After an afternoon of shopping at The River or before you catch a movie at the theater next door, pop into The Cheesecake Factory for some American classics. This popular chain's New American menu features a broad array of dishes, from avocado egg rolls and Mexican chicken pizza to Jamaican shrimp and shepherd's pie. However, desserts really steal the show, and it's easy to see why once you've taken a gander at Linda's fudge cake, white chocolate raspberry truffle, chocolate mousse cheesecake, and coffee Heath Bar Crunch cheesecake. The Cheesecake Factory is the perfect place for a late-afternoon respite, accompanied by gourmet coffee, good conversation, and, of course, one of 40 delectable cheesecakes.
Recommended for Rancho Mirage's Best Restaurants because: The Cheesecake Factory serves American classics and more than 40 varieties of cheesecake, making it popular with those who have a sweet tooth.
Marissa's expert tip: Park in the lot by Babe's Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse for an easier time finding parking.
This steakhouse nestled in the heart of The River shopping center is known for its hearty steaks and modern dining atmosphere. Fleming's serves quality cuts of USDA beef, cooked to perfection and served with crisp salads and decadent sides. The restaurant also offers an extensive seafood menu, including fresh crab legs, shrimp cocktails and sweet chili calamari. Wine lovers shouldn't miss the "Fleming's 100," a wine list that boasts 100 varieties of wines served by the glass. For a steakhouse experience that doesn't break the bank, be sure to stop by Fleming's during their popular happy hour, when you can enjoy popular menu items like the prime rib burger ($14) for less than half price.
Recommended for Rancho Mirage's Best Restaurants because: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse offers quality cuts of USDA beef and a wine list with 100 varieties served by the glass.
Marissa's expert tip: Complement your steak with a round of dessert. The lava cake is Fleming's signature dessert and shouldn't be missed.
If you've ever wanted to play with your food, head to Kobe Japanese Steak House for dinner and a show. This Japanese grill and sushi bar offers all of the fun of teppanyaki-style cooking, and you'll have a front row seat to all of the fun. Tables are set around chefs who create fun dishes like a beating rice heart or volcano onion. Of course, the experience wouldn't be complete without the chef flinging a tender shrimp into your mouth with perfect precision. Chicken, beef and seafood options are available. There's also an extensive sushi menu, should you be in the mood.
Recommended for Rancho Mirage's Best Restaurants because: Kobe Japanese Steak House is a teppanyaki-style Japanese restaurant where the chef entertainment rivals the food.
Marissa's expert tip: Head to Kobe in the late afternoon to take advantage of the early bird specials, which will save you a few bucks on your teppanyaki meal.
With a focus on good barbecue and good beer, Babe's is a popular Western-themed restaurant in Rancho Mirage. From St. Louis-style ribs to pulled pork sandwiches, Babe's has you covered on all the barbecue fronts. You'll find pork, beef and chicken options in a variety of finger-licking good styles, as well as homestyle sides like cornbread, coleslaw and sweet potato fries. Don't miss the homemade rhubarb pie, which is made fresh in the kitchen. The bar also focuses heavily on craft beers from the award-winning in-house brewery and from top breweries around the world. Babe's Honey Blonde is one of the most popular beers, while the Blackfin lager pleases more discerning beer palettes.
Recommended for Rancho Mirage's Best Restaurants because: Babe's Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse offers some of the best barbecue in the desert. They also brew award-winning beers in-house.
Marissa's expert tip: Head in on a Monday for Craft Beer Appreciation Night. You'll get half off all craft beers and a special beer-themed dinner plate.
Located at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, Pinzimini is an upscale restaurant serving Tuscan-style cuisine. Opened in 2012 and headed by Chef Shawn Aoki, a long-time chef at the Westin property, Pinzimini serves up Italian entrees and small plates like antipastos, pizzas and paninis. Start your meal on a high note with a charcuterie plate and a glass of red wine, then dig into a plate of polpo, or grilled octopus. If small plates sound good, you can opt for the Chef's Tasting Platter, which comes with the chef's choice of six plates. The linguine alla frute di mare and porterhouse for two are also solid choices. Pinzimini is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Recommended for Rancho Mirage's Best Restaurants because: Pinzimini serves great Tuscan-inspired cuisine with an upscale and intimate ambiance to match.
Marissa's expert tip: Pinzimini's patio is pooch-friendly, so feel free to bring your dog along for dinner.
A much-loved standard for many years, Shame on the Moon offers upscale dining without off-the-chart prices. You'll find an intimate dining room inside, perfectly matched by the outstanding service. Locals return again and again for the excellent menu, which includes perfected takes on classic comfort foods. You'll find a spicy penne pasta with andouille and prawns, sauteed calf's liver with bourbon glaze, grilled filet mignon with blue cheese, and seared ahi with wasabi mashed potatoes. Also on the menu are homemade meatloaf, fresh fish, veal and duck. A good selection of West Coast wines is available, along with a full bar.
Recommended for Rancho Mirage's Best Restaurants because: Shame on the Moon offers gourmet comfort food in an intimate and upscale atmosphere. There is also a great wine list.
Marissa's expert tip: Don't think twice: order the signature liver and onions, one of Shame on the Moon's most popular dishes.
Under the masterful tutelage of chef Roy Yamaguchi, this restaurant's menu is a skillful fusion of European and Asian cuisines. Here, Roy's standards are joined by dishes created by the resident chef, and the place has a reputation for lively ambience, attentive service, and incredible food. A devotion to impeccably fresh ingredients and a penchant for artistic presentation characterizes the menu, full of temptations like Hawaiian-style misoyaki butterfish, tri-peppercorn-crusted ahi, and ginger-steamed Chinese chicken. You can also take your pick from the steak, lamb, pasta, pork, and duck dishes. Nightly specials make an appearance too, and the signature chocolate soufflé is absolutely sinful.
Recommended for Rancho Mirage's Best Restaurants because: Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine is owned by chef Roy Yamaguchi, who serves an upscale Hawaiian menu. The seafood is unmatched.
Marissa's expert tip: Try the Roasted Macadamia Nut Mahi Mahi, one of Roy's signature Hawaiian dishes.
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 Rancho Mirage's Best Restaurants 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.