Last updateSun, 30 Aug 2015 2pm

Restaurant & Food News

New to El Paseo: WP Kitchen + Bar

The Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar in Palm Desert is no more—but that doesn’t mean the celebrity chef is ditching the Coachella Valley. In fact, he’s chosen the Coachella Valley to launch his newest restaurant concept.

Puck has opened WP Kitchen + Bar in the space at 73130 El Paseo that previously housed his eponymous pizza bar. The restaurant website describes the place thusly: “Wolfgang Puck’s newest restaurant concept (is) serving globally influenced fare in a family-style format. Inspired by how the acclaimed chef dines and entertains at home, the menu boasts a seasonal offering of small plates, fresh salads, pizzas and handmade pastas, as well as a variety of seafood, steak and other proteins.”

The menu—which really does encourage the family-style dining concept—includes pastas, trout, snapper, chicken and a braised beef short rib, as well as steaks and a decent selection of “salads, soups and shares.” Fans of Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar, take heart: The menu includes a half-dozen pizzas as well. Pastas, chicken and fish will set you back between $15 and $23; steaks cost between $34 and $44. You’ll find a kids’ menu and a nice happy hour menu as well.

Get menus, make reservations and learn more at

Opening Soon (We Hope): WTF and Buzz Bar

At long last, the former Dink’s is lurching back to life.

As we reported last month, we’ve been hearing rumors that the large, ritzy former Dink’s space, at 2080 N. Palm Canyon Drive—which has been closed for several years now—would soon be reopening.

Of course, we’ve heard this before. In the spring, an announcement was made that the building would open as the W Ultra Lounge within a matter of weeks. That didn’t happen. At one point, we heard that the building would become a restaurant and music venue called Drinks. Nope.

Well, here’s the latest news: The space will become the WTF and Buzz Bar sometime in December. This news comes straight from Independent resident DJ Alex Harrington, who announced on Facebook that he is going to be the resident DJ there “alongside an AMAZING house band.”

We have no other information as of our press deadline. We’re keeping our fingers crossed, both for Alex and for fans of AMAZING house bands everywhere. Watch this space for details as they emerge.

Chef Joane Returns to the Kitchen’s Helm at Dish Creative Cuisine

Everything old is new again at Dish Creative Cuisine, at 1107 N. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs: Chef Michelle Heinrich has left to “pursue other interests,” according to an email from the restaurant—and owner Joane Garcia Colson, an attorney-turned amazing chef, is back in charge of the kitchen.

She is pledging to “return Dish to its roots,” when Dish gathered a huge following in its initial location—even though that initial location was a dreary Cathedral City strip mall. Seeing as Chef Joane prepared some of the best bites I’ve ever had at a restaurant, I see this as a very good thing.

Watch for news on the ensuing changes, or call 760-322-7171.

In Brief

Watch for a new wine bar, liquor store and tasting room, coming soon to the uptown area of Palm Springs. It’s called Barrel House; watch for updates. … Once again, Rancho Mirage’s Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse is teaming up with The Venue Sushi Bar to pair sushi with tasty craft beer. The Sushi + Craft Beer 02 event will take place at The Venue, 73111 El Paseo, at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1. It’ll cost you $65 per person; get details at … Speaking of restaurants at The River: Gioia Italian Bistro has opened at the Rancho Mirage shopping center. The menu includes pizzas, pastas and other Italian standards, as well as a few surprises. Visit for details. … After a few starts and stops, Cactusberry Frozen Yogurt and Desserts is open again, in the Smoke Tree Village Shopping Center at 1775 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs. Bring your pet there from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5 and/or 12, to get a free emailed picture taken with Santa. The event on the Dec. 5 is presented by the Palm Springs Animal Shelter; on the 12th, the Humane Society of the Desert is presenting. You can get adoption information and donate while you’re there, too—and enjoy some delicious frozen yogurt while you’re at it! Get more info at, or call 760-832-6127.

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