2 1/2 Golden Spoons
I had heard some good things about the newly opened Eight4Nine Restaurant and Lounge in Palm Springs, so when I was invited by a friend to dine there for lunch, I was looking forward to the experience. When we arrived, we were quickly greeted by several of the staff who clearly knew my host. The lounge is striking. High ceilings, brilliant white furnishings and fixtures, pops of fuchsia and chrome. The same décor flows into the very spacious dining room. Very nicely done.
However, the seating is intentionally mismatched from Victorian high back chairs with pink cushions to low white industrial metal chairs. I ended up in one of the metal chairs which had no seat pad and was very uncomfortable. The menu was eclectic, touted as being West Coast Modern. I actually found it borderline Hollywood pretentious with descriptions like Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor and Olorosso Sherry and Wild Mushroom Ragout. However, I must admit it peaked my interest.
I opted for the Smoked Chicken Breast Caesar Salad. Others in my group made more daring choices, but I always feel you can always judge a restaurant by the quality of its Caesar Salad. Service was prompt and our dishes arrived quickly. The Caesar was odd from the start. A pile of torn leaves of romaine lettuce with sliced chicken breast on the side.
The entire plate was smattered with an over-powering pepper lemon mixture. The dressing was a tart vinaigrette. The chicken was dry and very sweet. I don’t see how they call this a Caesar Salad. It is more of a Nero salad because of the burning sour after taste. Needless to say, I did not enjoy it.
However, one of the other guests had a Ratatouille Tart with squash and eggplant that tasted lovely. But, again, it really wasn’t a ratatouille or a tart. It was stacks of uncooked veggies next to a folded pancake in a tomato sauce. I think the chef is trying too hard. The rest of lunch was unremarkable. Will I give Eight4Nine another try? Maybe….it is a really beautiful setting. But….overall it 8nt4Me. There are just too many fantastic dining choices in Palm Springs.