By Raymond Bill
Most of my dining adventures are shared with a close friend or a date but few people know of me as a family man. My most recent night out was with my two teenage children in celebration of their recent academic accomplishments. We shared a memorable evening at Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar in Palm Desert. The streets were illuminated with decorative lights for the holiday season so we took advantage of the beautiful weather to enjoy the view from the patio facing El Paseo. It was a night I will not soon forget.
We decided that “family style” dining was the way to go and began with a couple appetizers. The Crispy Calamari was quite tender, served over a bed of frisee lettuce with sliced pepperoncinis and accompanied by a tangy pepperoncini aioli. We also shared an order of their Chicken Meatballs with a creamy ricotta cheese and tomato sauce. The meatballs were bursting with flavor and the sauce was superb. Our appetites were ready for more.
Before the entrées, we decided to share a couple salads. The Spinach & Smoked Mozzarella salad was finished with a warm pancetta vinaigrette and accented with bites of crispy potatoes and red onion. My favorite, however, was the Tender Baby Kale salad with crunchy pine nuts, shaved fennel and pickled red onions in a light lemon vinaigrette. These salads were perfect portions for sharing and some salads are available in half portions as well. I will definitely return for lunch to enjoy these salads again soon.
Our courses were spaced apart just enough that we were able to enjoy our conversation with few interruptions. The staff was very polite and welcoming, especially the General Manager, Paul, who could be seen interacting with guests throughout the restaurant and assisting servers. I always appreciate when I see a “hands on” manager leading by example. This was truly a team effort.
For our main course, we would also share a few items. My daughter selected the Baked Ravioli in a pink tomato cream sauce. Once again the sauce was incredible and the ravioli were rich and prepared perfectly. My son chose a classic, Steak Frites for the table. A tender medium rare steak was sliced and fanned out before us, finished with a savory demi glaze and served with natural cut French fries. This plate was as delicious as it was beautiful. But of course we could not forgo the pizza! Our pizza selection, as suggested by the manager, was the Oven Roasted Seasonal Vegetable pizza. Topped with spinach, broccolini and chunks of cauliflower, this pizza had it all! The crust was top quality and crisp. I tried the Smoked Salmon pizza during my last visit and it, too, was amazing. I’m sure with further research I will find all of these pizzas to be incredible.
Our server shared with us the dessert selections and upon his recommendation we shared an order of little sugary beignets or doughnut holes with a tiny espresso milk shake. They were warm and sweet. My kids would also share a Create Your Own Sundae that was prepared table side, giving them their choice of ice cream and toppings. It was a perfect end to a memorable evening. From the time we arrived until the moment we left, the entire staff was smiling and appeared happy to be a part of this successful restaurant.
Wolfgang Puck pizza Bar is located at 73130 El Paseo, between Ocotillo Dr. and Sage Ln. This restaurant is great for a romantic evening for two as well as a family night out! Lunch is served daily from 11am to 3pm and dinner served nightly to 9pm, 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Happy hour is available between 3pm and 6pm Monday through Thursday with live entertainment on Wednesdays until 12am. Visit them online at www.wolfgangpuck.com or call for more information at 760-568-2700.