Many people have asked me why my reviews are so complimentary and if I have had poor service yet. After all, one cannot receive perfection at every meal. While I do my best to focus on the very best that a restaurant has to offer, it is inevitable that I will have an unpleasant experience from time to time. This week, I attempted to dine at a new Italian restaurant in Palm Desert. It is a small, privately owned eatery focusing on fresh ingredients and authenticity. I wish I could tell you about the food, but unfortunately, after waiting, seated with menus, for 35 minutes with not so much as a drink order or a, “We’ll be right with you…” we decided to leave. Looking over my shoulder as we walked to the car, I noticed the owner clearing our table, removing the menus that had laid there for half an hour, and I wondered why he would eagerly reset our table and not follow us out to ask why we had left dissatisfied. Perhaps this second attempt to run a restaurant will find more success than his previous.
The night was not a loss, and even though it was now later than we had planned for our evening, there are a few places that serve late and still provide a warm welcome. 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro saved the date and we had an amazing meal, paralleled with exceptional service! We sat on the bar side of the restaurant where we were able to choose from the comfortable couches, the high-top tables or the regular dining tables. We chose a corner table and quickly forgot about our recent experience at the, “new place”. The walls were lined with decorative wine corks and beautiful granite flows through the entire restaurant. We selected a bottle of wine from the retail section and our server Alyssa quickly opened the bottle while sharing the nightly specials. We were at ease.
We began with a featured appetizer, squash blossoms stuffed with warm goat cheese, lightly battered and fried, served with a red pepper sauce. It was a perfect combination of textures and flavors that reminded me of a dish I enjoyed at Ristorante Tuscany years ago. We shared a few favorites after that, including the Duck Confit Flatbread and the ever-addictive, “3rd Corner Fries”. The menu offers impressive meat and seafood selections that rival some of the finest restaurants in our valley. We finished our meal with a traditional mascarpone Panna Cotta, made with local honey. Translating to “cooked cream”, Panna Cotta is an Italian vanilla bean custard, that, when made properly, is rich and as smooth as silk!
Perhaps the most notable part of the evening was our server, Alyssa. A restaurant that serves the finest delicacies will fail if it lacks the principles of over all good service and guest satisfaction. There are many choices for fine food and entertainment in this valley. Without the guest in mind, there is no hope for success. A personal favorite, 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro is open for lunch and dinner, serving dinner to 1:00 am. Although lunch begins at 11:30 am, the wine shop opens daily at 10:00 am. Visit them at: www.the3rdcorner.com