* Click here for rating key
La Spiga Ristorante Italiano Restaurant Review: It’s a collaborative effort behind the door of this Tuscan ristorante along tony El Paseo in Palm Desert. Owners Vince and Connie Cultraro divvy up the duties, with Vince manning things in the kitchen as chef and Connie overseeing the front of the house. The place has a comfortable patio overlooking a garden with herbs, vegetables and flowers; a gazebo; and an outdoor pizza oven that operates when the weather permits. Cultraro’s subtle dishes change with the seasons, often using vegetables he grew here himself, though there are many permanent items that he could never drop for fear of an uprising. Try his spicy sausage with mustard sauce, or the delicate calamari with tomatillo reduction. Polpette, veal and pork meatballs surrounded with a moat of fresh tomato sauce, are a signature. Pastas are also a pleasure, as are the veal dishes. Reservations during the high season can prove to be a challenge, but with enough advanced notice snagging a table on a prime evening is still an achievable goal.