With the heat of the summer months almost past us, we look forward to the fall when many of outr favorite restaurants come back alive with tastes that we yeared for. Here are ten restaurants missed during the summer of 2012.
EL GALLITO HOMEMADE MEXICAN FOOD 68-820 Grove St. Cathedral City 760-328-7794
Family-run for the past 34 years, El Gallito was closed for six weeks during the summer. The restaurant is outfitted in festive Mexican decor. Their simple recipe: fresh authentic food at reasonable prices. The homemade fare and colorful atmosphere are sure to satisfy Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. They just re-opened Labor Day Weekend.
TYLER’S BURGERS 149 S. Indian Canyon Drive Palm Springs 760-325-2990
Tyler’s took a six-week hiatus during the summer, and as soon as they reopened Labor Day Weekend, the restaurant was slammed with patrons. Most go for the fabulous burgers, but their chicken salad and homemade potato salad are top sellers, too! Some fans of Tyler’s crave the root beer floats and some the old-fashioned malts. Tyler’s became a reality in 1996 in a small building that used to house the Greyhound bus depot in 1936. With fresh meat served on a toasted bun, they have won numerous awards for the best burger hangout in the desert.
WALLY’S DESERT TURTLE 71-775 Highway 111 Rancho Mirage 760-568-9321
Wally’s Desert Turtle is a Rancho Mirage tradition of fine dining. Guests are there to savor unforgettable continental cuisine at one of the finest and most exquisite restaurants in the valley. Wally’s serves dinner nightly with live piano entertainment. Located across the street from The River, Wally’s impeccable service awaits. Their shrimp cocktail is one of the best. A short drive from downtown Palm Springs, Wally’s will officially reopen for the season on Oct. 19.
JOHNNY COSTA’S RISTORANTE 440 S. Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs 760-325-4556
Family-owned and operated since 1976, Johnny Costa’s Ristorante is known for authentic, delicious Italian food and a warm, nostalgic atmosphere, with dark wood, soft lightning and candle-lit tables. Johnny Costa, the founder, has been a chef and restaurant owner for more than 35 years. He was one of the few chefs ever invited to cook for Frank Sinatra at his estate. Vince Costa continues the family tradition perfectly executing the family recipes and delighting customers with a dining experience that is amazing. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. and closed Sundays. They took seven weeks off during the summer months and reopened Labor Day weekend.
JIAO 515 N. Palm Canyon Drive B-10 Palm Springs 760-321-1424
Located within The Corridor Center at Alejo Road in downtown Palm Springs, Jiao is a new place that opened mid-April of 2012. You are in for a real treat with a great Asian dining experience, and you must sample all the various sauces they offer. The patio faces Palm Canyon Drive and is great for people-watching. The same owners of nearby Birba and Cheeky’s also operate Jiao. Folks rave about the calamari and the soft-shell crabs. Gustavo is your host and manager and would be happy to point out the house specialties. If you choose to be seated inside the café, look forward to bistro counter service. Jiao — Chinese for “female dragon” — is open for lunch and dinner. They also feature live music and art shows. They took a five-week summer break along with their sister restaurants and are all up and running for your pleasure.
LE VALLAURIS 385 West Tahquitz Canyon Way Palm Springs 760-325-5059
A Palm Springs culinary landmark, located across the street from the Palm Springs Art Museum, Le Vallauris features Mediterranean, French and California cuisine. They closed in July and will reopen September 14 for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Lunch resumes October 1. Some consider Le Vallauris one of the best restaurants in the world. The private outdoor patio gives you the feel of dining on a Hollywood movie set. Try the lobster ravioli as an appetizer or an entree. For excellent wine pairings ask your server.
VICKY’S OF SANTA FE 45-100 Club Drive Indian Wells 760-345-9770
An Indian Wells dining and entertainment icon for more than 20 years, Vicky’s of Santa Fe has been known for its exceptional food, generous portions and high-energy live entertainment. Open since 1989 with 5 entrees, Vicky’s menu has grown to more than 20 entrees, plus an unbeatable bar menu and nightly specials. They closed on June 23 and reopened on September 7. With a rich classic look, Vicky’s comfortable dark wood chairs cozy up to tables polished to a shimmering patina. Hand-cut copper lights drop from the wood ceiling, adding to the warm inviting glow.
COPLEY’S 621 N. Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs 760-327-9555
Copley’s reopened on August 31, 2012, with Happy hour served at the bar and lounge only from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesday through Thursday only, featuring $5 well drinks, house wines and selected martinis and $15 menu items, such as a grilled Kobe burger or English-style fish and chips. Copley’s is an award-winning restaurant serving upscale American cuisine infused with traces of tropical and European flavors. Dine outside on the patio with stunning mountain views or enjoy the inviting atmosphere indoors. Executive Chef Andre Copley has an extensive 20 year culinary background at five-star restaurants and hotels across the world.
CASTELLI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT 73-098 Hwy 111 at Monterey Palm Desert 760-773-3365
Italian cuisine at its very best is located in the heart of Palm Desert with warm and intimate atmosphere. Soft lighting, lace curtains, dark warm woods, fresh flowers and greenery set the tone for a wonderful dining experience. Open from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. nightly with live piano entertainment, Castelli’s serves homemade garlic bread that is to die. Also try the signature pork chops, 18 oz. rib eye veal chop or the Godfather’s Dinner, which they say is a “must.” With the McCallum Theatre celebrating its 25th anniversary, keep in mind the restaurant is just a hop, skip and jump away.
NATIVE FOODS CAFE 1775 East Palm Canyon Drive #135 Palm Springs 760-416-0070
Located within the Smoketree Village, Native Foods Cafe serves vegan and vegetarian foods. Native nachos are a favorite starter with homemade corn tortilla chips covered in black beans, native taco meat, native chipotle cream, native cheese, salsa fresca and guacamole, topped with corn, green onions and cilantro — just one reason why this place is talked about so much. Organic, healthy and delicious food has been keeping folks returning since its opening in 1994. This cafe serves fresh food every day of the week with uniquely delicious burgers salads, sandwiches, personal pizzas and many wonderful desserts. Native Foods is currently undergoing expansion and remodeling and will reopen at the end of October 2012.
For more information please see the list of Tyler’s palm springs potato salad recipe