By Denise Ortuno
Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant & Bar in Palm Desert is where Italian charm and delicious food meet.
Opened in 2012 by Mimmo and Victoria Di Salvo, in the heart of Palm Desert off of Hwy 111 and San Pablo, sits the quaint restaurant with big flavor. Beneath the green awning houses an enclosed patio which ushers guests into the compartmentalized restaurant, with three cozy dining rooms, and an ultra-intimate bar.
Guests are greeted graciously by Mimmo’s son and General Manager Nino, and Mimmo himself, when he’s not visiting his guests personally at their tables. The restaurants flow is reminiscent of being in someone’s home, comfortable and un-pretentious with heavenly aromas of incredible Italian food swirling in the air.
The emphasis of the menu at Mimmo’s is to use the freshest of ingredients. They are proud to make homemade items such as their bread, raviolis, sauces, sausage, dressings, desserts and addicting tapenade, which is served at the tables along with their homemade bread in lieu of butter (so good!).
Mimmo stays true to his Sicilian heritage, bringing traditional dishes to his guests. For an appetizer, enjoy a selection of salads such as their crisp Mimmo’s Caesar (with their homemade dressing and anchovies), Insalata Caprese (tomato slices, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, E.V.O.O. and balsamic reduction) or Toscana (mixed organic greens, crumbled blue cheese, pear slices, walnuts, dried cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette). Other starters to get your appetite revved up include their Calamari alla Marinara (calamari sautéed in lightly spiced marinara sauce), Italian Sausage (homemade with ground pork and fennel served with a honey mustard sauce), and Grilled Polenta with Wild Mushrooms (polenta triangles topped with a wild mushroom cream sauce) among others.
Main course selections are vast, with a variety of pastas, seafood and meat dishes to choose from. If pasta is your thing, you will be delighted with items such as their Ravioli al Granchio e Vodka (house made ravioli stuffed with sautéed crabmeat and ricotta cheese, in a tomato vodka sauce), Spaghetti alla Vittoria (Kalamata olives, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, touch of demi-glace), Linguine alla Vongole ( fresh clams, tomato or white wine sauce), Veal Ravioli all Mimmo( homemade ravioli, stuffed with veal lion, ricotta cheese, in a sautéed radicchio, mascarpone cream sauce) classic Spaghetti and Meatballs “Della Mama (pork and beef meatballs in their house marinara sauce) and many others.
Mimmo’s veal dish options are impressive, comprised of Veal Scalopine Marsala (mushrooms and Marsala wine), Veal Scalopine Piccata (lemon, capers, white wine), Veal Scalopine alla Sicula (eggplant, tomato sauce and mozzarella) plus many more. Their amazing Osso Bucco, is sometimes offered as a special and is a must! If you’re leaning towards a seafood item, try their Wild Sand Dabs (lemon, capers and white wine), Scallops with Red Bell Pepper Sauce, or Shrimp Scampi ( capers, butter, garlic white wine).
All of their dishes pair nicely with a selection of wine from their extensive wine list with many Italian offerings. Nino’s expertise in wine knowledge is most helpful in making a selection.
One of the great things about the dishes at Mimmo’s, is that they are not oversized. They follow a healthy European guideline of well portioned sized meals, not too big, not too small….just right! Of course this mindfulness leaves plenty of room for dessert, which Mimmo’s has many of. Fun out of the box desserts include their Bongo Bongo (little pastry puffs filled with a ricotta cream filling and topped with chocolate sauce), and Bomba (spumoni ice cream shaped like a dome with a hard chocolate shell) plus others including classic Tiramisu.
Mimmo’s is opened nightly from 5pm to 9pm on weekdays and until 9:30 on weekends. They offer lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 to 2pm.
Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant and Bar is a delightful dining experience, with charm and delicious food. Come on by, your table is waiting! Bon Appetito!
Mimmo’s Italian Restaurant and Bar is located at 73-540 Hwy 111, Palm Desert, 92260
For reservations call 760-346-9712, www.mimmospd.com