By Daniel Paris
Since 1999, native Belgian Jean-Claude Constant, has welcomed hungry desert dwellers to his cozy Belgian/French bistro Pomme Frite (translation French fries) to enjoy rich flavored stews, seven different preparations of mussels, butter and garlic slathered escargot, and the perfectly crispy Belgian fries.
Belgian bistro cuisine is European comfort food, reasonably priced and generous portions. On a busy Thursday evening during the street fair, we enjoyed our meal and attentive service from start to finish. We started with what turned out to be the best Caesar salad I have had in the Coachella Valley. Cold, crisp romaine lettuce with ample parmesan and anchovy-infused dressing coated the leaves. The French onion soup is capped with a crown of melted gruyere draped over a crisp slice of bread. A thoughtful touch is a small set of scissors to help gain access to the beefy onion-laced broth below.
Our entrees included fish and frites and beef stroganoff. The breaded fish was coated with a light tempura-like batter and was not the least bit oily. It was served with a delicious house-made dill-infused tartar sauce and the frites came with three condiments, ketchup, mayo, and chipotle mayo. This was my favorite fish and chips to date in the desert. The stroganoff defines comfort food with its melted onions and beefy Dijon mustard sour cream sauce served over egg noodles. Other comfort food standouts are Belgian beer-braised boneless short ribs served over mashed potatoes and wilted spinach. Streak frites, twin filet medallions with bearnaise sauce, saffron seafood Bouillabaisse, Vol au Vent, a chicken filled puff pastry with a creamy white sauce, and Burgundy style Coq au Vin.
The mussel entrees include the classic “Marinieres” with shallots, white wine, and parsley. “Mustard” with Dijon and cream. “Spanish” with chorizo, paprika, and cream. “Thailand” with red Thai curry and cream. “Vietnam” with a lemon grass-ginger coconut sauce.
Desserts include Belgian chocolate mousse, creamy caramel flan, crepes Suzette, Tarte Tatin, and a rarely offered “Floating Island,” poached meringue floating on crème Anglaise with caramelized almonds.
A great selection of Belgian beer, wines, and custom cocktails await to accompany your meal. Bon appetit!
256 S. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs 92262
Saturday/Sunday – 12:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Monday – 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Tuesday/Wednesday – Closed
Thursday/Friday – 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.