By Raymond Bill

Beginning this weekend, many of my favorite restaurants will be participating in the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Restaurant Week, where guests have the opportunity to enjoy a three-course meal for a set price. Now residents and tourists alike can enjoy eating out at many restaurants from May 31 to June 16. Having eaten at most of the restaurants that are participating, I would like to share my top five restaurants to not miss during restaurant week.
#5. bluEmber- When it comes to ambiance, very few restaurants can compete with the beautiful scenery and elegant, outdoor dining area. With tasteful entertainment and amazing food, bluEmber is definitely a mini vacation from the usual. The grounds are immaculate and the service is top notch. bluEmber is located inside the Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa on Bob Hope Drive.
#4. Mastro’s Steakhouse- To be blunt, this is the best steakhouse in our valley, without exception. The dining room is a work of art and the staff seems to work together effortlessly. The steaks are incredible and will leave you speechless. The wine list is extensive and quite impressive. Take everything you know about a fine steakhouse and throw it out the window because Mastro’s set’s the bar now.
#3. Cuistot- This French restaurant is perhaps one of the most beautiful restaurants in the valley and the food is as impressive as the décor. Cuistot makes the list not only because the chef is truly an amazing talent, but they offer perhaps the largest wine selection of all restaurants and definitely the best sommelier in the valley with Fred Gerber. I am still telling my friends about the Quail stuffed with Sweet Breads and the perfect wine pairings Fred selected for the meal.
#2. Rockwood Grill- Located inside the JW Marriott’s Desert Springs Resort and Spa, this new restaurant is classy and cutting edge, pairing fun and exciting flavors and a beautiful resort setting. This restaurant makes number two because of the quality of food and the unforgettable service from the beautiful Elena. This restaurant is exactly what our desert needed. With a tender, fall off the bone Lamb Shank and the Filet Mignon with an incredible chimichurri sauce, you must see what makes this place so unique!
#1. Johannes- Deciding my top favorite restaurant was not a difficult task. Ever since I had dinner with friends here months ago, I have not stopped sharing my experience with friends and strangers alike. The martinis are large and delicious and the food is addictive! I cannot state enough how much I love this restaurant. The service is impeccable, and I mean truly flawless! The food is ALWAYS authentic, prepared to perfection. Having a birthday? Go to Johannes! Special anniversary dinner? Johannes! In the mood for the best Schnitzel you will find for hundreds of miles? Yes, Johannes is the place to be, but that’s just my opinion. Find out for yourself when Restaurant Week starts this weekend.
I have eaten at most of the restaurants participating and now that I am fortunate to be working and supporting the amazing, dish-Creative Cuisine Restaurant in Cathedral City, I would definitely recommend you come see me as well during this Restaurant Week. There are so many choices for fine dining and the price is so affordable that one could eat out for several nights for the price of one night on the town. Find out which restaurants are participating by visiting and most will require reservations. Start reserving now because the good restaurants will fill up fast.