Ritz State Fare

Truth be told, I’ve been seen dining at The Ritz-Carlton’s State Fare Bar & Kitchen a lot. It’s not that I don’t like to spread the love around to all of my favorite Rancho Mirage restaurants, but somehow I just keep finding myself heading up that Frank Sinatra Drive hill and luxuriating in the comfortable setting that’s been drawing discerning diners to this eatery perched above the Palm Springs Valley since it opened about a year ago. Basically, this just means most of my meals are taken outside the home.

Operating pretty much non-stop for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week (with a brief afternoon respite to reset the restaurant for the evening), State Fare has three mealtime offerings that are each quite satisfying. The entire menu has grown and matured since its early days, and with so many amazing new dishes I’m forced to return often with a variety of friends.

An early breakfast before a day of doing errands might start with rich blueberry ricotta pancakes or an awesome omelet stuffed with all my favorites. Lunch is luscious, and I’m partial to sitting on the perfectly shaded patio as I dine al fresco with some of the newest menu offerings, including the grilled flat iron steak frites, the Pacific swordfish flavored with Tandoori spices and served with a refreshing cucumber and fennel salad, or the State Fare prime burger on a pretzel bun with Chef Lopez’s famous onion-bacon jam. Dinner is always a delight, with a wide selection of both lighter fare and awesome appetizers, and entrees that include seasonal options like ale-braised short ribs, arctic char, and an amazing orecchiette pasta dish with Italian sausage, Swiss chard, and dry Jack cheese.

It should come as no surprise that fare this fabulous is sourced as close to home as possible, and that Lopez and his team unearth ingredients from local desert and Southern California vendors. Without a doubt you will taste the freshness. And lest you get thirsty as you dine, don’t despair! State Fare’s creative mixologists have come up with tasty non-alcoholic drinks such as their sparkling Rosemary lemonade, the Carlito (coconut water with pineapple and citrus), and a pomegranate spritz with orange blossom lemon-lime soda. Of course the full-service bar is always available for your favorite cocktail, should you decide to try one of their specialties like the lemongrass mojito or a millon-dollar martini, complete with a mouth-tingling edible Buzz Bud flower. An impressive selection of wines by the glass or bottle are also available.

I suspect that with all the choices available, you’ll find yourself—like me—returning often, and showing this fabulous find of a restaurant off to all your friends. And as a reminder, valet parking is always complimentary for State Fare Bar & Kitchen. See you on the hill! www.ritzcarlton.com/ranchomirage.

Ritz State Fare