A new restaurant is headed to the Coachella Valley from Chef Jimmy Schmidt, owner of Detroit’s Rattlesnake Club and more recently, Palm Desert’s Rattlesnake. Planned to grand-open in late-January (UPDATE: and a soft open in December), Schmidt will introduce Morgan’s in the Desert at La Quinta Resort and Club, named for Walter Morgan who founded the 83-year old oasis. Schmidt is obsessed with slow-cooking and locavore product and he won a James Beard Award for “Best Midwest Chef,” founded Chef’s Collaborative for cooks looking to increase their sustainability, and co-authored Heart Healthy Cooking for All Seasons with Alice Waters and Larry Forgione.
For Morgan’s in the Desert, Schmidt is planning on a dinner-only restaurant serving responsibly raised local ingredients cooked by traditional methods like slow roasting, open wood-grilling, pickling, braising, and curing. Schmidt’s still working on a menu, and says it won’t be available until next month. Still, Morgan’s reps tease us with a few coming creations like pan-crisped sand dabs, slow roasted duck breast with two apple tarte tatin, and a porcini-tumbled Angus with wild mushroom salsa. The idea is to go contemporary American, with a pronounced focus on creating tastes that don’t transport you away from a sense of the surrounding Southern Californian desert. While the idea is to become a top draw in the area, they also swear they’re keeping prices reasonable. We shall see come December! La Quinta Resort & Club. 49-499 Eisenhower Drive, La Quinta. 760-564-4111