What: The velouté de potiron (kabocha pumpkin soup)

Where: French Rotisserie Café, 44489 Town Center Way, Palm Desert

How much: $8

Contact: 760-848-7684; frenchrotisseriecafe.com

Why: It’s creamy perfection.

Restaurants can be special places. They’re where we have birthday gatherings, romantic dinners, deal-making business lunches—and so many other important life events.

This is one reason the complete closure of restaurants a year ago was so jarring. The inaccessibility of these spots where we’ve all celebrated so many events, both special and regularly scheduled, showed how broken our world was at the time.

Our world remains very broken, yes, but as far as the pandemic is concerned, it’s healing, thanks to the miracles of vaccine science—and restaurants are again open.

All of this was rattling through my mind as I enjoyed the pumpkin soup at French Rotisserie Café. The occasion was special, but only because it signified the resumption of something fairly rote: the monthly lunch I have with Kevin, the Independent’s staff writer. Once a month for years, we’ve gotten together to talk shop and more over a meal. That is, until we couldn’t for 13 months.

But here we were, both fully vaccinated, on a gorgeous April day, outdoors at a lovely Palm Desert bistro—and in addition to the excellent company, I was savoring a fantastic soup. The creamy soup, with richness and flavor added by brown butter and sage, delightfully melded savory and sweet. It was so good that I would have licked the bowl had nobody been looking.

I’d never been to French Rotisserie Café before—at either its former La Quinta location or its current Palm Desert iteration—but given how excellent both the food and service were, I’ll be back.

And it’s so wonderful to be able to go back, isn’t it?

Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. A native of Reno, Nevada, the Dodgers fan went to Stanford University intending to become a sportswriter—but fell...