The city of Indian Wells owns an upscale resort right off Highway 111 that competes quite well with other offerings in the Coachella Valley.
Two golf courses are complemented by two resort hotels. The centerpiece is the resort building that houses the pro shop, the VUE Grille and Bar and meeting facilities on the second floor. VUE has an expansive bar overlooking the golf courses that is perfect for post-round libations as well as casual dining.
The VUE dining room is relatively small at 56 seats, but connects through large glass doors that fold away with a large patio overlooking the resort. The patio has plenty of gas heaters so it easily will handle a large crowd.
Executive Chef Cale Falk has designed an eclectic menu that features food from a variety of cultures. There’s the five-night sushi/sashimi bar, flatbreads, Asian-inspired and Mexican-inspired entrees, with many locally sourced ingredients.
We started with the Red Argentinian Shrimp ‘n grits with Manchego Polenta and Bilboa Chorizo (did I say eclectic cultures?). It was served in a small cast-iron skillet and paired with an Avissi Prosecco from Italy. That’s one of 10 small plate starters on the menu in November—several have changed as prime season started in January.
We followed with one of the signature local salads—a chopped Kale & Quinoa with local Medjool dates, cranberries, Marcona almonds finished in a fig Balsamic dressing. Our server paired it with a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc from St. Supery that complemented it perfectly.
Our first entrée was a Jidori chicken breast with baby Bok Choy, crispy Ginger fried rice with a Korean chili sauce. It was perfectly paired with a Folie a Deux Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley.
The New Zealand rack of lamb with apricot/almond couscous and curry yogurt was paired with a 2010 Trinchero Meritage. Again, delightful.
All of the wines served are available by the glass.
There are plenty of large plate options ranging from seared divers scallops to Scottish Salmon to a 10-ounce Australian lobster tail to a beef short rib and Kurobuta pork chop.
We finished with a seasonal pumpkin crème Brule and a wonderful selection of sorbets.
VUE aggressively promotes specials, particularly its wine program. During early January, it was offering a three-course steak and lobster dinner on Friday nights for $36 with 50 percent off selected bottles of wine. Saturday, it was $38 for a prime rib dinner with the same wine special. VUE also offers winemaker dinners pairing its cuisine with fine wines.
The wine list is broad and hits a variety of price points. It also has a significant craft beer program as well as craft cocktails with locally sourced ingredients.
For information, please see www.vuegrilleandbar.com
By Tim Hunt