Mel's Ingleside Inn & Restaurant
Melvyn's Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs has romantic nostalgic appeal with expert service and leisurely dining served with eleganc. In addition, Melvyn's (an Icon in his own rights) personally brings "Joie de vivre" to the diners whose affluence has them surfing on expensive waves. The ambience of the room could best be compared to the glamour of the Sunset Strip during the "40s" squeezed into a thimble! But the food is better than anything served during that alluring period.
All dinners are individually cooked to order, so you're asked to allow sufficient time for proper preparations. But that gave us a chance to romanticize over a glass of select wine with appetizers of Maryland Crabcakes, and sauteed mushooms flamed with wine and garlic. Soup or salad and/or vegetables are included with some orders. And special dietary requirements are respected.
Our entree was a grilled fresh Lake Superior Whitefish served with mango dressing. Many of you might remember "Steak Diane, a sensational dish of filet mignon medallions, always fired tableside with a lot of "pomp" and show, while flames sizzled high from the glazed sauces. I hadn't seen it around for ages, but it's here, as are so many other memory dishes that had been replaced in recent years, like Chateaubriand for two, or Tournedos, (twin medallions of tenderloin topped with grilled tomato and artichoke hearts with Béarnaise sauce). Of course there's the classic 12 ounce Angus beef, charbroiled steal. It's a Continental menu featuring veal, lamb, poultry, and seafood dishes with some Mediterranean classics, and the menu is spectacular, with the unusual, such as Cajun New York Steak Salad, along with fabulous appetizers, soups, "sides," and variety of seafood, such as Fillet of Sole Piccata! For those that don't want to think, they will fix a "Prix Fixe" dinner for you with four courses a choice of five entrees, ($29.50). There are also afternoon appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches, along with Breakfast foods in the morning.
The Ingleside Inn has an interesting history. It was built as the Humphrey Birge Estate during the l920's by heirs to the Pierce Arrow automobile fortune. And many of the prototypes that peopled F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary works dined and danced to the wee hours at lavish parties thrown by the family. Devoted to the conviction that good living was its own reward, the Birges lovingly filled their home with antiques and priceless furniture from around the world. (Today, many of these same pieces are found in guest accommodations at the inn including a vestment chest used by l5th century priests, and a bust of Petrarach's Laura).
In 1935, the estate was purchased by Palm Springs pioneer Ruth Hardy, who renamed it Ingleside Inn and proudly opened the gates to select guests from the world of high society, opera, show business, art, finance and diplomacy. The register is signed by such notables as Andre Kostelanetz, Salvador Dali, and Lily Pons, (who stayed between tours for l3 years!). As a Palm Springs city councilwoman, Hardy became best known for her concept of the lighted palm trees on Palm Canyon Drive. And the folks living there have her to thank for bringing the first air‑conditioning system to the desert. Decades passed, and Mrs. Hardy passed on.
In l975 the Inn was purchased by former New York businessman Mel Haber who was electrified by the inn's impressive past, so lovingly re‑created its former glory of a more gracious era. And as Palm Springs' smallest full service hotel, the Inn has only 28 rooms and suites; no two of which are alike. It's been named an official Palm Springs Historic Site, and has also been designated "One Of The Ten Best" by "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous." The other honors "One of the Ten Best" according to "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous." Other prestigious award are "First Place in Fine dining," First Place as a "Romantic Restaurant in addition to " First Place to see celebrities," and First Place for best martini's. Ingleside is a great place for weddings, or save it for the honeymoon! Many receptions have been set around the pool. Stargazing includes Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Goldie Hawn, Liza Minelli, and John Travolta, for starters. This is the spot where Frank Sinatra had his pre-wedding dinner, but this is just skimming the surf. Whenever Sinatra ate at a restaurant it was the same as saying "George Washington Slept Here!"
Melvyn's Ingleside Inn; Dinner is served every evening from 6:00pm to 11:30pm; lunch, Monday-Friday, 11:30am-3:00pm; and a deluxe champagne brunch on weekends from 9:00am-3:00pm. Sunday's also offers a fabulous Jam Session from 3:30pm-7:30pm. and there's "Open Mike" every Wednesday at 6:00pm. If that isn't enough, you can plan on Piano Bar dancing every evening from 8:00pm.
Appetizes, Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches, under $15; Steak & lobster, $36, most other entrees run mostly close or above $25. Chateaubriand for Two, $59.
Great coffee drinks and deserts. Major credit cards accepted; free valet parking; catering & parties.
200 W. Ramon Rd, Palm Springs, CA; (760)325‑2323. It's not just a restaurant; it's back to the future for a couple of hours. www.inglesideinn.com