There’s a reason you can get a great deal at La Quinta Resort (a Waldorf Astoria) in Palm Desert mid-July. It’s a reward for being crazy enough to spend the weekend in the desert when it’s 115• outside. As I believe we’ve already established here, I’m pretty druckin’ crazy.
Luckily there’s an oasis that serves vodka. The water was almost as warm as the air, so it was like swimming in soup. But I loved the pool bar with its cooling mists and amazing service, such as brewing a fresh pot of coffee especially for me, chilling it over ice, then serving it poolside, already creamed and sugared. (Just like the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru used to do in Chicago. Sigh.)
At night, when temps cooled to a chilly 109•, we dined at Castelli’s, a classy strip mall Italian joint with Rat Pack flair. The garlic bread and flash-fried calamari were molto bene, and the atmosphere is pure Soprano family. Dark and cool (yay!) with big plates of pasta, a sunny front patio and a piano player softly crooning Sinatra.
And speaking of Ol’ Blue Eyes, he had a house in the area (I learned this from Next Food Network Star) called Twin Palms, and for probably a zillion billion dollars, you could even rent it for your next big event:
Finally, we drank WAY too much port at Morgan’s in the desert, an upscale bar/restaurant with live music and friendly bartenders. The ignominiously named ‘Rhubarb Slump” dessert was upright and outstanding, with a perfect balance of fruit, brown-sugary crumble crust, and ice cream. As you can see, Morgan’s is a pretty place to enjoy air conditioning:
The piano player told me that in season, Clint Eastwood is a regular. And I did feel like a lucky punk to be there all right, even if I was sweltering in the hot, sticky lap of luxury. Next time, APRIL.