By Crystal Harrell
When first setting foot inside Fortun’s Kitchen and Bar right next to Old Town La Quinta, I was greeted by the tasteful yet inviting atmosphere of the restaurant’s interior dining room. Equipped with a retractable roof for some pre-dinner stargazing, outdoor seating options, and a spacious bar with a frost railing, Fortun’s appears to be a feast for the eyes. This local favorite has made a name for itself among La Quinta eateries, even being honored with the “Restaurant of the Year Award” by the city last year.
Having reached my table, I was determined to see if my meal would be as richly decorative as the restaurant’s ambience and reputation. I started with the a meatball appetizer consisting of three Wagyu of beef and spicy pork sausage meatballs, nestled in a bed of garlic, basil, and marinara sauce topped with mozarella parmesan reggiano. The dish was nicely arranged with two pieces of garlic bread resting at opposite sides of the plate. I took a bite of a marinara-bathed meatball, and to my surprise, there was a subtle sweetness to the expected savor of the beef. The Italian flavors of the dish were strongly represented with an added twist that made the appetizer all the more interesting. The zest from the garlic bread made a perfect companion when dipped in the cheesy marinara—the flavor being even more magnified by the fresh chunks of tomato within the mix.
My main entree of choice was a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs served with a side of tater tots, corn bread, and a trio of dipping sauces. One bite into the ribs and I could tell how tender it was, right to the point of coming clean off the bone. Although there was a slightly dominating peppery taste, the overall flavor of the meat was not compromised and maintained its status as a juicy, delicious main course. A light coat of barbecue sauced dressed the ribs, and paired nicely in a way that offset the otherwise strong taste of pepper. The complimenting sides of cornbread and tater tots were homestyle classics done right, as the cornbread was soft and buttery to perfection and the tater tots had a satisfying crunch far superior than what you could find at a mall food court.
With the conclusion of my dinner drawing near and my dining experience at Fortun’s being exceptional thus far, I knew I must save the best for last. I peered at the dessert menu and was captivated by the sweet sight of the decedent chocolate rum brownie. The dish was presented with the rich brownie topped with vanilla salted caramel ice cream and slathered in chocolate syrup. A strawberry neatly cut in three sections accented the plate in what was quite possibly the most aesthetically pleasing dessert I have had the pleasure of eating. The rum-soaked brownie was every chocolate-lover’s dream, with a gooey, fluffy texture that was divinely juxtaposed by the creamy ice cream that melted under the warm cake-like base. Each bite was like enveloping my tastebuds in a dreamlike nirvana between a hearty meal and a chocolate comatose. Either way, it was a delectable experience.
Fortun’s Kitchen and Bar rightfully deserves the praise and attention it’s gotten over the past few years. The food is just as noteworthy as its photogenic interior, providing customers with a dining experience that will tantalize their senses and leave them hungry for more of its enticing menu selections. With entrees that are filling and uniquely flavorful, Fortun’s truly makes going out to dinner seem like an event.
Fortun’s is located at 78085 Avenida La Fonda in Old Town La Quinta. 760-564-8744