ENZO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT IN RANCHO MIRAGE like family to Hollywood stars Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra

Palm Desert Italian spot frequented by Hollywood icons like Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra



Michael Hepworth



Rancho Mirage (Perfect Meal Today 10/27/19/–Enzo’s restaurant in Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs recently re-launched as an Italian restaurant primarily focusing on Southern Italian food and in particular the region of Calabria.

The spacious facility used to be called DOMINICKS, and in its heyday it used to be the hangout for the likes of Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball, and all their Hollywood cronies who had luxury homes in the area and a passion for Italian food.

Today Enzo’s is run by the father and son team of Robert and Nick Novello, and the restaurant will feature handmade pizzas and pastas such as the veal marsala ravioli or even the classic and always popular spaghetti and meatballs. Another staple of the menu will be the house made sausage and charcuterie and of course the fresh seafood such as oysters and octopus.

I did finagle a trip backstage to the kitchen area and was shocked at the size of it, more like A hotel kitchen than some of the cramped spaces I have seen in my time. No wonder big Frank liked to hang out there and actually chance his hand in the kitchen.

The tasting menu started out with the Mista Salad, mixed greens topped with garbanzo beans, Slivered red onions, tomatoes, olives and of course the Parmigiana Reggiano. Good start which was deftly followed by the Melanzane Parmigiana Stack. This is Eggplant rounds sautéed in olive oil layered with Pomodoro, ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiana reggiano and fresh basil.

The house special of Sausage Peppers and Meatballs went down a treat with this writer and was quickly followed by the Pesce Spade Pizzaiola, a grilled swordfish topped w/black olive, and caper in a roasted tomato sauce and served with risotto. Risotto is always one of the Hardest things to get right in an Italian kitchen but this time chef Nick got it right.

Last up and probably the best dish of the night was Vitello Marsala, veal medallions served along with a mushroom and marsala wine sauce w/roasted asparagus. The cocktail program here is pretty lively and a couple of the unique ones they feature are The Sicilian Caddy and the Fuzzy Mo. The former is an inspired take on the classic margarita and the latter is a combination of peach vodka and orange liqueur with a dash of cranberry and lime juice.

This is a big space with seating for 308 plus two patios in a 10,000 square foot area. I was told that their catering menu is in high demand in the area, and their full plate packages can serve up to eighteen people.


Enzo’s Bistro & Bar-70030 E.Hwy 111,Rancho Mirage,CA 92270


Hours-3 pm to 10 pm Tuesday through Saturday. (closed Sunday and Monday)

Plenty of free parking

Bar Happy Hour- 3 to 7 pm




Housed in the iconic Dominick’s space, neighborhood restaurant offers creative cocktails, extensive wine list to pair with fresh, authentic Italian fare 

Rancho Mirage (Perfect Meal Today) 10/27/18/-Enzo’s Bistro & Bar, an Italian restaurant with a lively bar scene will October 16 in Rancho Mirage. Following two weeks in soft opening, the restaurant will celebrate with red carpet fanfare and festivities at its grand opening party on November 7.   Located at 70030 CA-111, the concept marries classic Italian and Calabrian fare, inspired by family recipes of Southern Italy.   

The conception and inspiration for Enzo’s came from a collaboration between father and son chefs, Robert and Nick Novello of Southern Italian heritage, and is owned by iconic west coast restaurateur Hal Griffith. Named in honor of a beloved Novello family member, the menus and ambiance welcome guests as family.    

“We wanted to create a space that feels like Grandma’s kitchen,” said Enzo’s Vice President of Operations Robert Novello. “There may be 15 tables, but we want it to feel like you’re in a cozy home, eating lovingly-made, traditional food.” 

Enzo’s ever-evolving menu offers elevated Italian classics like handmade pizzas and house made pastas with Southern Italian delicacies inspired by the Novello family’s Calabrian heritage, including the Sicilian Bucatini, anchovy-forward bucatini with orange zest coined by Culinary Director Nick Novello as “the umami of Southern Italy.” Authentic and delicious selections include the Vitello Marsala, sautéed veal medallions served with a cremini mushroom and marsala wine sauced served on a bed of fresh, house-made fettucine and the Lasagna, Calabrese style with house made marinara and sausage, ricotta, parmigiana Reggiano, and Romano Pecorino.   

“We’ve put together a best-in-class team including Palm Desert professionals like Regional Director AJ Mangione and Chef Vito Raspatella,” continues Nick Novello. “We have a delicious menu and some gorgeous spaces. We’re ready to wow locals, visitors and snowbirds alike.” 

Housed in the space that was formerly Dominick’s, an iconic Palm Desert Italian spot frequented by Hollywood icons like Lucille Ball and Frank Sinatra, Enzo’s pays homage to these A-listers with an extensive cocktail list and lively bar scene. Craft cocktails like a Sicilian Caddy, an inspired take on a classic margarita or the Fuzzy Mo, a marriage of peach vodka, orange liqueur with a splash of cranberry and lime juice, join classic, Italian cocktails to pair with menu items, including specialty Bellinis and martinis. In the bar, happy hour will be offered daily from 3-7 p.m. with domestic draft beers, house wines and martinis starting at $3.50, and deals on shareable plates like the Polpette, featuring the Novello family recipe of handmade meatballs simmered in a fresh, marinara sauce or the Ostriche Carbonara, fresh oysters baked with pork belly, spinach in cream sauce.   

A robust butcher block program will offer dry-aged steak and house-roasted rotisserie chicken, offered with seasonal preparations. These will join items like the Fettuccini Alfredo con Pollo Arrosto, a delectable take on the classic dish finished with house-roasted rotisserie chicken and more. To view the full menus, click here. 

The new restaurant sits 308, with two patios in a 10,000 square foot space. A private event space with a capacity of 80 seated, 120-standing is available for group meals, weddings and corporate events. An expansive outdoor patio for dining, beckons both families and cozy tables for two.   

Southern California Native Chef Nick Novello joined Great Western Pacific, the parent company of Enzo’s Bistro and Bar, in late 2018 following in the footsteps of his father Robert, who has run operations for the company’s California locations for 34 years.   

Enzo’s is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday). For more information on Enzo’s, please visit enzosbistroandbarranchomirage.com and follow Enzo’s on Facebook @EnzosRanchoMirage Instagram @Enzos_RM.   

About Enzo’s Bistro & Bar 

Inspired by the flavors and hospitality of Southern Italy, Enzo’s is a classic Italian restaurant and bar featuring authentic Italian fare made with the freshest ingredients available. Menus feature both classic preparations and seasonal special. A robust wine and spirits program offers a pairing for any meal. There are three locations along the west coast, each offering menus custom to each neighborhood, along with both indoor and outdoor spaces fit for both romantic meals or family reunions. For more information visit Enzo’s Issaquah, Enzo’s La Quinta or Enzo’s Rancho Mirage.