By Crystal Harrell
Having recently commemorated a 14-year milestone with a full interior renovation, alongside a menu designed to energize a new culinary adventure, TRIO on North Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs is a culinary powerhouse of flavor and downtown fun.
When Tony Marchese opened TRIO in 2009, Palm Springs held a reputation as a seasonal vacationer’s paradise for sun and fun. Fast forward to 2024, the city and the community have grown and evolved with more full-time residents, year-round tourism, and sophisticated hotels and restaurants.
“We really want to bring people back in connection to the table. For years, we all went to our phone, looked at the QR code and we weren’t talking to each other. I really want to preserve that connection to the table with really good California cuisine and to just let guests have fun with each other,” expressed Marchese.
Palm Springs is renowned as a haven for mid-century modern design, and TRIO is no exception. The notable building, with travertine exterior, was coined the Turonnet Building in 1953. It was designed by renowned midcentury modernists, and architects, John Porter Clark and Albert Frey. Later to become a bank, the original interior safe remains near the entrance.
With deference to a Modernism sensibility, the space has been restyled with the inclusion of light grey walls, warm woods, and contemporary lighting fixtures to reflect the design sensibility of the era. The ambience is not only what sets TRIO apart from other restaurants, but the choice to use local farm fresh ingredients.
”Not a lot of us in the community are buying local. We want to be one step ahead of everybody else,” shared Marchese.
The heart and soul of TRIO’s menu is firmly rooted in California, shining a light on the beautiful ingredients grown in the region’s vibrant farm scene and the products found from land to sea across the state.
The menu is guided by Executive Chef Jeremy Loomis. A Michigan native, Jeremy moved to San Diego in 2011 where he spent the past eleven years. He worked with Chef Brian Malarkey (Seersucker, Herb & Wood), Top of the Market seafood restaurant, then as corporate chef for the six restaurants of Fish Market Restaurants Inc. Arriving to the Coachella Valley in 2022, Jeremy’s cooking is focused on locality and seasonality to showcase the array of high-quality ingredients gleaned from California’s prolific ranchers, farmers, and fishermen. His vegetable forward menu reflects the great melting pot of the state’s cultures and cuisines presented in a modern, yet approachable fashion.
“I was learning the ropes of a new city and the expectation when I moved from San Diego. I was really trying to figure out the taste and style and then after seeing my way through the first season, I realized that maybe it was time to create an evolution. So Tony and I talked about it and came to the result of where we’re at now. We just rebranded and kind of relaunched in October,” said Loomis.
Jeremy intends for dishes to be shared around the table to weave an interactive experience. The meal kicks off with starters like house made biscuits, Kampachi Crudo, A5 Beef Carpaccio, Crab Croquettes. Meat and seafood mains like the Tomahawk Pork Chop, Jidori Half Chicken, Scottish Salmon, Diver Scallops, and Wagyu NY Strip Steak, build the framework. House-made pastas and of-the-moment vegetables make complementary additions.
“As the year progresses, the menu is going to change with the season. When guests come and join us every couple of months, you’re going to see something new. It’s a new flavor experience every season,”shared Loomis.
Coachella Valley Weekly got to partake in an evening dining experience at TRIO, served by the courteous and knowledgable Dominic Peterson Holmes, whose recommendations guided the culinary journey for the night.
The Forever Marilyn signature cocktail provided a sweetly smooth compliment to the courses with a pep of Palm Springs-tinged strawberry vodka puree. The A5 Beef Carpaccio as an appetizer prepared the palate for a textured experience with seasonings blending together in perfect harmony. The Jidori Half Chicken packs a flavorful punch for a filling and satisfying entree.
And if you’re looking for that picture-perfect first cut experience, the egg running out of the large single house-made raviolo filled with ricotta, spinach, brown butter, Grana Padano cheese and Italian black truffle is a colorful display of artful presentation.
TRIO restaurant hours are Sunday-Thursday from 4 p.m.-9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Happy Hour is offered daily from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. To make a reservation, call (760) 864-8746.