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May 23, 2007 02:08 PM

The Palm Restaurant, Fresno

I could only find a Jan 2007 review of this place. It was new at the time and got a so-so review. Has anyone been there recently? Your thoughts?

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  1. My boyfriend and I went there over a month ago and just had drinks and food at the bar. We shared the duck entree, it was okay. I was expecting something spectacular from all the hype I had been hearing. I think the price was about $28 or more. To say the least, it wasn't anything I couldn't have cooked myself.

    Service at the bar was very prompt and considerate. Drinks were made as requested and very good. A couple near us had ordered a cheese platter (a couple different cheeses from soft to hard along with apples, pears, grapes, and crostinis) which I wish I had ordered maybe along with an appetizer.

    The service at The Palms is supposed to be the ultimate best. The service captain supposedly has trained and worked in an amazing restaurant in La Jolla. I would go back to try the menu again. I wasn't entirely impressed, but not dissapointed, even though the menu did seem a little redundant, everything just seemed already "been there, done that". But maybe there is something more than what I saw. I'm interested to see what others think.

    Just a note...according to the "Best of Fresno/Valley" The Palms won "Best Fine Dining" for the Fresno area. Interesting...

    4 Replies
    1. re: cocktailqueen77

      Thanks CQ for your review. So many new restaurants but mostly in the NE and we're NW so thought this might be one to try. What was the ambience like?

      1. re: Gail

        The ambiance is spectacular, very plush and articulate. You can tell that whomever designed the restaurant put a lot of thought into every detail. What I like about the interior is that it is detailed without being overdone. Simple, yet exquisite. The bar is to the right, in a rectangle, with booths and tables extending out for a more casual "bar" dining atmosphere. On the left hand side of the bar dining is a wine cellar, glass-enclosed. There also is a small area with a piano and seating right in front of the bar. The main dining room is oval shaped with a magnificent ceiling. There also is another dining room that is closed off by french doors, I did not see the inside of this room. The bathrooms are beautiful and well-maintained as well!!

        We ate there over a month, so perhaps the menu has changed by then. Hope you have a great experience, please let us all know what happens!!

        1. re: cocktailqueen77

          I mostly agree with CQ, the decor is of a simple elegance with cream colored walls and rugs with some black mixed in to complement. If I recall correctly, the walls were left with a minimalist effect, as there wasn't much on them, but there was two enormous mirrors that left me wondering how in the world they got them in there. The bar is nice, maybe slighty bigger than the one at Slates and perfect for martinis. The interior reminds me of hotel dining or a hotel atmosphere. The same goes for the menu. Oysters Rockefeller, cheese plate, steak and potatoes, risotto, etc.. I read in the Bee that chefs were "lured" away from the Las Vegas and the Bay area to make these dishes. However, I don't seem to think that is the case. Overall, I would revisit occasionally, but it didn't knock me off my feet or anything..

          I know restaurateurs vote for the "Best of the Valley" , but how can it get best for fine dining when it has barely been opened is unusual and interesting.. and Starbucks best coffee in the valley??? Isn't it a national chain? Oh well.....

          1. re: mixnblend

            The atmosphere was more impressive than the food, IMHO. I haven't been back. I can't say that the menu was anything "new" at all. Like you said-the usual, run-of-the-mill fair. I would probably only go back to sit at the bar. You can order off the dinner menu there which is nice. I really appreciated the service. Very attentive.

            At the time of voting for the "Best of the Valley" The Palms would have only been open over four months, if that. I completely agree that this is not sufficient enough time to even get all those new restaurant "kinks" out, let alone win "Best Fine Dining". I think the other nominations were for Slates, Lantana, and Erna's Elderberry House. The awards don't make any sense as it is. You can pretty much look at the nominations, then turn to the back page where they have the Board of Directors, look at the names (and restaurants they own), and take an educated guess on who is going to win. It is the same thing every year (believe me-I have been to many of these awards and nothing changes). If your not on the board the winners are usually good friends of. I will say that every year there is one very notable restaurant that is appreciated, maybe there is hope!! But for the most part it is like a high school popularity contest.

            Still wondering if anyone else has been...I want to know if the dining room experience lives up to its reputation!!

    2. The Palms Restaurant is most definatly an addition to the fine dining scene. My wife and I went there on a packed Friday evening. The wait took a little while, so we decided to have a drink at the bar. I believe my wife had an infusion berry martini (in which she said was perfect) and the bar tender recommended a pineapple martini. The atmosphere was absolutely outstanding in accompany with the interior decoration, food and service. As far as the interior decoration goes, hands down was the best I've ever seen in Fresno, just as 'mixnblend' mentions. Our server was friendly and professional, just as a fine dining restaurant needs. I had the bone-in rib-eye and my wife had the sea bass. Both of our entrees were tastey in their own ways, not to mention the presentations. My wife said she had never ate sea bass like that in her life. Not to forget the rib-eye I had, which was quite delicious.

      I recommend this restaurant to anyone who's still in question of it. Most definatly an A+ on my list.

      1. I'm a little surprised at the suggestions that the menu is unspectactular. The food here is simply the best available in Fresno. From an initial period of "We need to try there" as we drove past to becoming regulars took only a steak and a chilean sea bass (my favorite) meal. My wife and I eat there every 2 weeks. Yes, it's not cheap but you pay for quality and quality is what you get. Great service, possibly aided by now being on first name terms with the staff, combined with excellent food. There is not another restaurant in town that I've visited more than 5 times that hasn't delivered an ordinary meal at least once.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I just had to register at Chowhound just to reply to this specific post! One word, outstanding. I went to The Palms for one of it's wine dinners with a group of friends and had an amazing time. To start off, the wine dinner was properly organized. The food presentation was excellent and service was without a doubt professional. From what I remember, they served a heirloom tomato salad, sea scallops and boneless short ribs. Excellent addition to the the fine dining scene in the Central Valley.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mikehanson00

              Since I started this thread, my husband's company Christmas party (2008) was held here. I was shocked when they handed out their regular menu as there were about 35 of us. Everyone ordered off the regular menu and somehow, they pulled it off...amazing. The food and service was good and everyone was happy. Since, we've had lunch there. Hubby had never had Kobe beef, so ordered the Kobe burger sans bun, etc. It was barely visable, but good. I had the salmon salad with a nice size salmon and greens with an interesting dressing. Sure enjoy the atmosphere and will go there again. For some reason, it seems to be off our radar.