By Raymond Bill
I am excited to share my experience at Cuistot, where I enjoyed the best meal I have
had this year! Although I have eaten at many restaurants across our valley, this particular meal
was beyond incredible! While on a blind date, I discovered what separates Cuistot from every
other restaurant in our valley, let alone French restaurant. With its architectural elegance and
accents including fine linens and floral centerpieces, Cuistot is the perfect venue for a special
occasion or a romantic night out with a loved one.
The staff was very inviting as we entered the grand foyer to behold the beautiful, open
floor plan. We were seated at one of several large, private booths. We would be greeted by a
very cordial server who was candid and quick to share his favorite menu selections. We began
with the Lobster Ravioli with a truffle sauce. It was rich and buttery with shaved black truffles
and chunks of sweet fresh lobster meat. We were fortunate that the best sommelier in the
desert happens to work at Cuistot; we would allow Fred to pair each course with a selection of
wine from perhaps the largest wine list I have ever laid eyes upon. The Sancerre would be a
Following the first course, we shared the Avocado Fan, a salad of sliced avocado and
warm goat cheese served on a hot plate with an olive oil, shallot dressing. It was tangy, sweet
and creamy, a nice contrast to our first plate. We were lost in conversation and truly enjoying
each other’s company when our main courses arrived, paired with a new glass of wine.
In front of us, we were presented with Grilled Scottish Salmon, offered with housemade
spinach ravioli and a light vinaigrette sauce that provided a touch of acidity to the buttery,
flakey salmon. It was just superb! But this would not be the pièce de résistance; no, this title
goes to the Roasted Quail Stuffed with Sweetbreads. Two small Quails, deboned and stuffed
with delicious, savory sweetbreads and roasted, served over, “forbidden” Chinese black rice
with a rich wine sauce and vegetables. Words cannot describe how this dish has set the bar for
all meals to follow!
While we were quite satisfied from our entrées and preceding courses, dessert was
inevitable. Paired once again, this time with a dessert wine, we shared the Raspberry
“Feuilleté” dessert. I cannot begin to pronounce the name but this crispy pastry dish with
sweet custard and fresh raspberries was a nice break from the traditional crème brulée and a
perfect finale to our evening!
This would be my first formal dining experience, having enjoyed many small plates at
the bar, and it shall not be my last. Located at 72-595 El Paseo in Palm Desert, Cuistot
Restaurant is also open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30am to 2:30pm and
dinner begins at 5:30pm Tuesday through Sunday. Happy Hour begins at 4pm and ends at 6pm.
Reservations are recommended by visiting www.cuistotrestaurant.com or calling 760-340-1000.