If she could, Fabienne would transport you to Paris and cook for you. She grew up there, learning the famous French tradition of creating simple artisanal meals every day from the freshest ingredients available in her neighborhood’s open-air markets.
Luckily, you can taste her inspired cooking a bit closer to home at the French Rotisserie Café, in Downtown Palm Desert, owned by Fabienne and her husband, Luis.
A product of her love of casual French cuisine and the desire to bring healthy, delectable alternatives to the Coachella Valley, the French Rotisserie Café features slow roasted free-range chicken, "roti de boeuf" au jus and a mouthwatering selection of sides.
Offering a sought-after combination of high quality, convenience and value, the café might best be called “fast-fine dining.” Aiming to please even the most discerning customer, Fabienne pays careful attention to even the smallest details. “The French are known for being rather picky,” she laughs.
According to Fabienne, that extra care translates to more authentic flavors. Her rotisserie oven was imported from France because “it really does make a difference.” The organic, air-chilled, free-range poultry is delivered from a local farm she hand-selected. And the side dishes and salads are made from recipes she’s perfected over 40 years. “They’re the very best of our family’s favorites,” she says.
Everything on the menu is made from scratch, from the dressings to the sauces. “We’re not fancy, we’re authentic,” Fabienne emphasizes. “We source the freshest organic ingredients wherever we can from local suppliers – artisans who care about quality, not mass quantities.”
“You get busy, you work, you have children… it’s nice to have meals that are fresh, delicious and satisfying,” she says. “We recreate the atmosphere and flavors of a neighborhood French bistro. Come in and sit down or order online. Enjoy a plat du jour, the slow-roasted tri-tip, our savory chicken, fresh sides and salads or charcuterie, paired with a French or California wine selected by my husband Luis. Try our croissant with an Italian cappuccino – yes, Italian coffee is also part of the French experience, because it’s the best!”
Her son, a CIA trained chef, had a hand in creating the menu. But his mom’s simple philosophy echoes his and other famous chefs’.
“Start with the highest quality, in-season ingredients,” says Fabienne. “If you add a lot of extras you cover the taste. Just use fresh seasonings, herbs and not too much fat to bring out the flavor of the dish. This is the French way.”