Sunday, July 8, 2007
Fisherman's Market & Grill - Palm Springs
To finish up with our culinary excursion into Palm Springs last week. We found Fisherman's Market & Grill on South Indian Canyon Drive. Hotter than heck again in Palm Springs and we wanted A/C and an indoor table. So you know how hot it must have been outside as Sue and I love to sit outside 99% of the time. We arrived at the restaurant mid day Sunday afternoon with the temperature hovering around 120 degrees. The place was bustling with business but not many takers for the outside tables even though the water misters were going full blast.
The menu outside on the sidewalk looked inviting as it contained a really good choice of fish dishes and looked like it was a cut above the fried fish houses.
Here's how the place works. The host tells you the number of your table and then you go inside to the counter and order and pay for your food and then the staff brings it out to you. The fish in the front counter look amazingly fresh even for a fresh fish house in the desert.
And it was very interesting that they had a sheet on the counter that told you in detail from what country the fish came from and a brief description of it's texture and taste.
We stepped up to the counter and ordered. Sue had the crab cake dinner an all time favorite of hers and I ordered the Pepper Seared Ahi ,rare,very rare. One of my favorite dishes. Fresh Ahi Seared on all sides until a nice golden crisp layer roughly 1/8 to one 1/4 inch forms around the fillet and nicely red and rare inside. Both the crab cakes and seared Ahi are easy recipes yet difficult dish to prepare.
We of course had to take a look at the wine list and found it the most interesting of all in the place. A really nice selection of wines from around the globe. Not just the standard fair from California. And most at fairly good prices. I really like it when a restaurant gives you a varied choice list of wines and doesn't try to gouge the customer to much.
We ordered with our meal a Pinot Noir from Parker Station Vineyards. This winery is owned by Fess Parker the actor who played Daniel Boone in the old Disney series on TV. He now owns an award winning winery and has done so for the last 20 years or more. Worth seeking out.
So Sue and I grabbed our bottle of Daniel Boones wine and headed to table 25. I thought that it was a good thing that he didn't name the winery Boones Farm.
Inside the A/C was on overdrive as we found our table and relaxed until the waiter brought our dinner. By the way the wine was very nice. well rounded and soft. it would go well with crab cakes and rare Ahi.
Our food had arrived and right away we noticed that they didn't look quite right. Sue's crab cakes looked a little on the burnt side
It came with a scoop of rice pilaf and a scoop of cole slaw. Each cake had a dollop of Louie sauce on them that was very tasty. Although on the burnt side they were packed with crab and had a nice crab sweetness to them.
Mine on the other hand was a crime. and it is what happens in a kitchen when a good menu is in place but left to either professionally untrained or staff that has no passion for food. In most cases you don't need to be a professional chef to consistently put out great dishes. you just have to have the passion for it. Most restaurants these days just seem to hire bodies sometimes to fill positions at the lowest cost they can get. too bad. It is the ones that have a passionate staff that always stand out.
OK, my dish. Right away you could tell that the Ahi fillet had not been pan seared but thrown on the stainless steel flat grill and a plate put over the top to steam it. although rare it was a waste of a great fish. it was very dry and tasteless. The fries though were very good with a nice crisp light breading on them. Cole slaw usual fair and quality.
The dish also came with what I call the Japanese trinity. Wasabi, Soy Sauce and Ginger.
The wine on the other hand was great. It made the food go down a lot better.
We were starving and apparently thirsty as well.
Can't really recommend this Place. Although the atmosphere and especially the friendly staff, plus the A/C made it enjoyable.
And as you can tell it was night when we left and it was still 117 degrees outside. Now where is that Gelato place?
Fisherman's Market & Grill
235 South Indian Canyon Drive