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“New Years Dinner”
Review of Le Vallauris

Le Vallauris
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Ranked #4 of 333 Restaurants in Palm Springs
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $55 - $85
Cuisines: French, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: North Palm Canyon Road
Description: Established in the heart of Palm Springs since 1973, Le Vallauris located at the foot of San Jacinto Mountains has been the highest rated restaurant in the Palm Springs Valley since its inception. Owned and operated by the well known restaurateur Paul Bruggemans who was also owner of the Famous Le St Germain restaurant in Hollywood. The Historic Landmark was built in 1927 and was owned by the owners of the famous Desert Inn which was The hotel in the Valley. Many grand parties were held in the house for guests such as Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong and many more. It was a favorite place for General Patton when he was based in Palm Springs to stage the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. Later on, when the restaurant was established it became a favorite place for Presidents and the Hollywood elite. The renowned Patio lined with Giant Fichus trees is THE place to dine. The Patio is cooled in the Summer and heated in the Winter.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We chose this place based on reviews for our "first married" New Years Dinner. It started with being seated right by the kitchen and one of the owners offered us a different seat in the dining room, thank heavens. When we got seated we realized it was mostly an older crowd.The dining room was lovely. The waitress we has seemed very frazzled and service was an issue. When you are paying $130.00 per dinner without drinks, tip, and tax....you would hope for a engaging/happy waitress who is enjoying her job. She was not rude or anything, just seemed to be running around like a chicken with her head cut off and was just there to get orders and no extra.

We got a little mise en bouche plate with 3 bites dropped off and we really did not know what it was. I had a white asparagus soup with one scallop in it for the next course. Before my main dish (lobster) came, my stomach was getting totally cramped up. Now, this could be the rich food (though I really had not eaten much) and my stomach reacting, but my husband ate most of my dish and we had to box the dessert to go.

We were pretty clueless about the wine list, but noone came around and offered to help and the wine list was very extensive and very expensive. We decided to be save and ordered a $100 of CSM Artist Series Meritage since we know that wine. And since I was sick, we left a 1/3 the bottle at the table when we left. Bummer!

The owner stopped by and he was very pleasant. All in all it was a bit awkward. I think had the watiress been more fun and welcoming instead of just doing her job. She seemed to be frustrated with the wait staff....so I am sure there were things going on behind the scenes.

The main reason for the review is when you pay this much for a dinner you really want to feel welcomed and invited. Maybe they needed more staff?
I would go back, but to enjoy an outside dining experience and NOT a pricey "event" dinner.
Maybe it was just not our night!

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1  Thank lsanborn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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628 - 632 of 801 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2013

I enjoyed a meal here with my family recently. While we all enjoyed our food, it seemed like a few of us were underwhelmed for the class of restaurant. This isn't to say that food wasn't good, it was. It just wasn't up to par with our expectations, considering this is the 'best' restaurant in Palm Springs (based on TripAdvisor reviews). The outdoor patio was well heated for the 50 degree F cold of the evening. We all agreed it was one of the prettiest spots we'd ever dined. The service staff was excellent and they kept my young niece well entertained. The wine selection was excellent as were the Sommelier's recommendations. I recommend this restaurant, but there may be other choices at lower cost that provide equally good food in Palm Springs.

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1  Thank Darin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012 via mobile

Went there for Christmas Eve dinner - we reserved a month in advance and it was necessary since they were fully booked 2 weeks before. The restaurant was at its max capacity and very busy so the service wasn't at its best. However, the food was delicious. I can see why this is #1.

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2  Thank Vanessa604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Everything was perfect...the food, drinks, service, ambiance. Expensive but will definitely go back.
Went for Christmas dinner, and there was a special menu ($68 3 course.) Warmly greeted, though the waiting area is quite small and people were warned to beware of people leaving the restroom and potentially bumping you if you were standing there. We had a fantastic table...small booth near, but not too close, to the fire. The patio outside looked nice with great lighting and decorations, and some of the larger rooms also looked very nice. But our space was the best...quieter but in the center of things.
Our wait person was terrific. He has worked there for 37 years, said he only works special nights now. We felt honored to have had him wait on us. First thing he told us, after greeting us, was that they were in no rush and we could relax and enjoy our meal. It was very thoughtful. Having said that, we never had to wait longer than we wanted to for service and everything was perfectly timed.
There was a special menu, but it had a great selection of choices of meat, fowl, fish and vegetarian. We asked our wait person for his thoughts on our initial choices. He gave excellent feedback. I had the tomato terrine and burrata salad and it was unique and fantastic. All of us enjoyed our entrees (one meat, one duck and one fish.) All were fantastic and cooked to perfection. desserts were very good to excellent...creme brûlée was a particular standout.
Le Vallauris gives an "old style" ambiance (and wait staff in tuxedos) with excellent food and great service. I would totally come back here again, they hit on all cylinders and the overall experience was top notch!

2  Thank djptraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2012

What a wonderful dinng experience. The food, especially the lamb, was outstanding. The ambiance seated in a garden courtyard was delightful. The staff were very knowledgeable and attentive. A true dining experience. Whatever the occasion, you will not be disappointed.

2  Thank Adrianmbaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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