MURIEL'S SUPPER CLUB
THEATRE DINING AT IT'S BEST by Kaya Morgan
True glamour most describes the essence of the hottest, "in" spot in Palm Springs Muriels Supper Club. Just a few hours outside of Los Angeles, Palm Springs has long been the playground to the stars since the early days of Hollwood history. In its heyday, this desert oasis hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe and well, just about every other famous Hollywood movie star of the day.
Following the high-class, hot supper clubs of that era, where a night on the town meant dressing to the "nines," enjoying a steak served rare and large, sipping smart martinis and dancing into the wee hours of the night, Muriels has taken that classic idea and followed suit.
Launched in April of 1999, with a progressive American cuisine menu and Rat-Pack-era cocktails, Muriels has become a catalyst of the latest Palm Springs renaissance, enjoying a return to the sophistication and style sought after by the new breed of young, hip jet setters. With Francis Ford Coppola as the "creative partner," you can almost anticipate the kind of unique experience this establishment affords.
"We want our guests to have the time of their lives doing something perhaps they've never done before," says founder, Doug Ahlers, a former technology entrepreneur who earned his stripes in the early days of the Internet boom. Eventually, his multi-media background led him to create Leirum, a national hospitality, entertainment and media corporation that develops new projects to push the boundaries of the imagination.
Instead of creating a carbon-copy, throwback to those bygone days, Ahlers and the Leirum team combined the elements of a kitschy cocktail culture and a cool 21st- century flair, to create a relaxed, retro-hip club, wowed by innovative contemporary American cuisine, impeccable service and eclectic live music from such legendary greats as Eartha Kit, Ray Charles and Pink Martini and kd lang.
Truly a "theater" of food, music and dance, the interior design reflects and enhances the restaurants energy and excitement. Overstuffed velvet chairs and couches are placed throughout the supper club with the open mezzanine area cloaked in red velvet with dramatic murals of nighttime cityscapes adorning the walls.
Executive Chef, Christian Eggerling, originally honed his culinary skills at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Then, he was mentored by chef Harold Marmelstein at the Polo Grill in Baltimore, and has supervised and meticulously catered for groups as large as 10,000. His impressive history includes creating special feasts for former President Clinton, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and a multitude of celebrities too numerous to mention. No wonder his original approach to haute American cuisine has been the subject of numerous magazine articles and television shows.
Signature dishes from the Chefs Tasting Experience, understated as a seven-course gastonomic roller coaster, are the pièce de résistance of the dining tradition at Muriels with specialties like chilled papaya soup with candied macadamia and opal basil, Hamachi sashimi with American caviar or halibut with Florida rock shrimp over Vietnamese cabbage salad with lemon grass, lobster broth.
The regular feast offerings include some of the widest selections youll ever find on a menu with roasted duck breast, lamb rack, salmon, lobster, trout, venison, veal, prawns, Ahi tuna and, of course, foie gras all sumptuously prepared. Did they leave anything out?
To further personalize the experience, Eggerling and pastry chef, Ellen Yu, offer weekly cooking classes designed to introduce and educate guests on some of the finer aspects of entertaining, be they food, wine, scotch or even cigars. Their extensive program educates the clientele with such classes as The Perfect Brunch, Seafood Workshop, Say Cheese! American Bistro Food and a variety of desserts, just to name a few. Do register early as there is always a waiting list.
But, without question, one of the best reasons to visit Murielss aside from the incredible atmosphere, a tempting menu and impeccable service is the live entertainment with musical styles ranging from big band and swing, to salsa, mambo, reggae and contemporary sounds with staged cabaret acts scheduled to round out the entertainment calendar.
This is not merely dining, but a complete dining experience where the entertainment, either in the kitchen or on stage, is always a class act.
1 lb. butter
1 egg yolk
8 oz. powdered sugar
1 1/2 lb. cake flour (sifted)
1 9-in. baking pie shell
Directions: Cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Then add the egg yolk but do not over-mix. Slowly add the flour until a dough consistency. Roll out to 1/4 in. thick and line tart shell. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, let cool.
5 1/2 oz. white chocolate
26 oz. coconut puree
6 oz. corn syrup
10 oz. toasted coconut
1/2 c. Malibu Rum
Directions: Melt the chocolate in double-boiler, over hot water. Stir in the coconut puree and corn syrup and bring to a boil. Pour over the melted chocolate and combine. Fold in the toasted coconut and rum mixture, then pour into baked tart shell filling half way.
Valhrona Chocolate Ganache
7 oz. heavy cream
1 1/2 oz. corn syrup
9 oz Valhrona chocolate (may use any bittersweet if Valhrona is not available)
2 oz. butter
Directions: Melt chocolate in double-boiler, over hot water until smooth. Pour cream over chocolate, combine together and allow mixture to cool to 90 degrees or until firm. Spread over coconut ganache and allow to set 1-2 hrs. Slice into 8, and serve with coconut sorbet or vanilla ice cream.
For reservations contact 760.325.8839 or go to www.muriels.com
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