Friday, July 01, 2011

Birba Pizza & Cocktails: A cool Palm Springs spot, even in summer

Tricolore salad is the poster child for this popular dish
When Cheeky's came on the scene in Palm Springs a couple of years ago, it was a breath of bacon-scented fresh air in the mostly moribund desert. Now, the owners of Cheeky's have taken it a step further, turning the large adjacent garden into Birba, a mostly-outdoor evening pizza and cocktails lounge. Even without burrata and charcuterie, this patio would be a lovely place to sip an icy carafe of rose as the temperature finally sinks below 100. But add some wood-fired pizza and sophisticated salads, and there's little reason to explore other Palm Springs dining options. Large shards of good parmesan were scattered over the tricolore salad, which had a bright lemony dressing and perfectly fresh radicchio, arugula and endive. Burrata salad made a pretty plate, and pizzas were topped with the likes of homemade sausage or braised greens. There's also a specials menu with mains like roast chicken and more creative salads, if you're not in the mood for pizza.
The patio is pleasant even in summer heat -- and dog-friendly

In the summer, it's still pretty hot in the evenings, but omnipresent desert misters help take it down a notch. My only quibble would be the trendy lucite chairs, which are a little sticky in the heat for all the shorts-clad diners. Cocktails include the Habanero Margarita, Lemongrass Rickey and French Lemonade, and both the rose and white La Veille Ferme wines are a great value at $28 a bottle.
margarita pizza has a very respectable crust

Birba

622 N. Palm Canyon Dr.
Palm Springs
760-327-5678

Birba on Urbanspoon

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