Inviting French Farmhouse At Entrada Del Paseo
By Pamela Bieri
Inspired by rural farmhouses from his native Lyon, France, countryside, Cuistot’s chef and owner Bernard Dervieux designed and created the fabulous 7,100-square-foot restaurant on the corner of El Paseo and Highway 111.
Melding timeless with contemporary architecture, the restaurant’s French “farmhouse” design at the west end is joined to the more contemporary east end by an arched parapet with a tower entry. Guests arrive under a luminous porte-cochere and walk under an ivy-covered trellis to the entrance.
Cuistot’s great room boasts a peaked, beamed cathedral ceiling, massive stone fireplace, and lovely patina wood bar. Nearly half of the restaurant is the open kitchen centered around a huge stove island, so seating in the surrounding dining room offers a great view of bustling chefs. From this area, a sweeping patio invites guests with its freestanding outdoor fireplace and waterfall tumbling over boulders. For intimate dining, Cuistot’s wine room is dedicated to special parties.
Cuistot’s comfortable upholstered settees, chairs, and décor are appointed in a rich palette of gold, copper, charcoal, and luminous burgundy. Tables beckon with starched white linens illuminated by candles in this warm, inviting, French country atmosphere.
Cuistot’s loyal patrons now fully appreciate that Bernard has more under his toque than the award-winning California French cuisine he has offered for the past 26 years in Palm Desert.
Trained by world-renowned chefs Paul Bocuse and Roger Vergé, Dervieux’s cuisine consistently earns top ratings from the Zagat Survey and other prestigious awards, including the Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” again this year. Cuistot is gaining even wider acclaim with such touches as a petite first course of seafood, pâté, or brioche as soon as guests are seated.
Cuistot’s inviting bar and impressive wine cellar feature premier selections from France and California that pair with the innovative California French cuisine. Open for lunch and dinner; reservations are recommended.
Price Range: $$$$
Owner and Chef Bernard Dervieux serves up delicious deserts to son Colin and daughter Camille in Cuistot’s beautiful dining room.
An elegant selection from Chef Bernard’s unique menu displayed in his busy exhibition kitchen, clockwise from the bottom — Fresh Beet and Cream Cheese Napoleon on Smoked Salmon; Grilled Suzuki Japanese Sea Bass served over Bamboo Rice with Asian Slaw and Ginger Champagne Vinaigrette; Peach Cobbler, fresh out of the oven, served with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream. Also shown in the background are some of the fresh ingredients utilized to create Cuistot’s great cuisine: Dover sole, giant prawns, filet mignon, asparagus, celery, scallions, and escargots.
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