Hip, Cool & Healthy at the Workshop Kitchen + Bar
A Desert Health Review
A visit to the Workshop is an experience for the senses. Chef/Owner Michael Beckman, his architecturally saavy partner Joseph Mourani, and sommelier Lonny Abugow have combined their worldly experiences to create a myriad of complementing and contrasting elements brought together in one tantalizing package.
The restaurant’s stunningly modern interiors are housed in an historic uptown Palm Springs building and the two styles blend perfectly. Beckman studied in Lyon, France and worked throughout Europe including the Ritz-Carlton’s Vitrum in Berlin, yet applies his expertise to very organic, modern American cuisine.
Their menu features the perfect recipe: farm-to-table ingredients with a large variety of vegetarian combinations served as small plates and or bowls and reasonably priced. Each presentation is a unique and flavorful masterpiece! Shaved Brussels sprouts with pomegranate, hazelnuts and pecorino cheese seasoned only with aged balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon; or beet salad with quinoa, wild arugula with citrus and ricotta, both served in meal-sized bowls.
“Many can’t understand why the salads often take longer than the hot foods to arrive to the table,” explains Beckman. Once they arrive, it is easy to see how much preparation and time go into shaving the Brussels sprouts and separating the fresh pomegranate arils from the pith. Each salad is prepared fresh and seasoned per order.
You can taste the quality of the ingredients. “I started at the local Farmer’s Markets creating direct relationships with growers to ensure we receive the freshest ingredients,” says Beckman. It all comes from within a one hour circumference. “Our arugula comes from Sage Farms and our tomatoes and mangos from Wong Farms when in season.” They also locally source their goat cheese, duck and hen eggs.
You can select and share small plates and bowls (we found 3 per couple filling) or choose an entree such as the grass-fed rib-eye, Texas redfish, or pan roasted scallops to name a few. Sides include creamed kale, pea tendrils, and purple artichoke salad.
We enjoyed the fact that you can accompany your meal with wines from around the world…by the glass. We found each recommended varietal exceptional – from the French Mercurey to the Italian Nebbiolo. Our knowledgeable waiter, Allen, said we could thank the sommelier’s discerning palate.
“We had a lot of fun with the bar menu,” adds Beckman who explains the re-emergence of the “cocktail culture” which hit its peak at the turn of the 19th century. “The bartender was a craftsman with a specialized trade, but then prohibition hit.” In the last 10 years, he says the trade has re-emerged throughout the world. It is evident on The Workshop’s bar menu. Each beverage design is thoughtfully explained as are the unique and flavorful ingredients. Classics like the Singapore Sling and the Ward 8 will send you back in time, while originals like the El Diablo #2 are described as “a smoky, spicy variation on this mid-century classic.” Bartenders take their time making drinks and none are sweet. “Each is perfectly balanced for a light smoothness.”
We absolutely love the Workshop. The ambiance is modern and cool, the staff professional, the healthy cuisine exceptional and the price reasonable. Reservations are recommended, especially for one of their 10 lined booths, or bring a group and enjoy the large community table.
Workshop Kitchen + Bar is located at 800 N. Palm Canyon Dr. Ste. G on the corner of Tamarisk Rd. They are open for dinner Sunday – Thursday from 5p-10p and Saturday and Sunday from 5p – 11p. Brunch is offered Sunday from 10p – 2p. Reservations are strongly recommended. (760) 459-3451. www.WorkshopPalmSprings.com