The French words “si bon” translated into English mean “so good.” And that is exactly what Si Bon Belgian Bistro—located in the shopping center at Monterey Avenue and Country Club Drive in Rancho Mirage—is. So very good.

While I have primarily patronized the eatery created by spouses Edith and Philippe Caupain in the evening for dinner, where I was taken care of supremely well by the expert staff of black-vested and red-aproned servers—not to mention by thoughtful night manager Victor Ruiz—I was recently reminded of what a perfect place this is for a business lunch or mid-day meal with a friend. I must confess it was the latter that brought me in a week or so ago, when my Portland-based pal, Paula, passed through town and demanded that we reunite at the pink building with the red awnings. I was game. If it’s not a work lunch, you can have a glass of wine. Which I did, picking the perfect Pinot Gris while Paula chose a glass of Belgian Chimay Triple Yellow Label beer on tap.

Because no punch clock was ticking for either of us, we decided to split an order of mussels marinière with Belgian fries to start. I then chose the pan-fried scallops over a bed of mixed greens with a tantalizing citrus vinaigrette. It was one of the best luncheon entrées I’ve had in quite some time. Paula took her time debating her many options—should she go for the turkey BLT with pesto and avocado in a waffle wrap (this is a Belgian bistro, after all) or the Angus short rib slider on a toasted brioche—before switching gears, going all out, and having the Maine lobster ravioli with lemongrass sauce.

Since we didn’t have any room left for dessert—kidding! You know me, dear readers. My tooth is very sweet. So yes, we indulged in the stuffed crepe with custard berries and two double espressos. Hey, when in Belgian—or at least, when in a Belgian bistro—right?

Word to the wise: Get there on the early side, especially in season. Since this was still at peak summer heat, there was no one on the lovely outdoor terrace, but by noon the airy dining room and more cozy bar were both packed to the rafters with hungry regulars and newcomers. Better yet, make a reservation (five or more for lunch, please…any number for dinner) by calling 760.837.0011. And visit to learn all about the Euro delicacies that await you at this hopping little gem.

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