By Crystal Harrell

For high-class Parisian-style cuisine, Café des Beaux-Arts on El Paseo has been a delicious hub for authentic French dishes since 1993. The iconic restaurant is now offering guests a special dinner menu available from January 7 to 16, prepared by renowned French chef Thierry Barot.

This 10-day event titled “A Culinary Adventure to St. Tropez” will be prepared exclusively by chef Barot, and will feature nine items: three appetizer options, three entrées, and three desserts.

Appetizers for this special menu include tartare of ahi and pink grapefruit with cilantro and wasabi espuma; provençale tart with sweet red onions, burrata and filet of branzino with pesto; or cream of artichoke with truffle espuma and shaved home smoked duck magnet with rosemary.


Entrée selections include croustillant of salmon with chorizo and mashed sweet potatoes with hazelnuts and green onions; roasted calamari on country bread, pickled fennel, fresh goat cheese, honey and balsamic reduction; or glazed chicken breast with mushrooms duxelles, sautéed porcini and creamy polenta with aged parmesan.

To top off a flavorful dinner, dessert options are lemon sorbet with strawberry soup sprinkled with meringue and raspberry; lemon custard with crumble topping, candied orange, tangerine, and kumquat; and chocolate mousse with caramelized pear Napoleon and Chantilly cream.

Chef Thierry Barot is the owner of La Grange des Agapes located in Cogolin, a charming Provençal village perched in the hills above St. Tropez, France. He trained under some of France’s top Michelin-starred chefs, working at Carré des Feuillants in Paris, La Côte Saint-Jacques in Burgundy, and Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris.

Barot has also received several awards personally through various culinary contests and is the author of two cookbooks entitled Cuisinez Chocolat, about all things chocolate, and Cuisinez Olive, packed with recipes that highlight the Mediterranean’s go-to oil.

This fateful collaboration occurred when the owner of Café des Beaux-Arts, Didier Bloch, spent his vacation in St. Tropez and visited one of his favorite restaurants there—La Grange des Agapes. Chef Barot was the owner of that restaurant, and together, the two men discussed a plan to have Thierry come to Palm Desert to create some of Didier’s favorite dishes at the El Paseo restaurant.

“We are very happy to do these things, because it’s always interesting to do something new… Thierry makes delicious food and we are very excited to have him here with us right now,” said Bloch.

The restaurant owner has a knowledgeable staff to help create signature dishes,  many of whom have been with him working at the restaurant for 18 years. In addition to the “A Culinary Adventure to St. Tropez”, Café des Beaux-Arts will continue to serve its trademark menu, which features an outstanding selection of fine French entrees such as Duckling a l’orange, roasted Rack of Lamb Provencal and savory crepes and salads.

Café des Beaux-Arts is a stylish addition to the high-end strip, with a climate controlled outdoor patio, located on the corner of Larkspur and El Paseo. Appearing as a charming bistro on the outside, this restaurant has a Parisian ambiance and is the ideal spot to people-watch and enjoy the desert lifestyle. The elegant new bar with its balance of cozy booths and a U-shaped copperplate bar top is also the perfect place to find a delectable “small bites” menu and features live entertainment two nights a week.

“A Culinary Adventure to St. Tropez” dishes are available à la carte or as a $69.50 three-course menu with the standard Café des Beaux-Arts dinner menu also be available. Advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (760) 346-0669.