Gigi's truffle pasta is really good. The outdoor dining experience is amazing.

What: Gigi’s Truffle Pasta

Where: Gigi’s Restaurant + Bar, at the V Palm Springs, 333 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs

How much: $34

Contact: 760-980-7000; www.gigispalmsprings.com

Why: It’s a great dish surrounded by an incredible atmosphere.

While the pandemic has been undeniably awful, it’s had some silver linings—one of which is a renewed appreciation for good, comfortable outdoor dining.

Some restaurants have long had great al fresco seating options; others added great outdoor seating as a result of the pandemic. Others … well, they did what they had to do, and nothing more, to keep in-person dining going when being outside was the only option—and I’ve endured a fair number of less-than-comfortable pandemic-era restaurant visits as a result.

This brings us to Gigi’s Restaurant + Bar, the newish restaurant at V Palm Springs. Not only does Gigi’s do al fresco dining right; Gigi’s patio is one of the loveliest outdoor restaurant spaces in the entire Coachella Valley, featuring a variety of types of seating, fire pits and an oh-so-gorgeous mountain view.

We visited Gigi’s for a recent Sunday dinner. First off, a mini-rant: Gigi’s online menu doesn’t match the real menu at the restaurant. (Nearly three weeks later, as we went to press, it still didn’t.) We arrived planning to order the halibut “meunière” en croute, with potato mille feuille fries as a side … but, nope.

On the flip side: The dinner’s highlight was a new dish that’s not on the online menu: Gigi’s truffle pasta. The dish was both well-presented and delicious, featuring perfect al dente pasta with a black truffle cream sauce and chili breadcrumbs. I ate every bite—and was left wanting more.

OK … if I am being honest, the truffle pasta was not actually the dinner’s highlight—it was the al fresco dining atmosphere. Gigi’s patio area is, in a word, stunning.

Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...