By Tracy Dietlin
If it weren’t for Restaurant Week we may have never discovered Melange, a hidden gem located on Caleo Bay in La Quinta.
This fabulous little restaurant is located inside The Chateau at Lake La Quinta, a 24 room bed and breakfast that sits on Lake La Quinta. Upon entering I was immediately impressed with the ambience that included a large horseshoe shaped bar in the middle of the room and large windows offering a gorgeous view of the lake and a winding staircase leading up to the second story rooms. Dining is available inside as well as outside on the large patio. You can also walk down a few stairs to a lower level patio area that includes couches and a closer view of the beautiful homes surrounding the water.
On our first visit to Melange, my husband and I were accompanied by my daughter and her husband. We were all excited to try a new place. We were seated as soon as we walked in and our lovely waitress Casey took our drink orders right away. They have an extensive wine list and I chose a Sonoma Chardonnay that was an ample pour. The others all decided on craft cocktails of which the restaurant has many refreshing selections to choose from.
Since we were there for Restaurant Week we didn’t even look at the regular menus. I already knew from looking at their website beforehand what I was going to have. I chose the Caprese salad for my appetizer, which was a little piece of yellow tomato heaven, followed by the Sea Scallops and Jumbo Prawns over risotto with asparagus. Without a doubt, they were the BEST scallops I have EVER had. Perfect consistency and oh so tasty! My husband chose the Caesar salad that was served with fresh, shaved parmesan and anchovies, followed by his entrée of Braised Short Ribs, which were tender and juicy and were served with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. My daughter went with the Chicken Picatta in a white wine lemon butter sauce with capers that was to die for. She also enjoyed the Caprese salad for her starter.
My son-in-law selected the smoked salmon for his appetizer followed by the Rack of Lamb, which was perfectly prepared and plated and was accompanied by roasted French rosemary purple potatoes, sautéed spinach and peppers. The presentation of each one of these culinary delights, were mini masterpieces of their own.
For dessert we shared a date bread pudding, trio of sorbets and the best darn cheesecake any of us had ever tasted. To go with our desserts we all enjoyed a healthy pour of Hennessey in a large snifter. A perfect ending to a most delicious dining experience! Melange has it all: impeccable service, inviting ambiance and fantastic food prepared by Executive Chef Nestor Ruiz.
We enjoyed our time at Melange so much that we had to go back. This time it was just going to be for a couple cocktails sitting at the bar. We arrived at 4:30 and left way after they closed at 9pm. While sitting at the bar we struck up a conversation with some lovely ladies who were out of town travel agents. So we decided to have a couple appetizers with our drinks. After all it was Happy Hour. And we were lucky enough to have our same server again. Casey is the best! The crab cake sliders were delicious, however the ahi pokatini was unlike any other ahi appetizer I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to return for another. By this time our good friend and writer for CV Weekly, Bronwyn, came in with her 2 daughters and joined us. Soon after, one of her friends joined us and before we knew it we were ordering a full dinner. After the ladies left, my husband and I enjoyed a romantic dessert and snifter on the lower level patio on the comfy couches enjoying what might be the last nighttime breeze we have in the desert for a while. I really can’t say enough about our new favorite place. Check it out for yourself!
Breakfast is served from 7:30am-10:30am. Lunch from 11:00am-2:00pm. Dinner from 5pm-9pm. Happy Hour is Sunday-Thursday from 2:00pm-6:00pm.
Melange is located at 78120 Caleo Bay Dr. Call 760-564-7332 for reservations. Visit their website at www.thechateaulakelaquinta.com.