By Raymond Bill
One of the most enticing amenities Palm Springs has to offer is its variety of boutique hotels and restaurants. As a local, one can indulge in a mini vacation to include spa packages and fine dining without leaving the valley. A new favorite of mine is the Colony Palms Hotel on Indian Canyon Drive downtown Palm Springs. Recently, I enjoyed a most memorable meal at their Purple Palm Restaurant. With their warm, inviting space heaters and surrounding garden ambiance, dining outside adjacent to their large pool and multiple cabanas was a no-brainer.
When entering the main lobby of the hotel for the first time, it can be difficult to find the restaurant. Fortunately, the valet is pleasant and accommodating, guiding guests through the main entrance to their back pool area. My date and I immediately noticed the bar that is half inside the dining room and half outside to accommodate poolside guests. We were seated and greeted by Will, our charming server and bartender. With our menus before us, we were impressed with the selections available. We began with a couple starters while enjoying our cocktails. Mushrooms, sautéed in butter and white wine with garlic and shallots were placed before us with grilled baguette bread dressed with chevre goat cheese. We would also enjoy fried Manchego cheese with a creamy romesco sauce and crispy chorizo. The flavors were rich and quickly stimulated our appetites!
After our starters, we were impressed with two of their most popular salad selections; the Purple Palm salad and their Roasted Brussels Sprouts salad were simply divine. Most impressive was the Brussels Sprouts salad with a creamy garlic vinaigrette, crumbled cotija cheese, pepitas and crisp pancetta. Most places, including my most recent employer, that offer this seasonal dish fail to prepare the Brussels sprouts correctly, leaving the product bitter and firm. This was, however, amazing! Both salads offered the perfect balance of sweet and savory with great texture combinations.
While the wine list is undergoing some changes, there are still many selections and Will was quick to offer tastings so that we would make the best selection for our meal. Pleased with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, we eagerly awaited our main course. Timed perfectly, my lovely companion would receive a pasta special of Buccatini with housemade pesto and sausage while I was presented with their famous Bouillabaisse. Before me was a large bowl of seafood including salmon, whitefish, scallops, mussels, clams and dungeoness crab leg, finished with grilled baguette bread for dipping in the delicious broth. My entrée was as delicious as it was beautiful.
With only enough room to share a dessert, we ordered the Brioche Brulee. Fresh baked brioche bread soaked in crème anglaise and carmelized, accompanied by sweet blueberry compote. With a hot espresso and after dinner cocktail from our talented bartender, this meal was superb. This is not a grand dining venue it was quite romantic for us; at the same time a larger group of diners were thoroughly enjoying a more festive evening.
Dinner is offered nightly from 6pm; however, breakfast is available between 8am and 11am, and lunch served between 11am and 4pm. Small bites are offered from 4pm to 6pm. Located at 572 N Indian Canyon Drive, the Colony Palms Hotel should be on your list for a great getaway with a truly delicious cuisine. Visit online for more details and a peek at their menus at www.colonypalmshotel.com/dining