When

Ongoing

Mondays–Thursdays (6–10pm)

Fridays–Saturdays (6–11pm)

Sundays (7am–2pm & 6–10pm)

Where

Tinto

1800 East Palm Canyon Drive

760.322.1900

Directions: At the Saguaro

Price

Various prices

Links

Tinto, the restaurant and wine bar at Palm Springs' stylish Saguaro Hotel, is headed by Executive Chef Jose Garces, winner of both a James Beard Award and Iron Chef America. Indulge in Tinto's unique Basque-influenced tapas made with high-quality ingredients in either the sophisticated, chic dining room bestowed with lots of natural light, or on the equally elegant patio. The menu features an array of à la carte choices and tasting menus, but perhaps the best value is the prix-fixe menu offering four tapas and dessert for $38, with an optional wine pairing for $15 that includes a small glass of a white such as Sauvignon Blanc, another of a red, such as a Tempranillo, and a flute of Cava with dessert. The starters include three distinct Spanish cheeses: a crumbly Mahon, the semi-soft Idiazabal made with sheep's milk, and La Peral,a lightly blued cheese from a village in Northern Spain. Other tasty starter options include Serrano-wrapped figs, the heady Marcona almonds smoked in house (especially tasty paired with the marinated Mantoquilla olives), and chorizo Pamplona. The arugula salad, topped with bits of Serrano ham, mission figs, fried goat cheese, spiced almonds, and Seville orange vinaigrette, is an excellent balance to the protein-intense menu, as are the green beans in an unusual preparation with almonds, dates, orange segments, and paprika-sherry vinaigrette. Other menu items include the heavenly Pork Belly Montadito, lacquered in honey and topped with shavings of apple, and the delicious Merluza en Salsa Verde, a perfectly prepared sea bass complemented with cockles. The Pulpo, Spanish octopus with spicy tomato and green olive escebeche, is another scrumptious choice. The flourless chocolate cake, served with chocolate mousse and passion fruit sorbet, makes for an exquisite contrast between richness and tartness. The buñuelos, small, Spanish donuts topped with date jam, spiced honey, and date-olive ice cream, are even more noteworthy. The destination-worthy Tinto helps elevate Palm Springs dining to a whole new level.

Karin E. Baker, Flavorpill