By Raymond Bill

I enjoy dining out in great local restaurants and I also enjoy cooking at home. I don’t intend to brag but I can hold my own in the kitchen, just ask my kids. All kidding aside, there is a new restaurant in Palm Springs that allows the guest to be both chef and customer by letting guests cook their own meal. Well, sort of. Smoke Tree Supper Club is a new dining venue where guests are seated at community tables that surround a large grilling station. While the restaurant’s chef will prepare your salads, appetizers and side dishes, the guest is encouraged to grill his or her own protein. Whether you want steak, chicken, pork or seafood, grab some tongs and have some fun!

We arrived early and began with cocktails on their covered patio. Seating is outside with the exception of a private dining area and a few high top tables near the bar. Like most restaurants, there are daily specials and we began with one suggested by our server. A Pork Belly appetizer arrived with a sweet and tangy mustard sauce. Three thick pieces of pork belly were placed on crisp bread and drizzled with the grain mustard sauce. It was truly incredible. We also shared a wedge salad with candied pecans, bacon and crumbled bleu cheese. Both were impressive and well portioned.

Now comes the fun part. Our server presented to us our selected entrees, ready to be grilled: a fresh salmon fillet and a beautifully marbled Rib-eye Steak. We had many questions but our server was quick to answer them all with a smile. A colorful chalk board is on display with each protein selection and its appropriate cooking time, based on one’s preference. We seasoned our salmon and steak before placing it on the grill. I do love to hear that sizzle! This was an ideal time to enjoy another cocktail. The Chef was there to guide us and suggest when to rotate and when to flip, though it was completely up to us. The result was a perfect medium rare Rib-eye and a melt-in-your-mouth tender fillet of salmon. We also enjoyed a green peppercorn cream sauce with the steak and an herb butter for the fish. Not to pat ourselves on the back, but our meal was perfection! There are many side dishes to accompany your meal and all are intended for sharing. We paired our entrees with their Asiago Scalloped Potatoes and we definitely made the right choice!

The evening was complete with a very creamy slice of cheesecake with a raspberry coulis and bread pudding to die for! The desserts were rich with layers of flavor. This was an experience that will not soon be forgotten. I highly recommend this restaurant to those who are willing to roll up their sleeves and make some new friends. Smoke Tree Supper Club is located in the Smoke Tree shopping center at Palm Canyon and Sunrise Way. Stop in and see for yourself why everyone is talking about this place or visit them online at www.stsupperclub.com

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