Thursday


Beefsteak
69930 Highway 111
Rancho Mirage, Ca. 92270
760 328 9814

The Scene: Downtown very chic
Cuisine: nouvelle California
Must Try: Organic Beefsteak Tomato Tartar
Star Rating: 3
Best Dish: White Corn & Lobster Bisque



A Mirage in the Desert—We don’t have a beef with “BEEFSTEAK”

Tucked away in Rancho Mirage’s “design center” an upscale shopping center called The Atrium, Chef/Owner Eric Wadlund has broken the curse of this venue (formerly mediocre Biga and then noisy and dark Peters) by creating one of the deserts best and newest eateries.

We all love a weekend away in the Palm Springs area, but for far too long our dining choices have been a sea of mediocrity, dotted with a few lifeboats of upscale alternatives. As you know by now, The Dining Duo always makes it a point to visit a restaurant at least three times before casting judgment, but in this case, we’ve visited Beefsteak at least a half dozen times because it’s such a treat. This new addition to Highway 111 has finally brought the desert a fine dining choice right smack between Palm Springs and La Quinta.

Open 5pm to 10pm every day but Monday, come rain (okay, not much of this in the desert) or shine, Mr. Wadlund was sensitive to the fact that young folks like to dine at all times, and not necessarily at 6pm for the early bird special, followed by bed time shortly thereafter. A great pick for post-movie dining, accessibility from The River in Rancho Mirage, or the Mary Pickford Theatres in Cathedral City is simple, and the parking is plentiful and easy.

The moment you walk in, the friendly staff greets you; Rafael the bartender is front row center with a friendly hello and Darrell is the welcoming maitre d’, always willing to find you that perfect table. Make certain to ask for Thomas, the ubiquitous waiter extraordinaire (you’ll also find him serving at Cuistot).

The milieu hasn’t changed much since the last incarnation, but it’s now quiet and elegant, seating about 100 folks, with capacity for 130. There is a new wine room, which reflects the enjoyably broad spectrum of wines available. Although there is a corkage fee of $20 if you bring your own, management will waive that if order the same bottle of wine on the menu, which is a nice touch for a typical policy.

So where’s the Beef? Not necessarily on or definitely not with the menu; the name comes from Chef’s homage to the beefsteak tomato and produce that comes natively from the Coachella Valley. In fact, one of his signature dishes—which is just divine—is the organic beefsteak tomato tartar, which is a mélange of vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes, ricotta cheese, tarragon and olive oil (well worth the $12). That said, our Chef has spent a great deal of his career in chophouses, and as a result, he ages, cures and cuts all of his own top grades of meat. In fact, one of our friends who we dined with proclaimed that their Beef Steak, the bone in strip steak served with their incomparable truffle French fries at $39, was the best steak they had ever eaten.

Do not miss the White Corn and Lobster Bisque that Michael has enjoyed so much he’s had it on every occasion we’ve dined there; it is always superb, a wonderful combination of white corn and lobster and served piping hot. Another favorite is Eric’s Crab Cakes, at $15, loaded with crab and which fall apart as we enjoy them, a sign of a great crab cake.

The desserts are varied, but we particularly enjoyed the homemade ice creams. Our favorite was the creamy chocolate malt, but the blackberry was a close second finish. However, the best part is that whether or not you order dessert, Chef delivers some homemade delicious chocolate cookies (second only to “Scott’s Dots”, Scott’s own creations) for no charge; he’ll even give you the recipe. “I think everybody should get a little present,” says Chef Eric proudly, and we agree. It makes you overlook the little present of the bill, which is a bit pricey for desert standards, but you wouldn’t blink an eye if this fabulous restaurant were in L.A. Thank you Eric for creating this delightful mirage in an otherwise dry desert of choices.

* * *

The Dining Duo can be reached at TheDiningDuo@aol.com ; feel free to send us suggestions for new restaurants to review! If you suggest it, we’ll mention you in the article.

Please send this www.thediningduo.blogspot.com link to all your friends and family who love to eat well. They’ll thank you, and we thank you!


Review meals are paid for by The Dining Duo.

Posted by The Dining Duo | 3:24 PM | , , , , | 0 comments »

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