Perfecto Pinzimini at Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa

Perfecto Pinzimini at Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa

My reaction to my first dining experience at Rancho Mirage’s new Pinzimini is a resounding, “YES!”  After being teased by tiny tastes at the Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa’s restaurant premiere party a few weeks ago, I had an inkling that this was going to be a winner.  But you never know until you know.  And now I know!

The resort’s executive chef Joel Delmond couldn’t have been smarter than to hire Shawn Aoki as the restaurant chef a year ago to helm the hotel’s newly christened premium restaurant and develop a menu that is sure to delight.  Pinzimini is undeniably an Italian eatery, but don’t let its culinary categorization fool you into thinking you’re in for a red-sauced spaghetti dinner at a checkered tablecloth restaurant.  (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)  The modern-looking, comfortable,  and nicely-lit rooms tips you off that this is fine dining all the way.  And the service provided on this evening by the wonderful Gabriel was extremely knowledgeable—especially given all the many ingredients that Chef Aoki’s amazing dishes include.

My party of hungry eaters started off with a tasty selection of Ceminelli Hand-Crafted Artisan Salamis, and the Chef’s Tasting Platter of Antipasti Misti Della Casa, which included the most amazing brick oven-roasted artichoke hearts, pickled vegetables, and Rogue River Bleu Cheese with handcrafted pancetta and dates.  We then shared a beautifully crispy, thin-crusted pizza with fennel pork sausage and roasted peppers alongside a pasta dish (the Handmade Pappardelle with Bolognese Sauce) before moving on to the main courses.  Of course we were stuffed, but that didn’t stop us from making a dent in the superbly-aged Bistecca Alla Griglia Ribeye, a delectable grilled salmon, and to-die-for lasagna.  Next time I’ll hope to find someone to share the 38-ounce olive oil-marinated Bistecca Alla Fiorentina (porterhouse cut served with sage brown butter) for two.

Truth be told, we had most of the main courses bundled up to go so that we could indulge in one of Pinzimini’s signature desserts, Bombolini (Italian doughnuts) with Lemon Curd.  On what we expected to be a quiet Monday night, this place was hopping.  Make a rezzie and make your way to one of my very new favorite restaurants in the Palm Springs Valley.