15 Sep A Gem In The Desert: Workshop Kitchen + Bar Palm Springs
Walking into Workshop Kitchen + Bar, you might think you were in New York or Chicago or LA. But, it’s in Palm Springs. This industrial chic restaurant made of concrete, high ceilings and long hanging lights sets a different tone for what you might think of Palm Springs – the home of spring breakers, a mecca for retirement and a weekend escape from the city.
Michael Beckman is the chef/owner of Workshop Kitchen + Bar, located in the Uptown Design District. With an “Americana” inspired seasonal menu, Michael sources his his products from local farmers’ markets within an hour of Palm Springs.
The menu consists of Smalls, Bowls and Plates. Fortunately, I was with a large group of people so we ordered lots of items from the menu and passed the plates around.
And to wash down all the good food….cocktails, of course! With homemade ingredients and market fresh ingredients, bartenders Zane Tessay and Priscilla Young are mixing up classic cocktails while having fun with some innovative ones as well.
The playful nature of Workshop is apparent in the cocktail menu where cocktails are described not just by their ingredients but their inspiration.
MILLIONAIRE #2 – Smith + Cross, sloe gin, apricot liqueur, lime juice. Luxuriously funky and tart, Jamaican navy strength rum powers this adventurous tipple. In the 18th century, the British navy established the curious tradition of wetting their gunpowder with their rations of booze and if the powder didn’t light, the sailors wouldn’t sail! Let’s celebrate those obstinate men with a brave cocktail!
LAUTNER PROJECT – Rhum Agricole, house made agave cordial, fresh lime juice, mint and sparkling wine. Inspired by the prolific architect whose work brought
together unlikely design combinations. With a grateful nod at John Lautner, we offer a cocktail with thoughtful scheme, texture and a little flair. A seamless amalgamation of unlikely ingredients hopefully worthy of its namesake.
WARD 8 – Rye, house made grenadine, fresh lemon & orange juices. Originating in Boston around the turn of the 20th century and named after a notoriously corrupt voting district; fortunately for us the political corruption of yesteryear is virtually extinct (insert big wink here). However, this drink is as delicious and morally in debt as it ever was!
PAINKILLER – silver rum, fresh orange and pineapple juices, house-made coconut cream. an addictive, traditional favorite coming from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands; “it’ll cure what ails ya, and ail what cures ya.”
SOUTHSIDE TREATMENT – Beefeater gin, fresh avocado, mint, lemon, splash of q tonic. this Chicago prohibition-era classic is enriched with local avocado taking on smooth desert notes.
Workshop Kitchen + Bar is a gem in the heart of the desert. If this restaurant was closer to me, I would be there regularly. But, at least I know that when I go to Palm Springs, there is a great meal awaiting me.