm Springs. It seems that every restaurant we visited, from Citron to Melvyn’s, featured their own signature cocktail. With mint juleps to Au Pear cocktails, sangria, Pomegranate Martini’s at Copley’s and Mel-tini’s on the bar menu, I tried them all. Fabulous – but don’t forget a designated driver!

Pear Martini Johannes
Have an Au Pear martini at Johannes in Palm Springs

Palm Springs spa time

Last, but not least, what’s a visit to Palm Springs without a spa treatment? My time was too short at Riviera Spa Terre at the Riviera Palm Springs, but that just gives me another excuse for a return trip to Palm Springs. Won’t you join me?

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Palm Springs Restaurant Week and Palm Spring  on Twitter.

If You Go:

Palm Springs Restaurant Week

I was a guest of Palm Springs Visitors Bureau and Palm Springs Restaurant Week.

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