Led by Chef Jimmy Schmidt, Morgan's in the Desert is known for its seasonal menus that incorporate fresh produce from the Coachella Valley and beyond. The James Beard-award winning chef is known for his innovative menu offerings, such as pan-roasted maple leaf duck breast. Steak lovers will enjoy Morgan's in the Desert, which is renowned for its thick, quality cuts of beef. Indulge in a juicy porterhouse or a thick New York strip steak--you won't be disappointed. You'll also be pleasantly surprised with classic sides like macaroni and cheese and garlic steak fries. Plus, with the extensive wine menu, its easy to find the perfect wine to match with your dinner choice.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Morgan's in the Desert impresses visitors to the La Quinta Resort with innovative, locally sourced menu items and an unforgettable dining experience.
Marissa's expert tip: Throughout the year, Chef Jimmy Schmidt will create an original prix fixe menu highlighting seasonal offerings. Be sure to ask your server about Chef Schmidt's current special menu.
Since Mastro's opened its doors in the desert, Palm Springs has a new favorite steakhouse. The upscale steakhouse chain opened in Palm Desert's ritzy El Paseo district in late 2011, offering a dining experience with a glamorous, Old Hollywood atmosphere that fits the desert perfectly. Mastro's Steakhouse is well-known for its succulent, hand-cut steaks and fresh seafood dishes. From bone-in T-bones to lobster mashed potatoes, Mastro's is sure to please the pickiest of carnivores. The thick, USDA steaks are cooked to order, but be careful before digging in--steaks are served on 400-degree plates, and a fresh helping of mouthwatering sizzle. Enjoy your cut of choice with a glass of wine from the extensive list, featuring more than 500 varieties from around the world.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Mastro's Steakhouse offers an upscale dining experience on El Paseo with hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood and more than 500 wine varieties.
Marissa's expert tip: Leave room to try one of M Bar's signature cocktails and Mastro's signature warm butter cake.
Renowned throughout the desert for its upscale California cuisine, Cork Tree Restaurant uses local products to bring Chef Herve's creations to life. Start with an organic rainbow beet salad with local dates, then try the demitasse soup tasting, which offers a sample of three soups of the day. For your main course, you can choose from offerings like duck breast and smoked mushroom risotto, Patagonian sauteed sea bass or hibiscus braised boneless short ribs. The superb food offerings are complemented by quality service, excellent presentation and an extensive wine list that features many California wines. The dining room is home to intimate booths for a romantic evening, as well as live entertainment in the evenings. Patio dining and private rooms are also available.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Cork Tree Restaurant creates a fine dining atmosphere with its upscale and wholesome fare, extensive wine list and intimate dining areas.
Marissa's expert tip: Ask for a booth if you're looking for a romantic night with an intimate setting. Booths are separated with fabric for a more private dinner.
Regularly lauded as one of the desert's best steakhouses, LG's gets kudos for its excellent beef and attentive service. The portions at LG's can't be beat, from the 24-ounce porterhouse for its 30-ounce big brother, known as "The Gold Strike 49er." Both porterhouses are cured in an "on premises" dry-age facility, and all cuts are strictly USDA Prime. Steaks are served with a sizzle of butter and can be accompanied by Bearnaise or peppercorn sauce. Other star players at LG's include a Colossal Poupon Lobster Tail, King Crab Legs and oven-roasted Chicken Breast. Meals are complimented by a Caesar salad, tossed fresh at your table side.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: LG's Prime Steakhouse offers one of the desert's finest steakhouse experiences, with excellent cuts of beef and attentive service.
Marissa's expert tip: As one of the desert's top steakhouses, it can be challenging to get a reservation with short notice. Try making a reservation after the dinner rush if you're looking for a same-day or next-day reservation.
Boldly patterned textiles and carpeting, reflective ceilings, expressive artwork, and a tension between light and dark hues add a certain quirky elegance to this estimable hotel restaurant. Located in the famed Parker hotel in South Palm Canyon, dinner at Mister Parker's is sure to impress. Mister Parker's culinary signature is upscale bistro fare with a chic twist, as evidenced by duck confit with truffled potatoes, osso bucco with saffron risotto, beef short ribs, and pistachio-crusted rack of lamb. Choose your favorite main course following a starter of fresh oysters and finish up with a pear and almond tart and a splash of dessert wine.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Mister Parker's is an impressive dining experience with upscale fare and unmatched service, all within one of the desert's best decorated restaurants.
Marissa's expert tip: Grab a seat on the patio for dinner under the stars.
Star power is on call at this Uptown Palm Springs restaurant; not only was it a hangout for Cary Grant, but it's also under the masterful tutelage of celebrity chef Andrew Manion Copley, and it attracts personalities like Anderson Cooper. Diners can't get enough of the romantic, open-air patio in the garden, and the sublime cuisine, informed by Copley's tenure at restaurants across the globe, includes Muscovy duck breast, seared Scottish salmon, lobster pot pie, and tandoori chicken breast. A broad wine list arranged by type promises an appropriate accompaniment. Terrific service is a pleasant perk, as is the onsite herb garden.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Copley's on Palm Canyon offers fine dining in the unmatched surroundings of Cary Grant's former Palm Springs estate.
Marissa's expert tip: Sign up for one of the monthly cooking classes held throughout the season (October through May).
If you're searching for a lunch restaurant soaked in quintessential Palm Springs style, make a reservation at Spencer's Restaurant. This award-winning restaurant in Palm Springs serves American fare influenced by French and Pacific Rim cuisine, and attracts locals, tourists and celebrities alike. At midday, the express lunch option--served with soup or salad, bread, an entree and pastry, is perfect for a filling midday meal. Other options include a lobster club sandwich, wild mushroom ravioli, an Ahi tuna nicoise salad. Reserve a table on the canopied outdoor patio to enjoy a Palm Springs lunch surrounded by Mount San Jacinto, palm trees and sunshine.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Spencer's Restaurant is one of the desert's highest rated dining experiences, thanks to its impeccable service, high-end menu and gorgeous setting against Mount San Jacinto.
Marissa's expert tip: Looking for the perfect setting to get some business done over lunch or have a romantic rendezvous in Palm Springs? There's no better lunch restaurant than Spencer's.
If you've ever wondered where Hollywood stars like Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor dined after shooting their latest films, head to Melvyn's at the Ingleside Inn. No detail was overlooked in the design and decoration of Melvyn's, which exudes old world charm. Guests are given a glimpse of Old Hollywood's glamour as they step back in time when entering this swanky restaurant. The dishes at Melvyn's range are just what you'd imagine Old Blue Eyes himself dined on (think Steak Diane, filet mignon stuffed with oysters and wilted spinach salad) and are served by waiters in classy white jackets. After dinner, grab a Manhattan at the bar, appropriated named Casablanca, and enjoy live music from the piano bar.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Melvyn's Restaurant treats guests to fine dining in its Old Hollywood-style dining room, complete with table-side food preparation and a wait staff in full tuxedos.
Marissa's expert tip: Dress up and bring your dancing shoes. This high-class dining experience spills onto the dance floor in the evening as hits by Elvis and Frank Sinatra ring out from the piano bar.
Le Vallauris is one of the finest culinary destinations in Palm Springs. Located just off Palm Canyon Drive in a historic ranch-style house, Le Vallauris specializes in five-star dining and first-class service. The menu includes upscale dishes like wild boar pate, Maine lobster ravioli and seared whitefish with mustard sauce. Dine inside surrounded by tapestries and Louis XV furnishings or head to the outdoor patio for one of the best al fresco dining options in the desert. Covered by a canopy of lush trees and surrounded by fragrant flower bushes, the outdoor patio is an elegant option for lunch or dinner. Perfect for date night or dinner with friends, Le Vallauris is commonly considered one of the classiest dining options in Palm Springs.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Le Vallauris Restaurant offers the desert's finest dining experience for French cuisine, set in an immaculately French-decorated dining room.
Marissa's expert tip: Learn to make seasonal gourmet dishes from the master chefs themselves at the restaurant's monthly cooking demonstrations. Once a month, the executive chef and head pastry chef create a special menu and demonstrate how to prepare it on the canopied patio.
One of the desert's most-awarded restaurants, Wally's boasts a curious name but promises an impeccable experience. The elegant establishment is given to fine dining, and murals, a mirrored ceiling, and ancient Peruvian artifacts set the scene. This classic restaurant serves a French menu with selections like roasted pheasant breast, seared venison strip loin, escargot, Dungeness crab and lobster ravioli, and imported Dover sole. If you're in the mood for red meat, you'll find plenty of fine steak cuts are available as well. Live music adds to the elegant, moneyed atmosphere. Take note that the restaurant closes seasonally in the summer.
Recommended for Fine Dining because: Wally's Desert Turtle is one of the desert's most-awarded restaurants. It offers fine French cuisine and an upscale dining experience.
Marissa's expert tip: Reservations are a must here, so be sure to plan ahead.