By Pamela Bieri
Le Paon experienced a very successful fourth season at its new second-floor location at the corner of Lupine Lane and El Paseo. Its dramatic open dining room with stacked stone walls, floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and wrap around outdoor patio overlooks the sophisticated boulevard. Brothers Eddie and Antoine Babai offer contemporary French food with impeccable service, hallmarks of their famous Le Paon when it was located on Highway 74.
Le Paon’s many loyal customers and new ones have discovered the relocated restaurant with its classic cuisine and friendly staff who have worked for years at Le Paon, in business 30 years.
Classically trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York, Executive Chef Eddie creates such favorites as Escalope de Veau Marsala and Maigret de Canard à l’Orange. Caesar Salad and English Dover Sole are classically served tableside. Director of Operations Antoine oversees dining staff and service.
The Babai brothers collaborated on the interior design. Colorful glass fixtures illuminate the sleek, black marble bar. Black linen-covered tables are overlaid with crisp white tablecloths set with multi-colored chargers, smart black napkins, and glass candleholders.
As Le Paon means “the peacock,” a beautiful peacock is hand painted on a double glass wall that separates the main dining room from a private one and from which the magnificent glass wine cellar is visible. The cellar holds thousands of French, Californian, and Italian wines.
New contemporary artwork and sculpture join a French sidewalk wall mural and other unusual art pieces. A massive, tiered, crystal chandelier descends from the vaulted ceiling adding elegance to the glass-and-stone modern architecture.
Le Paon is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and for dinner from 6 p.m. until closing Monday through Saturday, with happy hour in the bar from 5:30 p.m. until closing. Enjoy live piano music during the evening. Le Paon is also available for private events any day or evening.
Le Paon Restaurant
73399 El Paseo, Suite 200, Palm Desert, CA 92260
• Huîtres en Coquille a la Rockefeller
• Roasted Sea Scallops
• Pâté Maison
• Whole English Dover Sole
• Tournedos Neptune
• Filet De Chevreuil Sauce Poivrade Framboise
• Grand Marnier Soufflé
• Crème Brûlée
• Homemade Ice Cream
• Le Montrachet, Grand Cru, Marquis de Laguiche, Joseph Drouhin, Cote de Beaune, France
• Gavi di Gavi, La Scolca, Black Label, Piedmonte, Italy
• Kistler, Vine Hill Ranch, Russian River, California
• Barbaresco Gallina, La Spinetta, Piedmonte, Italy
• Shafer, Hillside Select, Napa Valley, California
• Archery Summit, Pinot Noir, Arcus Estate, Oregon