After dining in several restaurants this past week, there is one that stands out, deserving of some attention. I have heard the commercials and the buzz about Escena Lounge & Grill but finally had the chance to experience this place for myself. It is not the easiest place to find for the first time but once you do, you will never forget it. Tucked away from the tourist traffic, this mini paradise is on the east end of Palm Springs with majestic views of the mountains and their beautiful 18-hole golf course.
As I arrived for my reservation, I could not help but notice the spacious floor plan and over-sized fire places. We selected a seat by the fire and felt at home in their huge cozy chairs. There were many selections on the menu that it was nearly impossible to decide. Fortunately, our server, Alfonso, is quick to offer suggestions. Beginning with some starters, we were pleased with the Oysters Rockefeller and the Boursin Stuffed Portobello Mushroom. The oysters were warm and creamy with spinach and hollandaise and the Portobello mushroom cap was meaty, with hints of fennel and sweet balsamic vinegar. The favorite starter at our table would be the Tuna Tataki, a martini glass of Ahi tuna, cubed and mixed with chunks of avocado and mango.
After our palates had been teased with these savory starters, we were impressed with the arrival of our entrees. Beautifully plated and garnished, our meals were photo-worthy! Sharing our entrees allowed for me to try a few items from the menu, getting a better idea of their culinary vision. The Filet Mignon was tender enough to cut with a butter knife while having just the right amount of char to it. The potatoes were rich with flavor. This dish was a huge hit! Another favorite would be the fresh fish. A thick cut fillet of Sea Bass served with rice pilaf was placed in front of me. It melted in my mouth like butter. The entrees are simply superb.
Perhaps the best part of the meal was our dessert. I do not need to try every item on their dessert menu to know the best one was their warm chocolate cake, topped with crumbled Heath Bar and served with salted caramel ice cream. Overall, this was a comfortable, elegant and filling dining experience and I would definitely go again. Escena Lounge & Grill is also open for breakfast and lunch and Sunday Brunch is available from 9am to 3pm. This restaurant is a must see, beautiful in the daytime or evening. Check out their menus online at www.escenagrill.com or call them at 760-992-0002 for more information.