By Rick Riozza

The Viceroy Palm Springs is ideally located right in the center of all downtown Palm Springs’ attractions. It’s one of those retro-chic hotels that when entering the lobby, you’re whisked back to the Hollywood glamour days with those Deco-style mirrors and chandelier sconces about and the sounds of the cocktail shaker from the hotel’s bar where mixologist John Saindon is chilling up a very dry Martini.

The sexy cinematic stroll continues as you pass through the stylish Citron RestaurantLounge and out to the courtyard where a hip pool panorama awaits. Whether you’re in Palm Springs casual or dressed to the hilt in vintage garb to accompany the scenery—“Excuse me, may I have your autograph…aren’t you someone famous?” the place is fun, enjoyable and a real treat.

We came upon this place recently to enjoy a fantastic Tequila dinner-pairing featuring the delicious spirit brew of Señor David Ravandi, the bon-vivant founder of 123 Organic Tequila (uno, dos, tres). Artisanal and handcrafted with USDA and EU Certified Organic Blue Agave—consummate quality never tasted so good!

Speaking humbly during the dinner course breaks, it’s clear that he crafts his Tequila with the wine drinker in mind. “As with grapes, where wines produced on valley floors differ with those sourced from mountain sides, there are differences as well with Tequilas grown in varying altitudes. The higher up the mountain you go, the sweeter and more floral notes are produced by the blue agave.”

Enter Viceroy’s Executive Chef Warren Cordoba. One could say he does Latin-American cuisine with a modern continental accent. With Ravendi’s uno-Blanco, dos-Reposado & tres-Añejo, Chef Warren played artist in the kitchen and paired five courses to match the three Tequilas.

For example, the pan-fried citrus marinated Day Boat Scallops served with escabeche vegetables was combined with the floral, black pepper, and mineral flavors of the un-aged Blanco. The Pacific Lobster with grilled Nopales and Tomatillo Beurre Blanc was teamed with the fresh oak, sultry salty caramel and toffee notes of the Reposado. And Chef’s inventive take on Carne Asada with Confit Yukon Gold potatoes, grilled Cippolini onions and Chipotle Béarnaise was paired with the 18 month aged rich and silky Añejo.

The Añejo continued with the Spiced Chocolate Pot de Crème and cinnamon Churros. Muy Rico!! While these dishes are served occasionally as specials at Citron, many of the restaurant’s regular menu items may be paired with the versatile 123 Organic Tequilas.

The event was part of the hotel’s “So Very Palm Springs” dinner series that presents spirits and fine dining. The next and final dinner in the series will showcase, on December 5th, the famed Beluga Noble Russian Vodka for a caviar tasting and four-course dinner. I can’t imagine any foodie & vodka drinker missing this event. Call for reservations soon! (760) 320-4117.

And if you’re an early reader of this issue, you, family and friends still have time to enjoy the warm ambiance of Citron for Thanksgiving. It’s one of the best prices in town for a plated, four-course dinner: $38 adults; $19 kids under age 9.

The meal sounds scrumptious with courses that include fresh Wild Mustard Green salads with Jicama and Oranges, Butternut Squash Soup, choices of Apple-Brined Roast Turkey with traditional stuffing, Chutney Cranberry, Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes and Sage Giblet Gravy, or, Pacific Sole, Haricot Verts with Truffle Leek Gratin and Beurre Blanc. Dessert is a choice of Cranberry Tart with Tahitian Vanilla Cream or, Classic Warm Ginger Bread. Go on-line for more menu details.

This place is a real happening for the holidays, and, the Viceroy invites you to celebrate 2014 two ways: in lavish glamour with a masquerade ball beneath the stars, or at the modish poolside lounge. Offering two very unique experiences, guests are invited to plan for a night of intrigue, with the Venetian Bacchanal, or, a chic poolside scene at Citron’s poolside New Year’s Eve reception.

Viceroy Venetian Bacchanal – $360 per person A black and white masquerade ball that’s both sensory and elegant with Venetian actors to entertain, an opulent hors d’oeuvres reception, a sumptuous six-course feast, and one of my favorite aspects: free flowing Veuve Clicquot Champagne all night long! KCRW’s DJ Valida will be spinning under the stars and look for a 2,014-balloon drop on the dance floor at midnight.  Come to be seen or not to be seen. This one-of-a-kind and only-in-Palm Springs luxurious overnight experience features:

Cocktails begin at 8 pm, dinner served promptly at 9:30 pm. Event ends at 2 am. Limit to 100 New Year’s revelers. Details and menu for this event are found on their website:

Black Tie Optional. Admission good for Viceroy Venetian Bacchanal and Citron Poolside Reception.

Citron Poolside Reception – $75 per person 9 pm – 2 am For a little less mystery, celebrate 2014 at Citron’s poolside reception. Inviting guests to party beneath the stars with heavy hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment and dueling DJs, the party will include:

  • Roaming bites
  • Live entertainment
  • Cash bar
  • VIP Lounge and bottle service reservations
  • DJs Lady Sinclair and Aubrey Hansen 

For overnight accommodations or New Year’s Eve exclusives or for cabana reservations or questions, simpy call (760) 318 3016.

The Viceroy Hotel, 415 S. Belardo Rd. Palm Springs Ca. 92262 (760) 320-4117