Sassper’s is the newest restaurant to open in Palm Desert and all I can say is WOW! We needed a new tapas bar in the center of the Valley and this went up in a great location a block off El Paseo.
The room is bright and open and has a large bar with a patio in the back and a traditional dining area in the front. Walking in the front door I was warmly welcomed and heard the live music that they have nightly. David and Molly Sasson are the proprietors, and they have poured their personalities into the décor and food. They should be very proud of what they created with the help of consultant Bill Birkhead.
The bar is run by a very friendly mixologist named Javier that hand-crafts the signature cocktails that pay homage to history of the Palm Springs area. They have assembled a nice selection of craft liquors including the Art In The Age specialty liquors (a real plus in my book).
In three visits I’ve tried almost everything on the menu and have challenged the bar with a selection of uncommon drinks, and they’ve done a great job with everything ordered.
A great start is a meat and cheese plate that has three types of cured Spanish meats and three types of aged cheese. It’s perfect with a classic craft cocktail.
Next up is a wonderful ceviche with crostini. This small dish is not only beautiful to look at, it delivered huge flavor as well.
You must try the steak and cilantro empanadas, which pack a blend of flavors and textures. The dough for the empanadas is light and crispy, with a wonderful savory steak filling that is dipped into a slightly sweet, slightly spicy and creamy cilantro dipping sauce with a hint of garlic and a touch of jalapeno.
The salmon crostini, with an herb cheese and a balsamic reduction, was a major hit. The flavors were bright and bold and worked well together.
As for the single-serving paella, it was one of the best I have ever tried. The seafood and rice were perfectly cooked and the saffron, paprika, spices, and seafood broth created a flavor profile that should not be ignored.