The Lavender Bistro Story
Building on History and Tradition
In 1948, Sidney and Josephine Riesner came to La Quinta, California from New York to practice dentistry. They bought five lots on a tree-lined street called Calle Barcelona and built their beautiful home. They opened offices in Indio as Orthodontists, and joined the La Quinta Chamber of Commerce and the La Quinta Property Owners Association respectively. Josephine became a member of the ‘Fire Belles’, an auxiliary of the La Quinta Fire Department. After her husband Sidney passed away, her constant companion was ‘Buffy’ her French poodle. Josephine Riesner died on October 28, 1987 at the age of 86.
In 1988, Mario and Edalyn Lalli (owners of the famed Mario’s Restaurants since the 1970’s) acquired the Riesner estate from Robin and David Feldman, the children of the Riesners. They remodeled the home adding a large modern kitchen and decorated the residence to create a friendly, home-style atmosphere, much of which remains today. The Despras family acquired the estate in 2000 from Mario Lalli and opened lavender Bistro in 2008.
Although La Quinta misses the charming couple, they would be happy to know their home is now filled with lively music and faithful patrons who travel far and wide to dine on the award-winning patio at the renowned Lavender Bistro Restaurant.
Lavender Bistro is owned by Nicolas Despras, and his lovely family; including his father Michel Despras who was born in the South of France and came to the United States in 1974. Arriving in Palm Springs in 1984, Michel owned in partnership several renowned restaurants in the Coachella Valley such as: Le Vallauris, St. Germain and Canyon Bistro.
La Quinta is very proud to have the beautiful and popular Lavender Bistro in the community, adding not only an exceptional restaurant with exquisite cuisine matched with attentive service, but also adhering to the past tradition of family ownership to La Quinta’s exceptional culture and history.