With Palm Springs slowly re-opening after some initial premature false starts, the time had come for my husband and I to put our proverbial toes in the water and see what dining out in a global pandemic was all about. I have written about how eating out is one of my greatest pleasures in life, and it is time I learned how to as Auntie Mame would say “live, live, LIVE”.
It has been a while since I last visited Trio Restaurant, even though it is “Where Palm Springs Eats”. With so many amazing restaurants in the Coachella Valley even good ones get pushed to the back burner sometimes. Trio, with its definitive orange color scheme, located in the uptown design district, has always been a place to spot a celebrity, meet up with friends and enjoy well-made food that mirrors the Palm Springs lifestyle. With their corner location and small patio area, Trio can now seat 80 people—less than half of the 200 they were able to seat when indoor dining was allowed. Most are two-tops, but they have a few tables where up to six guests can eat in compliance with Palm Springs city ordinance. Besides locating the tables six feet apart, as required by law, they have also staggered high tops and low tops giving people a greater sense of space then they might have felt otherwise. Although it was approximately 110° when we sat down, with the misters iin full effect and the sun setting behind the mountain, it was very comfortable. Once our nights cool down a bit it will be positively lovely.
The first thing you will notice when dining at Trio is that they have used one side of the menu to describe what they are doing to keep you safe. The comprehensive list explains to locals and tourists what they should expect when dining out in the COVID era. I found this very reassuring, and for people visiting from out of town who may or may not know the Palm Springs specific rules, I think it is very helpful.
We sat outside at one of the high tops under the misters. It was very comfortable and exciting to be simultaneously among people but still apart from them. Our masked waiter came to the table and gave us a quick rundown of what we could expect, also letting us know it was Wine Wednesday and all bottles were 25% off. Summer is the season for chilled rosé, so I ordered a bottle of the Domaines Sumiere. This simple thirst quencher is pale pink in color and fairly dry, with hints of melon and citrus. It was just lovely. The list price of $30 a bottle was perfect for this delightful first evening out.
Because I wanted to eat things that I could not prepare at home, we started with one of my favorite dishes at Trio: Salt and Pepper Calamari, crispy and chewy just the way I like them. With a sweet chili ponzu sauce, this is always a hit. I also love the Trio Wedge Salad. Iceberg lettuce serves as the perfect vehicle for transporting the tart and funky gorgonzola, bright red onions, crisp bacon and creamy dressing from the plate to my mouth.
My husband had the seafood fettuccine. Hunks of main lobster and Baja shrimp melded delightfully with the earthy bitterness of the asparagus all in a light tomato cream sauce over a pile of perfectly cooked fettuccini noodles.
I had been craving scallops, and Trio’s did not disappoint. Four plump, perfectly seared scallops over a rich and silky corn puree were just what I needed. Salty, pillowy and crisp fingerling potatoes along with crunchy pancetta gave this dish depth, richness and tons of umami. This dish was everything I could have hoped for.
If you are not feeling like seafood, the Trio burger is always a favorite. Juicy and delicious with a brioche bun and crispy French Fries. Who doesn’t love a good burger? Feel like sticking to all vegetables? Trio has partnered with CV Harvest Box to bring boxes of fresh produce to Coachella Valley during the pandemic. Each week the chefs create a new dish based on what is fresh and in season. This is a great way for restaurants and the public to support our local farmers.
Trio was a wonderful way to reengage with dining out for me. The staff, attention to detail and exquisite food made me feel like eating out, although different then before, can start to become part of my new normal.
Trio Palm Springs
707 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Monday – Thursday: 3pm – 10pm
Friday: 3pm – 11pm
Saturday: 8am – 11 pm
Sunday: 8am – 10 pm