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Welcome to ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your premier resource to the Coachella Valley’s best, from a local's perspective. Your guide, Denise Ortuno is, The Palm Springs Local, with over 38 years of desert living under her belt, experiencing all the wonders of the Coachella Valley. And now she’ll be sharing her knowledge with you! From dining to attractions, to events and much more, you’ll be able to “Go Where the Locals Go”.

Just click on the appropriate category to find what you’re looking for and you’ll be on your way. And make sure to check out Denise’s blog for special reviews and colorful commentary, as well as her “Out and About Videos” featuring local flavor.

It’s all here at ThePalmSpringsLocal.com, your guide to the Coachella Valley’s best….done local style!

Oh October!

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                                       rsz fb img 1506107573541

As I left my little sanctuary at Our Lady of Solitude Church in Palm Springs, I turned the corner and saw the grand San Jacinto Mountain starring me in the face. Its majesty embraced me, framed by a boundless blue sky.

I reached for my phone to take some quick memory shots, and noticed the trees being rustled by a slight, soft breeze. There were even some leaves dancing in the wind. It was a little bit of autumn in the wake of the day. I turned to see two men talking across the street, one of them said something to the other and they both erupted into laughter. I thought of friends that I wish were there to share in the moment…and realize that the cooler air of fall makes everyone smile, everyone lighter. Summer has passed and fall is here in the desert….let the happiness and blessings of the season begin. 

There’s loads of things to do in the CV in October. Events abound from concerts, to car shows, to a chili cook-off, golf carts craziness, Halloween haunts and so much more. Let’s check all of the “Oh October” fun!

October 13th & 14-10th Annual Concert for Autism features local CV talent to help raise funds for families with those with autism. The two day event takes place at The Tack Room in Indio, with proceeds benefitting the Desert Autism Foundation. For more information visit, http://concertforautism.com/

October 14th- The 11th Annual Paint El Paseo Pink Walk takes place at The Gardens on El Paseo. The event promotes Breast Cancer awareness, as participants wear pink event t-shirts and other accessories. All proceeds from the walk benefit the Desert Cancer Foundations Suzanne Jackson Breast Cancer Fund. The fund helps with breast cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services for Coachella Valley residents and surrounding cities. Registration for the walk starts at 7am, with the walk beginning at 8am. Cost is $25. For more information visit www.pepp.desertcancerfoundation.org 

October 19th-22nd-Modernism Fall Preview brings a taste of what’s to come for Modernism Week 2018 in February. Wet your modernism whistle with tours, parties, exhibitions and more. For tickets and tour schedule visit www.modernismweek.com

October 20th-22nd- Vintage Vibe Festival takes place at the Palm Springs Convention, celebrating the best in music, fashion and memorabilia from the pre-1999 era. Enjoy musical performances from relevant bands of the time, as well as a marketplace where era goods will be exhibited and sold. Party like its pre-1999! For more information and tickets, visit www.VintageVibeFest.com

October 21st- 31st Annual Desert Aids Walk helps to provide support funds to the Desert Aids Project. The event benefits those in need with everything from Medical & Dental Care, Medication, Housing and Behavioral Health Counseling.  The walk starts off at Ruth Hardy Park in Palm Springs. For more information on how to participate and donate visit, www.support.desertaidsproject.org

 

October 21st-Nightmare in Palm Springs will make you party until you scream! The Halloween themed dance party will feature more than just music, promising some scares, frights and freaks (not just the partiers) to help make that night Nightmarish. The event gets creepy at a designated hanger at the Palm Springs Air Museum and runs from 9pm to 2am and cover is $23 in advance and $30 at the door. For more information and tickets visit https://www.facebook.com/NightmareinPalmSprings/

 

October 28th-The 32nd Annual Tram Road Challenge challenges participants with a 6k Run/Walk that climbs 2,000ft in elevation at the Tram Road in Palm Springs. All participants willing to complete the challenge receives a medal, t-shirt and breakfast. The event benefits the United Way of the Desert which assists community members in need. For more information and to register visit,   www.kleinclarksports.com/Tram

                              

October 28th-The Palm Springs Air Museum Halloween Chili Cook-off & Car Show will offer tasty chili to try and over 100 classic cars to drool over, all with a frightfully fun Halloween theme. For more information visit, http://palmspringsairmuseum.org/programs/halloween-themed-chili-cook-off-car-show-3/

October 28th-Terrorfest freaks out party goers with a variety of bone jarring music, and scares at every turn at The Date Shed in Indio. Creep around their Zombie Lounge, Path of Terror, Spirit Garden and Phantom Food Court for added chills. For tickets and more information visit, https://www.indioterrorfest.com/

October 28th-BB’s 33rd Annual Halloween Bash continues the tradition of the longest running Halloween party in the CV. The epic party will be held at The Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs from 8:30pm to 2am, with multiple dance floors, bars and plenty of scantily clad ghouls. For more information and tickets visit,  http://partywithbb.com/

October 29th-53rd Annual Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade cruises down El Paseo in Palm Desert and, entertaining on lookers with elaborately decked out Golf Carts. This year’s theme is, Desert Safari and the Grand Marshal is Gavin McLeod. The parade starts at noon, but get there early to reserve a spot on the parade route. For more information visit, http://golfcartparade.com/

October 29th & 31st-Howl-O-Ween at The Living Desert is a kid friendly Halloween event for the whole family. Little ones can get candy on the trick-or-treat trail, go pumpkin bowling, decorate pumpkins and go through a monster maze. For more information visit,  http://www.livingdesert.org/event/howl-o-ween/

October 31st-Halloween Palm Springs on Arenas gets crazy fun on Arenas Street in Palm Springs. Party goers wearing costumes can enter their costume contest. And if you love to get down to disco, make sure to enter the Disco Dance off! Party starts at 5pm. For more information visit, http://www.halloweenpalmsprings.com/dance-off

 

 

Grab a Chair at June Hill's Table

By Denise Ortuno Neil                                                             rsz imag1960

Grab a chair and get ready to experience one of the East Valley's brightest up and coming dining spots. June Hill’s Table sits unassumingly off 52nd in Indio at the Trilogy Polo Club, harboring a stunning views, stylish ambience and tremendous food.

When driving out to June Hill’s Table at Trilogy Polo Club in Indio, it might seem like it is a bit out of the way. But its slight remoteness is actually part of what makes it so special. The distance makes it a destination location, and the views…well, are spectacular. June Hill’s Table is visible before you even enter the Trilogy Polo Club. The building where the restaurant resides also serves as the clubhouse. The triangular white canopies are inviting and bring a feel of recreational grandeur to the resort style core of the club. Having the restaurant so close to the entrance is a benefit for diners, as the sometimes long maze that some other country clubs have to get to their clubhouses can be tiresome, but is absent from Trilogy.                                                    rsz imag1957

Although Trilogy is a 55 an older community, June Hill’s Table is open to the public. Only opened for a little more than a year, the restaurant has received high acclaim. As I sat down in the fabulously designed dining room with restaurant manager Raymond Cooper, I asked him to explain the choice of the name for the restaurant. He expounded on the motivation, highlighting that they wanted to bring a bit of valley history into the restaurant, more specifically, Indio history. They came across Dr. June Hill McCarroll, who was one of our many women pioneers in the Coachella Valley (and yes, woman seriously helped shape our valley).

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One of McCarroll’s prime accomplishments, besides being a much needed physician in the desert back in the early 1900’s, was that she was credited with being the person who came up with making centered highway markings, to provide safe driving practices. Her idea to draw on the road came from her own experience of almost colliding with another vehicle while driving on what is now, Indio Boulevard. After trying to get the local government to put her idea into motion without success, she circumvented their inaction, and literally painted dash lines on the road herself. Through many years of campaigning for the road safety lines to be adopted, it finally was in the 1920’s, and then later worldwide.

Besides all of the amazing community work of McCarroll, she also loved to entertain. Often throwing dinner parties, opening her home up to family and friends. Hence the restaurant’s name, June Hills Table. Guests will find fun drink menu items bearing her name, such as McCarroll’s Marmalade (Mezcal, kumquat, marmalade, soda and Malbec), Dr’s Order’s (fruit infused vodka, pomegranate syrup, citrus, sprite and a berry garnish) and June’s Jam (blackberries, cucumber, agave syrup, ginger beer and lime).

Beyond the lively drinks is their fantastic food at June Hill’s Table. The menu is supported by their goal to offer locally sourced farm to table ingredients, which makes a huge difference. Chef Kevin Land insures that the ingredients are utilized to their upmost potential by making menu items all from scratch (with the exception of their bread which comes from a local purveyor). Once you bite into anything that comes out of Lands kitchen, the taste of his efforts are greatly noticeable, and appreciated.

Upon being seated, I was brought a basket of freshly fried potato chips, served with house made Blue Cheese dressing for dipping, their version of bread and butter. Something I noticed right away was that the chips came out hot and fresh! In no way was there an inkling that those chips were hanging around a heat lamp. It was as if they were just waiting for me to get there, to voluntarily jump into hot oil and then toss themselves in garlic infused olive oil, with a dash of salt and pepper. Presenting submissively in a paper lined basket with a side of cool Blue Cheese dressing. Yes, they were that good…a little too good, bordering on evil.        rsz imag1956 1

To get a taste of different items, Cooper put together a sampler plate for me. The plate had their new Spicy (and sweet) Buffalo Wing’s, which they recently introduced for football season, a BBQ St. Louis Rib, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Bosc Pear Bruschetta and Shrimp with Ravioli. My review will go down the line, starting with the Buffalo Wing. Of course they use cage free chicken, which comes through in the flavor and the meatiness of the wing. Although the wing had some defined heat, is was sweetly balanced by the mix of honey in the sauce. Next up was the BBQ rib, with its supple chipotle sauce, and tender meat, it was actually lite in texture, absent of that heavy BBQ taste that sometimes accompany ribs.

Then came the Brussels. Oh my, oh my, those Brussel Sprouts were phenomenal! For those of you who have sworn off this vegi, please give these little guys another chance. They are not your moms Brussels. These Brussels were on the crispy side, tossed with heirloom cherry tomatoes, an aged balsamic reduction, parmesan cheese and crispy garlic. The element of the tomatoes with the Brussels completely cut the natural bitterness of the vegi that could scare away any would be Brussel fan. It was like vegi candy. If I could, I would hand them out for Halloween.

I went for the Bruschetta after the sprouts, still wanting to dive back into my green dish of deliciousness. But the Bruschetta was wonderfully smooth, with creamy herbed goat cheese, candied pecans, crispy sage, and roasted Bosc Pear, all on grilled ciabatta. The final item on the plate was the Shrimp and Ravioli. This is one of their signature dishes. The house made ravioli filled with Vadouvan roasted carrots, was served with a sweet basil and sugar snap pea coulis and a pan seared shrimp. The ravioli was so velvety, and with the carrot filling, it was almost like dessert. Amazing!                                                                                         rsz imag1966

And speaking of dessert, they brought some out for me to taste….oh the sacrifice. Staring me in the face were my weight adversaries. There was a Caramelized Apple Cobbler, all cozy in a single portion cask iron pot, and, get this, a Pumpkin Tiramisu. What?? Yes, they went there, all part of their fall inspired menu. The cobbler was piping hot and served with a scoop of Tahitian Vanilla Gelato, which melted lovingly into the cobbler. The bottom of the cobbler housed the caramelized apple and spice goodness. I repeatedly dove into the cobbler, and surfaced my spoon to acquire just enough gelato to gently accent and cool the submersed filling. It was an eye roller to say the least.

The Pumpkin Tiramisu was on planet of its own. Portioned clouds of pumpkin spiced mouse, alternated with espresso cream, with lady fingers kissed with drizzles of Rum and Rumchata sprinkled with cinnamon…ridiculous! Needless to say, my dessert adversaries got the best of me.

June Hills Table changes up their menu every 90 days, to reflect seasonal ingredients. Their menu is the same for lunch and dinner. Offering items from salads, to sandwiches, seafood, steak and appetizing appetizers. They are opened Wed through Sunday, and offer Happy Hour every day from 2pm to 6pm, except for Sundays. On Sunday’s they offer a Brunch menu from 10am to 3pm, with Bottomless Mimosa’s for only $6. For the quality of the food and ambience, their prices are surprisingly moderate. In addition to their main dining area, there is gorgeous outdoor seating on their patio. They also have an upstairs banquet room for private parties with considerably stunning views of the Santa Rosa Mountain’s.

June Hill’s Table is a bright and shiny addition to the East Valley food scene. It is up there with the best of the best, incorporating everything and more of what makes a dining experience memorable. A new found favorite of The Palm Springs Local.

For more information visit www.mytrilogylife/polo/dining.com

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