Fabienne Struelle and Luis Fuentes moved to the desert to retire, but it wasn’t long before they decided to do something new. Led by her love of cooking cultural cuisine and his passion for wines, they chose to follow their hearts and open what has quickly become a favorite neighborhood eatery, French Rotisserie Café in Palm Desert.

Fabienne has created a charming ambience of casual elegance through her collection of classic Parisan décor, much from her own home.

Creating the menu was a family affair as their son Alexander, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and three-star Michelin chef, serves as executive chef. Alex is currently on a Ment’or scholarship training with some of Europe’s finest restaurants while Chef Frank who hails from Lyon is in charge of day-to-day operations as chef de cuisine.

“I asked my son to take the dishes he grew up on and to professionally present them,” says Fabienne in her lovely French accent. What started as home cooking has evolved into high-end cuisine in a casual atmosphere at reasonable prices. “When you come to visit, we want you to feel at home and taken care of.” 

Their dedication to quality is reflected in both the professional and friendly staff and the exceptional selection (vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, etc.) featured at both lunch and dinner. Ingredients are locally sourced and organic and our favorites include the melt-in-your-mouth Sea Bass a la  Provencále, the perfectly seasoned Moules Mariniéres (mussels) in white wine, the Heirloom Tomato Soup, and their bountiful salads featuring hearts of palm, local dates, green beans, farm fresh eggs and more topped with light homemade dressings. 

Their succulent crisp-skinned chicken and homemade chicken soup are favorites among regulars, while their escargot imported from France, is honestly the best we’ve ever had. Their bread and cheeses are also imported and Parisian classics include Le Jambon Beurre (ham and Brie baguette), French Dip au Jus, Quiches du Jour, and Bouillabaisse de Marseille (seafood stew). And you have to try their no sugar added chocolate mousse!

To accompany your meal, Luis has created a selection of excellent wines at affordable prices and offers both European and local craft beers.

Fabienne and Luis are warm and welcoming personalities and much a part of their restaurants’ success. A visit to French Rotisserie Café will transport you to the French countryside where you’ll enjoy an exceptional meal and may even meet a few new friends along the way!

The French Rotisserie Café is located at 44489 Town Center Way in Palm Desert. Open Tuesday-Sunday 11:30a.m. – 2:30p.m. for lunch and 4:30p.m. to 9-10p.m. for dinner. Takeout is also available. For more information visit www.FrenchRotisserieCafe.com or call (760) 848-7684.

EDITOR’S NOTE (June 2020): Article updated to remove La Quinta location which is no longer open.

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