Monday, February 28, 2011

Torme's Jazz Bar & Restaurant in Palm Springs

This past weekend I finally checked out a new hot spot in Palm Springs called Tormés. Located on North Palm Canyon Drive, it is a jazz bar and restaurant is  named for singer Mel Tormé whose high-tenor voice was so smooth beautiful & velvety he was nicknamed the "Velvet Fog". If you don't recall, Mel Tormé, was an accomplished American musician, jazz/pop singer, composer and arranger. He was a drummer, and actor in radio, film, and television, and a prolific author of five books. No doubt most people are familiar with his most well-known classic holiday song "The Christmas Song" (also known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" which he co-wrote.
Tormés Jazz Bar and Restaurant is owned and run by Melissa Tormé (daughter of Mel Tormé) and her husband Ed Wald. I've had my eye on the place for awhile since they opened but have not been able to check it out until now. Tormés has a warm and inviting club atmosphere and is easy on the eyes. A sizzling bar area leads into the main dining room, where a tight stage sits as a focal point. Banquette table booths line the walls, creating a cozy, clubby feel. The walls feature restored vintage photographs of many of the great vocalists of jazz and standards, from Sinatra, Martin, Davis, Garland, and of course Tormé himself.
We were seated promptly in the main dining room at a great table by a cheery hostess. The evening had a rough start when we sat at the table for 25 minutes before our server greeted us. I was fuming, just seconds away from calling the restaurant from my table to ask for a server. HOWEVER, our server quickly apologized for the oversight. It was a snafu on table assignments or something. I made a point of informing her that I am a "local" and hoped the restaurant would impress me. (Believe me, it can be a very long summer for restaurants once the tourists leave). For restaurants to survive year round, they usually need support of the locals to hold them through the off-season. To her credit, she stepped up and made it right. I was happy with the service and food, and will definitely go back.

A diverse menu with reasonable prices, Tormés offers everything from veal piccata, filet of beef, halibut, salmon, gourmet pizzas and a range of perfect appetizer light dishes too. The live music truly adds to the atmosphere and makes Tormés feel different from other dining establishments in Palm Springs. 
Here, local and national musicians are headlined continuing Palm Springs' long-running ties to entertainment. It is rare to find supper-club type restaurants thriving and doing both music and food well. Tormés has a good vibe and should do well here in Palm Springs. The Palm Springs Savant gives it a "Three Palm" rating, so check it out. 360 North Palm Canyon Drive 760-327-1773


KathyA said...

So many restaurants, so little time! :)

Anonymous said...

Veal Piccata... I haven't had that in ages!!!!! I ned to drag out some chicken this week and do that.

Jeni said...

Looks -and sounds -like this would be an interesting place to visit and dine. I'm one of those oldsters who remembers Mel Torme. Anyone familiar with the tv sitcom, Night Court, might remember that Judge Harry on that show, was the ultimate fan of Mel Torme, if I recall correctly.

Sharon said...

I met Mel Torme many years ago. I was working for a publisher and he called about an out of print book. I told him I would try to find a copy for him, and I eventually did. Instead of having me mail it or deliver it somewhere, he came in to the office to pick it up himself. The receptionist was beside herself as she was a big fan of his. He was warm and charming, a true gentleman. As nice as he was talented.

Anonymous said...

I knew a 'Rick Rockhill' many years ago that lived in Atlanta, GA. He was know as Rocket and was in the music business...Are you that guy?

WAT said...

I walked right by this joint in January, and I had no idea it was new. Thanks for the info!


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