By Crystal Harrell

As the BNP Paribas Open attracts tennis fans from around the globe to the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens for two weeks of championship play, Palm Desert restaurant Porta Via is expanding with a popup restaurant and bar debuting a special menu for the event through March 17. Porta Via is serving Italian-inspired California cuisine that has delighted diners since its opening in Beverly Hills almost thirty years ago. Tennis fans can indulge in Porta Via’s contemporary dishes while taking in the on-court action at Stadium 1.

Porta Via is a classic yet contemporary California bistro and bar with three Southern California locations, and, since 2022, a desert outpost in Palm Desert featuring a stunning mid-century interior design by Sophie Goineau, who worked on two of its other locations. All the Porta Via restaurants serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, weekend brunch, offering a menu honoring proprietor Peter Garland’s cooking philosophy: “combine the best seasonal, organic ingredients and prepare them simply.”

“We devised the menu based on our other restaurants,” Garland explains. “We have four other restaurants, and we were very intentional, figuring out which of our offerings really work with this tennis paradise environment. So, given that we open at 11 a.m. and close at 11 p.m., we have a transition from lunch to dinner. The menu is California cuisine and we’re big in using all-natural, organic, sustainable farming practices and products. Some of my personal favorite items on the menu include the gazpacho soup and the lobster roll; then we’ve offered a small selection of sushi items. Or you could just get a good burger, which I have all the time.”


“It fits perfectly with this environment and it’s a fun menu. It’s something that we’re able to execute and get it out of the kitchen in timely manner, and it’s clean. People obviously are active and don’t want to feel overstuffed. I’ve been proud of the work of the entire team,” stated Garland.

The menu is designed to be both classic and creative, with just the right amount of imagination to give patrons the feeling they’re at a “special” place. Garland and his staff hand-pick produce to ensure that only the finest food is served at his restaurants. Wild-caught and sustainable seafood and all natural meats are brought into the Tennis Garden daily, and their wine program features small-production, domestic and imported wines, as well as organic and natural wines, craft cocktails and local beers.

Porta Via at the BNP Paribas Open offers a unique, full-service food, drink and cocktail menu crafted especially for the Open. Porta Via’s BNP Paribas cocktail program features eight signature cocktails, including La Piña Picante (Dobel tequila, house-infused with jalapeño agave, pineapple, and lime juice); the Desert Spritz, with Aperol, gin, grapefruit, elderflower and prosecco; and the Rumor Rosé Awakening, with Rumor Rosé, gin, basil, grapefruit; lemon, and elderflower.

The temporary, full-service restaurant and bar features favorites like the miso-glazed Chilean seabass with sautéed bok choy, sticky rice, toasted sesame, and scallions; grilled Ōra King salmon with roasted organic market vegetables, and organic brown rice; the New England Lobster Roll—deshelled Maine lobster on a toasted brioche bun and house-made potato chips; fried calamari; and plenty of veggie/vegan options including a vegan burger; butternut squash ravioli and their legendary Porta Via salad comprising organic butter lettuce, shaved sweet onion, fresh dill and chervil, avocado and French feta, champagne shallot vinaigrette. Finally, for the high rollers, Porta Via also caviar service.

“I first came to the BNP Paribas Open as a tennis fan, Garland recalls. “I play tennis and I have a 21-year-old son. We’ve been coming here for ten years and this is our favorite week of the year. We’ve been doing father and son trips for many years. When I was building out my restaurant in Palm Desert two years ago, I told the tournament director at the time what a big fan I was and that I’m building this restaurant. And two years later, I got a call inviting me to a meeting, which was awesome. We plan to be back next year for sure. Even though there’s a lot of work going into for only twelve days, if you’re a fan of tennis and the environment, and have been to our restaurant in the neighborhood, it’s well worth it. This is why we want to get involved,” he concludes.

Porta Via at the Tennis Garden is first come, first served. To dine at the Porta Via Palm Desert location at the Shops on El Paseo, make a reservation at or