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Dining Around The Desert: Porta Via, Palm Desert

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My friend Ambria wrote this article and I thought she did a great job, so why reinvent the wheel? I’ve added my own notes and photos.

This New Palm Desert Restaurant Will Be Your Go-to Dining Destination

Add This Newbie to Your Foodie Bucket List

As you enter through the green front doors flanked by breeze blocks, a vibrant interior is unveiled with brass details, warm millwork and an exquisite terrazzo-tiled floor. Complete with heaters and misters, the patio of Palm Desert’s all-new Porta Via is shaded by a stunning pergola and offers diners a front-row view of the surrounding mountains.

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Credit: George Duchannes

Porta Via at The Shops on El Paseo is the fourth restaurant location for owner Peter Garland. The new addition to Palm Desert fills the 5,000-square-foot space at the corner of El Paseo and Ocotillo Dr, which was previously occupied by Escada. For the restaurant design, Garland partnered with LA Times Top 25 Designer Sophie Goineau to incorporate the midcentury design elements the desert is so famously known for. This is the third time this duo has collaborated on a space, and guests are sure to be smitten by the stunning attention to detail throughout the venue. “A neighborhood restaurant with a world-class feel” is how Garland describes the vibe they embody at Porta Via Palm Desert.

Described as an upscale-California bistro, Porta Via features seasonal and organic ingredients while serving weekend brunch, lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The menu at Porta Via was inspired by Garland’s cooking philosophy: combine the best seasonal, organic ingredients and prepare them simply.

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Credit: George Duchannes

Menu highlights include the Porta Via Salad (fresh butter lettuce, sweet Maui onion, dill, chervil, French feta and avocado, all tossed in a housemade champagne shallot vinaigrette) along with the Grilled Ōra King Salmon, Butternut Squash Tortellini and Chef Brennens daily oyster and raw-bar selections. Also featured are artisan-inspired cocktails using locally sourced fruits, herbs and wines from small producers with sustainable and organic practices, in extension of the restaurant’s philosophy. A selection of champagne and sparkling wine are offered for celebratory events.

From healthy to hearty, the innovative menu will have something for everyone. “We are looking forward to opening the doors and welcoming the community,” shares Porta Via General Manager Rebecca Elliott. “Personally, I’m so excited to build upon the relationships I’ve nurtured in my years of hospitality and provide a warm welcome to the people of Palm Desert.”

The restaurant hopes to create a place in Palm Desert where locals and tourists alike will be welcomed by a hospitality-centered staff. “Whether it be brunch with friends, a business luncheon or a date night out, Porta Via Palm Desert will be the place you’ll want to meet,” says Elliott. Those familiar with her know the special touches she adds to a dining experience and the genuine warmth she brings to each guest.

Officially opened on May 5th, Porta Via is a vibrant and welcomed addition to El Paseo and the desert dining scene.

Sheri’s notes:

Michael and I were greeted warmly by the several hosts and seated quickly at one of the half booths with views out to the patio and street.  I really like the entire vibe and color scheme as it echoes my office colors and feel.

We started off with a couple of the house specialty drinks. I had Summer In A Glass which is organic vodka, watermelon, lemonade, and mint. Michael had the Island Old Fashioned, made with 15-year aged rum, pineapple, Luxardo Cherry, orange syrup, and bitters. Both were great and we can’t wait to try more of the specialty drinks.

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We then shared the Tuna Tower as an appetizer which was light and refreshing. I had the Butternut Squash Ravioli with arugula and a white wine sage cream sauce, and Michael had the Brick-Pressed Roasted Chicken with sauteed green chard, mashed potatoes, and a rosemary citrus sauce.

Everything was expertly prepared, our server, Sebastian, was very attentive, as were the bussers and the rest of the staff.

Clearly, the owners of Porta Via know what they are doing, and have good training in place. We’ll be returning for a team dinner in a couple of weeks and we are all looking forward to it.

Porta Via Palm Desert

Porta Via Palm Desert
73100 El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA 92260

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