Jose Garces’ menu at Tinto at the Saguaro Palm Springs hotel is a real winner, just like the Iron man chef himself, with his fusion of Basque flavors with SoCal cuisine and the airy indoor/outdoor setting. Since it was a rather warm May night we dined inside but the terrace certainly looked inviting and we did manage to go there for breakfast one morning of our two night visit.
Anyhow we went to Tinto after sampling tequilas in Saguaro’s El Jefe Bar and were quite hungry and ready to be fed. For our first courses we chose Jamon berico Del Bellota (cured acorn fed Spanish ham) and it really reminded us of Spain. We also ordered Escalivada (fire-roasted eggplant, piquillo, tomatoes, pine nut toast and goat cheese beautifully served) and it, too was exceptional. For entrees the Diva did the halibut with cockles, roasted spring onion and salsa verde, Richard went for the Kampachi a La Plantxa (Hekurei turnp, kumquat and sauce Bordelaise, delicious.
Desserts were a cheese tart with blood orange and Meyer lemon sherbert and a chocolate and carmel torte with chestnut puree and passion fruit sorbet. Both were refreshing and scrumptious. Since it was Thursday all wines were 50% off so we ordered a bottle of delicious Chardonnay that was just $24.
Tinto is popular with locals and of course hotel guests at the hotel where it serves three meals a day. Breakfasts are best taken on the terrace and the coffee with is Garces brew is delicious either by press pot or regular. If you enjoy a pre-prandial beverage I strongly suggest going to the bar before dinner and ordering a signature tequila-based drink, they mix a mean margarita.
Tinto at The Saguaro is locared at 1800 Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs. Reservations are essential at 760-322-1900 or www.tintorestaurant.com.
The original Tinto is located in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. Chef Garces draws his inspiration from the rich cultural and culinary traditions of the Basque country.