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Restaurant & Food News

25 Feb 2019
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The Palm Desert Food and Wine Fest Returns It’s March in the Coachella Valley—and that means it is time for the ritziest, fanciest food fest the desert has to offer: The Palm Desert Food and Wine Festival will take place Friday through Sunday, March 22-24. Actually, the classes, tastings and various events start several days before that, but the biggest event of them all is the Grand Tasting, which takes place at the Gardens on El Paseo, 73545 El Paseo, from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday the 23rd. Tickets start at $100 and include tastes of food from 40 restaurants, as well as all sorts of wine and spirits samples. If you want to get in early for the VIP portion, or attend an exclusive chef demo even earlier than that, it’ll cost you a little bit more. On Sunday, there’s another grand tasting, also from noon to 3…
22 Jan 2019
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Rancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival Grows in Its Second Year When I talked to David Fraschetti about the inaugural Rancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival a year ago, he promised me that the fest, taking place at the Rancho Mirage Amphitheater and Community Park, at 71560 San Jacinto Drive, would feature great food—but the primary focus would be on the wine, with no booze, beer or cooking demonstrations. “This is a marketing event for our wineries,” he told me. “… We’re not trying to be everything to everyone.” Seeing as Fraschetti, a Coachella Valley resident, is also the organizer of the popular VinDiego Wine and Food Festival, it should come as no surprise that he apparently knew what he was doing—and that an expanded Rancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival will return this year, taking place Jan. 30-Feb. 2. A couple of five-course wine dinners at restaurants will happen…
21 Dec 2018
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Purple Room Palm Springs Launches ‘Frank’s Bourbon Bar’ Since it’s an oddly slow month as far as restaurant news is concerned, I am going to take some space to discuss something near and dear to my heart: delicious, heart-warming bourbon. Specifically: The Purple Room Palm Springs, at 1900 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, has introduced Frank’s Bourbon Bar, with more than 50 premium bourbons on offer. The bar—named after Frank Sinatra, a well-known lover of bourbon—is offering bourbon flights starting at $25. The crown jewel of flights, however, will set you back $55: It includes Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year, and the Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year bourbons. (You can sub in other premium bourbons if you so choose.) That’s actually a pretty good deal. If you’re a fan of whiskeys that aren’t bourbon, two things: 1. Get your head examined,…
27 Nov 2018
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Bongo Johnny’s Moving Into Former Café Europa Space; Antigua Opens in Former Gyoro-Gyoro Spot When it comes to some restaurant spaces in downtown Palm Springs, the only constant is change. Witness the second-floor space at 301 N. Palm Canyon Drive, across from the Hyatt. In recent years, it’s housed both Crave and Plate | Glass; about two years ago, restaurateur Mike Stoltz moved his popular Café Europa in there during the daytime, and introduced a bar/small-plates concept, jusTapas, for the nighttime. The move turned out to be a mistake, it seems: Café Europa/jusTapas recently closed its doors. However, the space will not be vacant for long: Bongo Johnny’s, the Arenas Road mainstay which has been closed since a fire destroyed its kitchen back in March, is moving in, and could be open by January. Owner Robb Wirt had originally planned to remain in the space at 214 E. Arenas Road,…
23 Oct 2018
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At Arrive: Cartel Coffee Is Coming, and Wexler’s Deli Is Open Cartel Coffee Lab—an Arizona-born coffee shop that prides itself on the quality of its coffee beans sourced worldwide—will open its first location outside of the Grand Canyon State on Friday, Nov. 9, at the Arrive Palm Springs, located at 1551 N. Palm Canyon Drive. To celebrate the opening, customers will receive a free drip coffee from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 9. Cartel Coffee will take the place of Customs Coffee. “Employees of Customs will undergo a week-long boot camp at Cartel’s home base in Arizona before returning as Cartel baristas,” according to a news release. What makes Cartel so special? Let’s go back to that news release: “Cartel focuses on working with passionate farmers that produce the best-tasting single-origin beans instead of offering a blinding selection of sugar-laced syrups. This is evidenced in their emphasis on…
24 Sep 2018
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Spotlight 29 Opens New Food Court, Mexican Restaurant Gamblers, show-goers and foodies who find themselves at Spotlight 29—located at 46200 Harrison Place, in Coachella—now have a whole bunch more food options than they did before. La Diabla Maria, located in what used to be the Groove nightclub, is offering beer, tequila flights and street-style tacos. “Guests can choose from carne asada, al pastor, pollo, tripas, lengua, barbacoa and pork chorizo,” according to a news release. “Both flour and corn tortillas are freshly made in house.” Yum! At the new Pier 29 food court, diners can find three new options: Sharkey’s Pizza, which offers, well, pizza; Easy Rita’s Margaritas, which sells all sorts of flavorful, boozy drinks—and nonalcoholic options, too; and Mr. Weiner’s, which cooks up creative twists on hot dogs. “We’re always looking for creative, fun ways to enhance the guest experience at Spotlight 29, and dining is a big…