The fall season may not bring brilliant kaleidoscopic foliage to the Palm Springs Valley, but in many of Rancho Mirage’s best kitchens, it brings change of a culinary sort. To wit, Chef Juan Leon of Pinzimini, the signature restaurant of the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, has just released his new autumnal menu for hungry, interested parties to sample.
New appetizers include a Dungeness crab and artichoke cassoulet, or roasted eggplant with grape tomato and pesto fontina cheese. In the salad department, Di Stefano Burrata is served with roaster butternut squash, Tuscan kale, extra virgin olive oil, basil, and Black Mission figs poached in red wine—the whole sprinkled with a pomegranate vinaigrette. Or try the roasted candy, yellow, and red baby beets salad with resort-grown grapefruit, pumpkin seeds, shaved fennel, butter lettuce, and toasted coriander dressing. There’s even a new pizza baking in Pinzimini’s authentic pizza oven: the Linguica, which boasts smoke-cured pork sausage, oregano, kalamata olives, pickled pepperoncini, saffron, feta cheese, and a béchamel sauce.
If pasta is more your speed, you might want to try the shrimp scampi, with garlic, pepper flakes, tomatoes, Magnolia Grove chardonnay, handmade linguini, and a root vegetable salad. Or the crispy lasagna, made of beef Bolognese, grilled zucchini, pomodoro sauce, and basil oil.
Meat lovers will feel pulled in the direction of chicken Marsala (mushrooms, butter, herbs, potato puree, market vegetables) or the sweet garlic-balsamic braised wild boar (casarecci pasta, Brussels sprouts, portobello mushrooms, Meyer lemon gremolata). Feeling fishy? The new cioppino can’t be beat, what with its fresh clams, shrimp, bay scallops, mussels, salmon, cili flakes, Bollini wine, San Marzana tomato, garden basil, and saffron-herb bruschetta.
If you have room, why not add on a side of roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta, caramelized onions, balsamic, and olive oil? Or pesto mashed potatoes? I mean, come on. Pesto. Mashed. Potatoes. Yeah, that’s my mouth you hear watering.
Oh, and to sweetly top it all off? Chef’s chocolate soufflé with sour cream ice cream and mixed fresh berries. Bon appétit! www.westinmissionhills.com