Solano's Bistro Caters to Locals All Summer Long

Menu features dishes from Baja, California’s seacoasts, and Washington

Surf and Turf Hangar Steak with Prawns is a popular entree at Solano's Bistro in La Quinta.

Photo Courtesy of Solano's Bistro


Solano’s Bistro is not your typical seasonal restaurant awaiting the “snow birds” return.

Owner and chef Francisco “Paco” Solano says his restaurant is a “locals” place that works to serve customers all summer long.

“We have a great summer menu with specials throughout the restaurant, and happy hour all night long in the bar every night,” Solano says.

Solano’s brings a farm-fresh approach to this west-coast inspired restaurant with free range, wild caught and organic ingredients from local farmers and providers. The bistro encompasses dishes from Baja (as in Paco’s popular trio of special tacos on Tuesday night) up California’s seacoasts and farms to Washington State – think apples, walnuts and berries from here.

Creative starters are a raspberry and brie cheese quesadilla, and the heirloom tomato bruschetta with basil fresh from the herb garden out in front of the restaurant.

Deftly paring down his seasonal menu to a thoughtful yet well-rounded summer menu, Solano’s entrees include their popular beef short ribs (pictured at right), braised for hours in red wine sauce and served with fingerling potatoes and broccolini.

The shrimp scampi pasta offers four jumbo shrimp lightly charred on the grill over a bed of fragrant linguine tossed in a white wine, lemon, garlic, and caper sauce with bites of artichoke hearts.

The summer salmon is grilled and served with peach salsa, and the Coachella Valley chicken breast is stuffed with mascarpone, mozzarella, spinach, and date chutney. With the exception of pasta dishes, entrees are served with a seasonal vegetable and starch of the day.

Solano’s delightful selection of summer salads range from their house of mixed greens, blueberries, green apple wedges, walnuts and feta cheese tossed with blueberry vinaigrette, to a grilled stone fruit salad offering plums, nectarine, ricotta and candied walnuts tossed in a peach-lavender vinaigrette and greens. Butter lettuce and classic Caesar are also on the list.

Soups of the day – whether today’s or yesterday’s – are made in-house from scratch. We opted for a cup of chilled gazpacho, which came with a dollop of sour cream and thin slices of avocado, providing a cool, earthy contrast to the spicy soup.

Beside Taco Tuesdays, nightly specials include half off all bottles of wine on Monday and Saturday, and corkage fees waived on Wednesday when you bring in your favorite bottle. Romance Fridays offers a three-course prix fixe menu for two with a bottle of wine for $65. On Thursdays, chef prepares custom bar specials paired with a hand-crafted cocktail.

Summer Hours: 4 p.m. to close Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday. 

Solano’s, A West Coast Bistro, 78075 Main, Old Town La Quinta, (760) 771-6555

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