By Daniel Paris

A good antidote to our prolonged steamy summer meltdown is a trip to an area where you can walk outside and not be bathed in sweat within minutes. Someplace cooler, with completely different scenery; green trees with leaves quaking in a light, refreshing breeze. And wouldn’t it be nice to sit down to enjoy a meal without the constant hiss of a misting system that never quite cools you down enough to be comfortable? Ferro restaurant in Idyllwild is such a place and is only a little over an hour away from the Coachella Valley.

Ferro has a spacious picturesque outdoor dining area in its backyard with an herb garden, a small performance stage, and a semi-circular bar surrounding a massive outdoor pizza oven.

Frank and Lori Ferro opened their restaurant over five years ago with an Italian country cuisine menu that pays tribute to the classics. Frank was the head chef at the highly regarded Aroma restaurant, but fortunately, followed his vision to develop his own interpretation of recipes found in the home kitchens of the Italian countryside. Homemade breads, pastas, hand-stretched pizza, fresh vegetables and greens from local farms, fresh seafood, and house-cured charcuterie all finished with herbs from the backyard garden.


I have eaten here several times since their opening and am always impressed by respect shown to the  individual ingredients and the thoughtful combined flavors presented in the finished plate. The same consideration appears in the appetizers, salads, mains, and desserts.

On a recent Sunday evening visit, we were joined by others with the requisite six-foot spacing in place and the atmosphere almost seemed like a normal evening out. The wait staff and owners warmly welcomed guests and thanked them for their patronage.

There are no bad choices on the menu. My favorites are any fresh pasta dishes and the perfectly-crusted pepperoni mushroom pizza.

In addition to the excellent food, the wine list, beers, and cocktails show the same attention to detail and diversity. I encourage you to make reservation well in advance of your long-overdue date night as Ferro is a deservedly popular place.

25840 Cedar Street
Idyllwild, CA 92549
Hours: Friday – Monday 3:00 to 9:00