By Dan Paris

The perpetual quest for our ultimate dining experience drives us to seek a restaurant in which food, ambience, personal attention and value converge to create a memorable meal.  Mezzomondo gets it.

Co-owner Luba welcomed us at the door with genuine warmth and provided personalized care throughout our meal.  We felt as if we were long-lost relatives attending a family dinner.  The small venue was at capacity with several waiting for their turn to join the party.  I was impressed by the collective good will evident among the staff and diners.  Stress was nonexistent.

We were seated immediately (make reservations) and treated to attentive, well-timed service.  Luba presented an enthusiastic description of the specials that made us want to order them all.  The menu features the Italian menu progression of Antipasti, Zuppa, Salada, Pasta and mains of meat and seafood. The pasta is made daily by Chef Elio also known as Luba’s husband.

We started with a Calamari Steak Milanesa on a red pesto sauce accompanied by lightly dressed mixed greens and a House Salad with a bright vinaigrette dressing and pear.  The Calamari was cooked perfectly tender and the salad was crisp and lively.  A basket of warm fresh-baked ciabatta was included. As soon as our plates were cleared, our pasta dishes appeared.  My companion ordered the spinach and cheese ravioli with a sage-butter sauce and I opted for the spicy penne Arrabiatta topped with freshly made soft mozzarella and basil.  The spicy tomato sauce was light and fresh and the sage-butter sauce had an herbal, complex depth.  These flavors are the legacy of recipes handed down from generations of Italian kitchens.  The clean plates of the surrounding diners confirmed the excellent choices across the menu.

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There are excellent choices of wine by the glass with very generous pours and many bottle options.

Mezzomondo is the restaurant you hope to discover when travelling the back roads of Italy.  Lucky for us it exists here in a Palm Desert strip mall.

 Mezzomondo

73850 Hwy. 111 Suite A

Palm Desert, Ca. 92260

(760) 636-0575

Open:  Tues.-Sat. 5 p.m.- 9p.m.

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