I have been in an Eiffel Tower-loving, wine-lapping, croissant-nibbling mood.
First it was hearing friends talk about their little flat in Paris (“Oh, it's nothing special, very small”) while I was eating French fries. Then I stumbled onto a late-night screening of “The Pink Panther” while flipping channels. (“I thought you said your dog didn't bite.” “He's not my dog.”)
But the piece de resistance came courtesy of a bowl of piping hot French onion soup made by the folks at The French Corner Cafe in Palm Desert.
The broth was dark and rich, the onion almost buttery with sauteed goodness.
I've always contended the best part of French onion soup is the bread and melted cheese on top, and that holds true in this authentically named French Onion Gratinée. A thick layer of melted Swiss cheese covered the top, then clung to the lip of the crock for dear life. I was happy to liberate every shred of it into my mouth.
The soup is a little pricey at $5.95, but worth the indulgence for a lovely lunch in very pretty surroundings — the place features France- themed paintings on walls, a bubbling stone fountain in one corner, comfortable rattan chairs and cozy booths done up in cream and burgundy leather. All the while, a Maurice Chevalier-type warbling French songs is piped in. I wanted to pop on a beret and stay all day.
The restaurant, in a great spot just a stone's throw from Target and DSW on Highway 111, also serves breakfast and dinner.
The menu features a variety of French specialties, including escargot, both sweet and savory crepes dishes, and rack of lamb.
But first, you have to get past the big glass case loaded with goodies.
The array is dizzying, with macaroons, delicate towers made from chocolate and custard; lots of pastries, breads and other sweets to choose from.
I couldn't resist a croissant, which featured multiple layers of very flaky, buttery pastry. It was heavenly light and delicious.
Vive la France!
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