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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Restaurant & Food News

30 Mar 2018
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Help the Desert AIDS Project by Dining Out for Life on April 26 Thursday, April 26, is one of my favorite foodie days of the year. It’s not a day featuring a lot of great deals and food specials; instead, it’s a day during which local restaurants and their customers (i.e., you) do a lot of good for the community. April 26 is this year’s date for Dining Out for Life, the annual fundraising extravaganza for the Desert AIDS Project and other HIV/AIDS service organizations around the country. It’s simple, really: On that day, restaurants across the Coachella Valley have agreed to donate anywhere between 33 and 110 percent of their sales to DAP. It really is simple: All you do is go out to eat, like you probably would anyway—and DAP gets a big chunk of whatever you spend. (If you feel like you must do more than simply…
23 Feb 2018
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Former Dish Chef Lands at Azucar; Alebrijie Lands in Former Dish Space As the saying goes: When one door closes, another opens—and such is definitely the case in the restaurant industry. A door closed, literally, for Joane Garcia-Colson last fall, when she shut down Dish Creative Cuisine, her well-regarded restaurant at 1107 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in downtown Palm Springs; she cited conflicts with others involved with the business as the reason. I don’t use the phrase “well-regarded” lightly: Dish, which originally opened more than five years ago in Cathedral City, made many “Best Of” lists thanks to Garcia-Colson’s amazing blend of classic technique and whimsy. Given Garcia-Colson’s talent, it was inevitable that another door would open for her—and it did at Azucar, the restaurant at the La Serena Villas, at 339 S. Belardo Road, in downtown Palm Springs. She’s taken her former Dish sous chef with her, and we…
23 Jan 2018
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The Rancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival Debuts on Feb. 17 The large and increasingly renowned Palm Desert Food and Wine Festival is set for March 23-25. So … is there a need for yet another food and wine festival happening just five weeks before and just a few miles away? According to festival organizer David Fraschetti, the answer is a resounding yes—hence the brand-new Rancho Mirage Wine and Food Festival, featuring food from 15 Rancho Mirage restaurants, and sips from more than 40 wineries, on Saturday, Feb. 17. Fraschetti is the man behind the popular VinDiego Wine and Food Festival—but he resides here in the Coachella Valley. He wanted to start a festival locally, so he started looking for places to do so. It just so happens that he and his wife were playing tennis at Rancho Mirage Community Park one day, he said; she mentioned it would be…
26 Dec 2017
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Rancho Mirage’s Fox and Fiddle to Morph Into Dringk Eatery + Bar The Fox and Fiddle is going out with 2017 … and in its place, 2018 will bring Dringk Eatery + Bar. The Fox and Fiddle opened in February 2017 at The River, at 71800 Highway 111, in Rancho Mirage, and was touted as one of the valley’s only English-style pubs. It also brought with it some name recognition, seeing as there are Fox and Fiddle pubs in Canada—and, of course, many Canadian snowbirds winter in the Coachella Valley. However, some 10 months later, the English-pub concept was to be no more, as of the close of business on Saturday, Dec. 23. On New Year’s Eve, Dringk—with the same owners—was slated to be born. What, exactly, is Dringk? Its shtick, according to the website, is centered on $5 drinks, with food being offered at $5, $10 and $15 price…
28 Nov 2017
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Grand Central to Open Soon … Hopefully? … in Palm Springs’ La Plaza Center More than a year ago, local foodies were all abuzz about the anticipated opening of Grand Central Palm Springs, a restaurant and event space in the historic La Plaza Center in downtown Palm Springs. In early August 2016, Grand Central hosted a job fair; the restaurant’s Facebook page reported that 200 people had applied for jobs in person, with another 90 applications coming in online. Other posts teased menu items for the restaurant, which was going to feature American food, a coffee bar and cocktails. It seemed that Grand Central’s opening was imminent. And then … nothing happened, at least publicly. More than 14 months went by with nary a peep on Grand Central’s fate. Fearing Grand Central had been scrapped, I decided to try to find out what was going on. I sent a message…
28 Oct 2017
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New: So Cal-Based Chain Luna Grill Opens Its Doors in Palm Desert Luna Grill claims to be “one of the country’s hottest fast-casual concepts.” While we are not sure exactly what that means, we are sure that the 39th and newest Luna Grill is located in Palm Desert, at 73405 Highway 111, in Palm Desert—and we’re also sure that the Mediterranean-style food being served there is pretty darned delicious. Independent contributor Kevin Fitzgerald and I were fortunate enough to attend a pre-opening training-day lunch at Luna. I ordered the chicken kabob and gyros plate ($14.95) while Kevin had the chicken wrap ($9.50), and we split the handcrafted spinach pie ($5.25) as a starter. While we had minor quibbles—the chicken in Kevin’s wrap was a little dry, and the rice on my plate needed a bit more flavor—everything was delicious (especially that gyro meat!). The first Luna Grill opened in 2004,…