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Details surrounding the incoming Bar Cecil in Palm Springs surfaced this week by way of a press release. The under-construction restaurant, at 1555 S Palm Canyon Drive, will pay homage to Cecil Beaton, “a renaissance man who was equal parts rebel and aristocrat, an artist who lived between classical charm and new world rebellion, a provocateur, an Expressionist, and an aesthete who incorporated many mediums to create a style all his own,” according to the release. It is scheduled to open in mid-February, and while an exact opening date is TBD, Bar Cecil will be open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday starting at 5 p.m.
Bar Cecil’s bistro menu is a “nod” to the “great American and European bistro experiences,” with entrees like Steak Frites, roasted Gonestraw Farms chicken, pan-seared halibut, smoked bone-in pork chop, and pasta. There’s a section entitled “Why Not?” with choices like Thomas Keller’s Regiis Ova caviar service, oysters on the half shell, a dry-aged tomahawk steak, and the Beaton Martini, a Beluga vodka cocktail served with a deviled egg topped with Regiis Ova caviar and a house-pickled cocktail onion. Bespoke menu “The Beaton Experience” can be arranged with an assortment of specialty dishes. Bar Cecil also offers a full bar serving “classic and inventive” cocktails.
The jewel box dining room and bar are meant to be a modern take on English wallpapers, warm woods, and brass finishes, and the restaurant’s 75 seats also include patio dining. Signed prints from Alexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Damien Hirst, Sam Francis, Donald Sultan line the walls, and of course, include photographs from Beaton’s portfolio. Murals and painted details from local artist Tysen Knight and the restaurant’s partners complete the collection.
Bar Cecil’s culinary team is led by Partner/Executive Chef Gabriel Woo, former executive chef of Sparrow’s Lodge and Holiday House in Palm Springs, and a 2019 guest chef at James Beard House in New York City. The dining room is managed by Partner/General Manager Nate VanDeventer, who joins the team from Lightning Bar Collective in Portland, OR, and was a consultant for Villa Royale and Del Rey in Palm Springs in 2018.
“In the depths of the pandemic, the partners found hope and inspiration in Beaton’s zest for
life, freedom of expression, celebration of diversity, and varied talents which transcended the
standards and norms of his time,” according to the release. “They’ll also admit to sharing many bottles of rosé!”