By Dan Paris

Chef Bernard Dervieux took his father’s advice to learn a trade which ultimately led him to Palm Desert to open Cuistot. Along the way he worked with some legendary chefs such as Paul Bocuse. His career brought him back to his youth in the French countryside where he enjoyed fresh-farm produce steps away from the kitchen. He longed to replicate these experiences as chef/owner of his own restaurant. He and his wife created a French country lodge with timbered-beam ceilings and hand-laid rockwork set on beautifully landscaped grounds. Massive fireplaces inside and out create a cozy communal atmosphere.

Cuistot translates as “casual cook” or “rustic country chef,” but the dishes served are elegant and composed without being too fussy. The menu includes appetizers such as Lyon seafood quenelles, wild mushroom soup, Siberian Osetra caviar, and carpaccio of beef.

The entrees include seafood such as Grilled Seabass, English Channel Dover Sole, and Sand Dabs. Saddle and Leg of Rabbit, Rack of Lamb, Steak Frites, Roasted Veal Chop, and a classic Cassoulet Toulousian with lamb, duck, sausage, and white beans.

We ordered the veal chop and steak frites as well as the beef carpaccio. The presentation and depth of flavor had us making muffled happy noises throughout our meal. The service and timing of courses was excellent. A sommelier is available to help pair wine with your meal. Prices are what you would expect in a fine-dining establishment. Simply put, it is well worth the price.

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Cuistot
72595 El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA 92260
760-340-1000
Monday – Sunday 4:00 – 9:00 p.m.