Southern Italian at its Finest at Enzo’s Bistro & Bar

When one dreams about authentic Italian cuisine, they probably envision Nonna stirring up a pot of homemade spaghetti sauce somewhere in Italy. What if I told you that kind of dining is within reach…in the California desert? At Enzo’s Bistro and Bar, that’s certainly the case.

Brand new to the Greater Palm Springs area, I was fortunate to attend an exclusive media tasting to celebrate Enzo’s grand opening. Best part? This meant a return trip to Palm Springs. The ultimate desert resort destination of California. Just under two hours from Los Angeles, it’s no wonder why it’s been a haven to the stars for decades.

Enzo’s Bistro and Bar’s Grand Opening

The food and drink circuit in Palm Springs and greater area just keeps getting better. Enzo’s Bistro and Bar is owned by iconic west coast restaurateur Hal Griffith, and the visions of father and son chefs, Robert and Nick Novello. The Novello men are no strangers to the restaurant industry; Chef Robert has worked for 34 years as California Operations Manager for Great Western Pacific, the parent company of Enzo’s. Chef Nick followed in his dad’s footsteps and joined the company in 2018. With dreams of creating a space that felt more like home than another restaurant, the team set their sights on none other than the building that was once home to Palm Desert’s Dominick’s.

Dominick’s was an Italian spot famous for having such notable diners as Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra. I stood and sipped cocktails where Lucy had. How cool is that? Given the Hollywood history of the hot spot, Enzo’s pays homage with an extensive cocktail list and lively bar scene. I started the evening with a Sicilian Caddy, the Enzo’s spin on a classic margarita on the rocks. It was sweet, sour and strong. I bet that’s how Marilyn Monroe liked them as well, no? Another drink sure to be a crowd-pleaser is the Fuzzy Mo, a marriage of peach vodka and orange liqueur with a splash of cranberry and lime juice.

Arriving to Enzo’s. (c) Mary Farah
Event space. (c) Mary Farah
Gorgeous patio. (c) Mary Farah
Sicilian Caddy. (c) Mary Farah
Gluten-Free at Enzo’s

With my cocktail in hand, we enjoyed a tour of the new restaurant and its gorgeous event space. While Enzo’s features an extensive menu, they’re also ideal for holding a private event or meeting. With 10,000 square feet, the bistro and bar sit 308 and up to 80 for a private event. Given the (usually) sunny and warm weather, it’s almost always a good time to get cozy on one of their two patios for outdoor dining.

With traditional Southern Italian dishes like homemade pizzas and pasta, I was wondering how a gluten-free gal would fare. The Chefs went above and beyond to ensure I got to enjoy my meal just as much as everyone else. With several seafood dishes, there was plenty for me to be satisfied. If you’re meat or dairy-free, definitely take a look at their salads and talk with your server. The staff truly treats you as if you’ve stopped over for a meal at their home and will assist in accommodating you.

Visit Enzo’s in Rancho Mirage

Having much Italian heritage in me, I was thrilled when Chef Nick presented me with a tiramisu dessert. While I’d only had the sweet treat heated, it’s a frozen plate at Enzo’s. It gave a whole new taste to one of my favorites and developed such a smooth, velvet-y texture with each bite.

Pappardelle Bolognese. (c) Mary Farah
Swordfish entree. (c) Mary Farah
Frank Sinatra back in the day at Dominick’s. (c) Mary Farah

If you’re looking for a fantastic happy hour to get the evening started, Enzo’s hosts one daily from three to seven in their bar. With their bar patio, enjoy a sunset as you sip a cocktail or glass of wine.

Staying at Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa

After an evening with IFWTWA colleagues and enjoying my share of Sicilian Caddies, I was fortunate that my home sweet home was just around the corner. The Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort offers the ultimate escape from the world with a golf course, luxurious suites, day spa, restaurants and bars, even a water slide park. Given the variety of activities at your disposal, the resort is an ideal choice no matter what kind of Palm Springs vacation you’re looking for.

After my leisurely drive from LA, I needed to recharge after the trek. My suite was gorgeous and overlooked the golf course. The Spanish architecture throughout the grounds made me feel like I was in the Riviera. The room was spacious and just what I needed before and after my wonderful evening at Enzo’s.

Palm Springs is quickly winning over my heart. Thank you so much to my friends at Osborne Northwest PR for having me. See you there soon? xo

Stunning views at the Omni Resort. (c) Mary Farah
Gorgeous suite. (c) Mary Farah
Lobby at the resort. (c) Mary Farah

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