Ever since rooftops started popping up on Rancho Mirage’s Restaurant Row more than four-and-a-half decades ago, the city’s been known as a Palm Springs Valley gastronomic magnet for foodies near and far. Today, the culinary offerings within our borders are nothing if not diverse—from classic standbys such as Lord Fletcher’s (www.lordfletcher.com), Wally’s Desert Turtle (www.wallysdesertturtle.com), and Shame on the Moon (www.shameonthemoon.com) to relative golden newbies such as Catalan Mediterranean Restaurant (www.catalanrestaurant.com), and Fox & Fiddle (www.foxandfiddlecalifornia.com) and Gioia Italian Bistro (www.gioiaitalianbistro.com) at The River.

The newest addition to the Rancho Mirage restaurant family is Haus of Poké (www.hausofpoke.com) in the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center on Highway 111 at Bob Hope Drive. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony, courtesy of the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce’s Rancho Mirage Restaurant Association (www.dineranchomirage.com) was held just last week. Potter and I promise to visit ASAP so that we can return with a full report.

Coming soon to the scene are not only Carnival Restaurant, the next-door-neighbor of newcomer Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club (www.bernies.club), but Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (www.dickeys.com) at the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center. Too early to tell when those two will be open, but rest assured, dear readers, that you will be among the first to know.

And, of course, all of us are waiting with baited breath for the glorious return of beloved Rancho Mirage restaurateurs Barbara and Jerry Keller to The River. Their highly anticipated Acqua California Bistro is going in where bb’s at The River sat recently. That latter restaurant itself took over for the Keller’s long-established Acqua-Pazza California Bistro, which closed its doors in December 2014.

In an interview with The Desert Sun, Jerry Keller divulged that the new eatery will share a menu with its Palm Springs sibling Lulu California Bistro, and that he and Barbara are adding a 4,000-square-foot space that will be used chiefly for major special events, bringing the total indoor footprint to 12,000 square feet. Outdoor seating will also be expanded. Perhaps best of all is a total overhaul of the kitchen, and all-new equipment, which will have an immediate and lasting effect on the food set down at patrons’ tables.

The point of all this, my friends? That Rancho Mirage remains one of the most vibrant and varied places for foodie delights! As always, we wish you bon appétit!

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