Today is the day!!! At long last, über-successful Palm Springs Valley restaurateurs Jerry and Barbara Keller are ready to unveil their latest eatery, Acqua California Bistro at The River in Rancho Mirage today July 27! I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Kellers’ end-of-season bash, held at Acqua’s new event space adjacent to the nearly completed restaurant, and let me tell you, we are all in for a delicious treat.
Fans of the Kellers’ Acqua Pazza will remember that esteemed establishment holding court for some 15 years in the same spot. When Jerry and Barbara chose to close up shop in late 2014, the space was taken over by another restaurant whose concept failed to catch fire with foodies. “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t meet someone who tells us that they miss our first Keller family restaurant at The River,” Jerry told me as my friend and fellow-blogger, Diana Dodge, and I caught-up with him over cocktails at that recent party he and Barbara threw for hundreds of their biggest fans. “Our guests have asked us to come back to Rancho Mirage, and we’re thrilled to be bringing Acqua California Bistro to The River this summer.”
According to Jerry, the space will be substantially expanded, feature a new whimsical décor (including an awesome 50-foot sculpture by beloved Rancho Mirage artists Tony and Karen Barone, and newly air-conditioned riverview seating. The place will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and boast the same superb California bistro menu as its Palm Springs sister restaurant, Lulu California Bistro.
I can’t wait to dive in almost daily. My appetite will be whetted every time I drive by The River on Highway 111 and catch a glimpse of those 14, colorful, oversized, Barone-crafted metal forks stuck above the restaurant’s entrance. They bode mouthwateringly well for what awaits inside.