Trio Restaurant, Palm Springs comfort food, hip vibe

Trio Restaurant in Palm Springs

Trio Restaurant

Restaurant week in Palm Springs, June 3-12, offers choices from across the culinary spectrum. Trio’s prix fix menu is just $24 for three courses of their modern American food in a contemporary atmosphere.

Last year’s restaurant week went so well partners Tony Marchese and Executive Chef Mark Van Laanen knew they would join other 75 restaurants and 10 hotels for the upcoming Palm Springs Desert Resort Restaurant Week. “I was amazed last year. It was like Saturday every night for 10 days. They saw value,” Van Laanen said about their $24 menu (see below) at Trio Restaurant in Palm Springs. Five first course choices, six second courses and three desserts offer enough variety to attract diners for more than one evening.

Welcomed into the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs even before opening, the restaurant, now opened for just a year and a half, was a hit from the start.”Local restaurants are very supported. We put up the sign and people stopped by to welcome us,” Van Laanen said. Number one on TripAdvisor and Twitter according to Laanen, the restaurant has faithful regulars who come for dinner or a generous happy hour starting at 4:00.

Originally from Wisconsin, Chef Van Laanen has been a restaurant owner for 25 years. He came to Palm Springs to visit a friend and fell in love with the mountains and energy. He sold everything and moved to the desert community noting that no restaurant duplicated the cuisine and style of his last Wisconsin location. “My restaurants were seasonal, open May to October. Upper Lake Michigan is a beautiful area. But I would put up with heat any day compared to long winters,” he said.

Partners Mark Van Laanen and Tony Marchese

Partners Mark Van Laanen and Tony Marchese

Co-owner Tony Marchese is another Midwesterner from Chicago who worked in sales and owned two nightclubs.

Most of the servers are also escapees of Midwest winters. “Locals are too lazy and laid-back,” Van Laanen said.

The kitchen staff is Hispanic and carefully trained. “They were afraid to season and weren’t tasting. It took a year,” he said.

He’s adjusted his menu for California tastes. “There are more vegetarians here. People in Wisconsin are big carnivores,” Van Laanen commented.A soy ceviche, wild mushroom ravioli and stacked veggie burger are offered.

Even in summer some heavier standards remain on the menu. His Yankee pot roast, St. Louis style spare ribs and roasted half chicken are perennial favorites.

A lighter option would be scallops with a cantaloupe habanero sauce. The sweetness of the seafood and melon is balanced with the heat of the habanero chile.

The chef finds ideas in cookbooks, TV and magazines. “I like Mario Batali, Ina Gartner and Giada. I have all of Alice Waters cookbooks. You steal from everywhere. I like something but do it differently, change the herb maybe.”

The partners plan outdoor seating to expand and then add lunch. A second property in Palm Desert, about 25 minutes away is a future possibility. But they are not in a rush. “We want to get one area down first,” Van Laanen said.

Restaurant week menu highlights $24

Trio's three-course menu

Trio's three-course menu

First course

Asparagus salad – chopped tomato, blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette

White fish ceviche – white fish, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, orange juice, tomato juice

Calamari – hand breaded to order and lightly fried, house made Thai dipping sauce

Second course

Scallops – pan seared rare, white wine pear sauce, spaghetti squash

Roasted half chicken – marinated in garlic, lemon, olive oil; mashed potatoes

Porterhouse pork chop – brined and grilled with tangerine horseradish marmalade, sweet potato mash

Third course

Trio nut torte – chocolate and caramel drizzle (see recipe)

Key lime – raspberry sauce, whipped cream

Trio bread pudding – seasonal choice sauce

See the recipe for Trio’s Chocolate Nut Torte

Trio Restaurant
707 N Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs, CA

Just in case we've missed an update about any events or information above please confirm all of information directly with the venue before making the drive to the location.

The OC Food Lovers Calendar features a wide variety of exciting events including wine dinners, industry related meetings and seminars, festivals, family fun, entertainment, charity fund-raisers, wine tastings and a little jazz!

Subscribe for E-News

Find all the local wining & dining events that are happening today!

11:00 am World’s Hottest Chile Pepper Con... @ Clay Oven
World’s Hottest Chile Pepper Con... @ Clay Oven
Sep 17 @ 11:00 am – Sep 18 @ 9:00 pm
World’s Hottest Chile Pepper Contest - Can you stomach it? @ Clay Oven  | Irvine | California | United States
The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chile is the world’s hottest chile pepper registering up to 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units (1 of these peppers packs the heat of 400 jalapeños). So who in the world would[...]
5:30 pm “Hot” Grill Menu @ Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's - Costa Mesa
“Hot” Grill Menu @ Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's - Costa Mesa
Sep 17 @ 5:30 pm – Sep 18 @ 11:00 am
"Hot" Grill Menu @ Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's - Costa Mesa
Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s has a hot new dinner menu offered exclusively for two weeks. Bloomingdale’s “Hot” Grill three course menu offers a mouthwatering Grilled Filet Mignon with short rib ravioli prepared by Chef Kim. Pair[...]
7:00 am Homemade Corned Beef & Cabbage @ Jagerhaus German Restaurant
Homemade Corned Beef & Cabbage @ Jagerhaus German Restaurant
Sep 18 @ 7:00 am – Sep 18 @ 9:00 pm
Homemade Corned Beef & Cabbage @ Jagerhaus German Restaurant | Anaheim | California | United States
Thursday Special: Homemade Corned Beef & Cabbage Served for lunch and dinner, our made-in-house Corned Beef with Cabbage, along with potatoes & carrots- delicious! Try it with one of the TWO oldest beers in the[...]
8:00 am Juice with James Thursday @ C4 Deli: Cure for the Common
Juice with James Thursday @ C4 Deli: Cure for the Common
Sep 18 @ 8:00 am – Sep 18 @ 11:59 pm
Juice with James Thursday @ C4 Deli: Cure for the Common | Santa Ana | California | United States
Purchase a cheese or charcuterie plate and get any bottle half off
9:30 am Costa Mesa Farmers Market – OC F... @ OC Fairgrounds
Costa Mesa Farmers Market – OC F... @ OC Fairgrounds
Sep 18 @ 9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Costa Mesa Farmers Market - OC Fairgrounds @ OC Fairgrounds | Costa Mesa | California | United States
Orange County Fair & Event Center 88 Fair Dr. Costa Mesa, CA   Affiliated with Orange County Farm Bureau Sponsored Certified Farmers’ Markets. California certified farmers’ markets are the real thing – places where genuine[...]

View Calendar