I have dined at Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills on a few special occasions and I have always enjoyed the experience — the exquisite meats and menu delicacies, the sophisticated ambiance, and the high-quality service make this place one of the best for fare and consistency.
Somehow I thought that moving to the desert meant I’d have to leave these culinary experiences behind and embrace a simpler life of home cooking and barbecuing with friends.
But luckily, the Coachella Valley is a lively food hub of fine restaurants that suit every taste and palate. And finding Mastro’s in Palm Desert was a pleasant surprise.
When I went to dinner there recently I was welcomed like royalty and found the same contemporary elegance as the Beverly Hills location. The main room features soft beige hues, dark leather booths, and mirrors; the huge horse shoe-shaped bar area is filled from bottom to ceiling with bottles of all sorts and high leather stools. The atmosphere in here is cheerful, enveloped with live music boasting contemporary catchy and fun tunes. A more formal dining room is adjacent the main room and features large tables with comfortable seating.
The menu is filled with different options, but the meats always catch my eye; they are available in many styles and portions with mouthwatering side dishes to choose from. Once the plates arrive they literally sizzle, as the food is still cooking. It is impossible to describe the tenderness of the petit filet mignon that I ordered; it was like pure butter. The garlic mashed potatoes and mushrooms were just the best match to the juiciness of the filet. All the ingredients are locally sourced where possible and almost all vegetables come from our bountiful valley.
But the cherry on the pie was Mastro’s Signature Warm Butter Cake (pictured at right), a buttery pound cake with layers of sweetened cream cheese; needless to say, a real explosion of flavors that could be a meal in itself!
The wine list is very extensive featuring many Californian, Australian, and European wines. The cocktail and craft beer menu includes classics and original drinks such as the gluten-free Noble House, Cha-Cha-Cha, and the Viking.
The fanciness doesn’t stop with the drinks, though; the take-out bags at Mastro’s look like designer’s tote bags, too. This is indeed the Gucci of steak houses!
Mastro’s Steakhouse, 73405 El Paseo, Ste. 120, Palm Desert. 760-776-6777; www.mastrosrestaurants.com