A Rare Experience
Friends have been encouraging us for years to dine at Palm Springs’ only French/Belgian Bistro, Pomme Frite. I have no idea why we shied away from making a visit until recently, but we were really missing out on a wonderful charming dining experience. Our first outing was for lunch. The Owner, Jean-Claude Constant, greeted us and escorted us to a lovely street-side table in an adorable café style setting with quaint French music playing in the background. We were immediately offered drinks and given menus.
A delectable selection of traditional and innovative fare were offered including an extensive assortment of mussel dishes. I was immediately drawn to the Petite Steak Tartare with Toasts. A “rare” find anywhere today, but I’d never seen it in Palm Springs! If not done right, it can be absolutely awful, not to mention unhealthy. I had to order it.
It arrived in a classic white bowl. Chopped raw beef, with mayonnaise, shallots, capers and Worcestershire sauce with crispy toast points. The first taste almost brought tears to my eyes. Authentic, flavorful, perfect texture, and vibrantly fresh. Wow. We all enjoyed every bite.
I followed the tartare with a simple steamed artichoke. Perfectly prepared with a zesty chive yoghurt sauce for dipping filling the hollowed center. No butter, no sour cream, no mayonnaise and no guilt with the low-fat sauce substitution. And, no lack of flavor. Completely satisfying. One guest had the Warm Goat Cheese Salad of butter lettuce tossed in a walnut vinaigrette topped with sinful toasts covered in melted goat cheese. Delicious.
Another enjoyed the Chicken Vol au Vent, a classic puff pastry dish with chicken and mushrooms in a white sauce. Flaky buttery crispy pastry with a perfectly seasoned creamy sauce. Yum. Everything was delightful. You really did feel like you had been transported to the South of France. I’ve been back several times since. Never disappointed. A consistently lovely unpretentious experience. And I must mention, at reasonable café prices.