Most resort towns "get full-up" during the holidays, and the desert communities are no exception. (As a kid, I always wondered why people went away. As an adult, I understand why; there aren’t any messes to clean-up.) Here is a short list of where to go:
Eight4Nine (Palm Springs)
Located in the design district of Palm Springs, the upscale and creative atmosphere will be a showcase for all turkey lovers. A four-course, prix fixe dinner begins from 1:00 p.m until 9:00 p.m and includes your entrée choices of the traditional to the gourmet such as cider-brined duck breast, sourdough-crusted Chilean seabass or maple and sage roasted root vegetables for the non-meat eaters. To drink, try one of the exciting wines by the glass such as Syrah from Austin Hope (Paso Robles) or Newton Vineyard's claret in Napa.
Location: 849 Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, California
Phone: (760) 325 – 8490
June Hill’s Table (Indio)
Named after Dr. June Hill McCarroll, a Coachella Valley pioneer who created road markings on all streets, directing traffic. (Yes, dashes and double-lines were born in California’s low desert.) She was also well-known for entertaining skills which on Thanksgiving Chef Kevin Land honors the restaurant’s namesake by crafting up baked rosemary ham and of course, a roasted gobbler with the fixings. Kids are $19.95 and adults are $45.00 which includes unlimited Champagne.
Reservations: (760) 797 – 7229
Location: 51750 Polo Club Drive, Indio, CA 92201
Lulu California Bistro (Palm Springs)/ Acqua (Rancho Mirage)
Are you in search of something a little more casual? Short-sleeves instead of long? Flats instead of heels? Lulu’s and its sister restaurant, Acqua located in Rancho Mirage’s The River are serving up the old-style fare but also on the menu expect filet mignon, vegetable towers, and pizza. They are also noted for their zesty cocktails, pastel wall colors and open-air vibe which works well with our desert climate.
Lulu California Bisto/ Acqua
How to Make a Turkey:
· 10 – 12-pound turkey, fresh or frozen (thawed)
· Aromatics: Onions, carrots, celery, parsley, sage, garlic, citrus (lemon, lime, orange)
· Salt & pepper
· Melted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Take all the innards out of the cavity. (Throw away the liver.) Place those in a pot covered with water for gravy.
3. After rinsing the bird, pat it dry with paper towels. Season it well with salt and pepper, inside and out.
4. Stuff it full of coarsely chopped aromatics. Your choice.
5. Brush with melted butter.
6. Craft a foil tent covering Mr. Gobbler and roast breast side up for 2 hours.
7. Remove foil, baste with more butter and turn the oven to 425 degrees. Roast for an additional hour or until the thigh meat registers at 165 degrees.
8. Let it rest for about 30 minutes while making the giblet gravy.