Tuesday, April 16, 2013

LULU California Bistro, 200 S. Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, Ca

At Palm Springs newest and hippest restaurant, Lulu California Bistro, talent, expertise and a passion for great food combine to produce a captivating California Bistro dining experience.

We arrived at LULU on a Saturday morning for a sunny sidewalk breakfast on the same weekend as Coachella Arts Festival so the people watching was as fabulous as our brunch. This is a very stylish and popular eatery in downtown Palm Springs.  Very large with seating on several levels of mezzanine and a large sidewalk terrace, Nicely decorated with a modern flair.  Huge bar and terrific service. The real star here is the menu:

LULU Bistro Menu

They have a great happy hour that lasts for 12 hours each day and an award winning Sunday brunch. I had the Seaside Benedict. An English muffin topped with lobster, crab and gulf shrimp. Two perfectly poached eggs and finished with hollandaise. Served with a choice of hash browns or home fries. A great deal at $15.99. Hubs had the Cobb Omelet.  Ham, chicken, tomatoes, bacon, avocado, green onions and bleu cheese. And less than $10.00. The menu prices are very reasonable for the quality of the food and great ambiance.

One of their specialties is the three course prix fixe menu served daily from $15.99 starting at 3PM.

I would rate LULU Bistro as a must if you are in the Palm Springs area. The center of downtown action and a very happening place.  Visit their website here.......LULU California Bistro

Monday, April 15, 2013

Nicolinos Italian Restaurant, 35325 Date Palm Dr. Ste 111 Cathedral City, CA 92234

For my first review, I am taking you to one of my favorite vacation locations, the Coachella Valley of California and the Palm Springs area. Nicolinos is one of the restaurants that we make a point of visiting on each trip to the desert on our annual vacation.  Located in a strip mall on Date Palm Drive in Cathedral City.  If you are looking for a hip and trendy Palm Springs bistro, this is not the place for you.  The décor is a bit tired and dated, and you probably won't spot any celebrities dining there. However, if what you are looking for is a marvelous Italian dining experience and great food then this is the place for you.  The prices are midrange. Our dinner for 2 people with wine was less than $100.00

Almost immediately we were served a hot loaf of crusty bread with the most delicious garlic butter. I could have sipped my wine and eaten the bread, skipping dinner entirely!

I started with the wedge salad, tasty and very fresh with blue cheese and bacon bits. My husband opted for the  Homemade Minestrone.  He claims that it is the best he has tasted. Service was attentive and we were not rushed through the courses. 

For our main course we both chose the Veal Picatta entrée.  Offered with a side of spaghetti marinara, I chose Pasta Olio, olive oil and herbs tossed with spaghetti instead. Hubby stuck with the marinara.
The veal was tender and very flavorful, with a nice presentation.

I have enjoyed their Cioppino and Shrimp Scampi on previous visits as well. View the complete menu here: Nicolinos Dinner Menu

The wine list is unimpressive, but a selection of tasty mid range wines are available. I had the Kendall Jackson Chardonnay which is my go-to on the lower end for consistency.  Hubs had the house Chianti and enjoyed it as well.  The owners Mark and Rhonda were both making the rounds in the dining room, greeting every table. There seemed to be quite a few regular diners. That is usually a good sign of consistent good food.  The place is homey and inviting.  We skipped the deserts after filling up on bread and pasta, but they looked very tasty and the table next to us was enjoying their Cannoli.

They make it good, they give you plenty and they don't charge a lot, so all in all a great dinner out.