By Patte Purcell

One of the most elegant restaurants in the desert is the beautiful bluEmber at Rancho Las Palmas Resort at 41-000 Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage, California 92270-4497. Exotic drinks, first class entertainment and a beautiful outdoor patio

It is lit with flaming torches and fire pits which make this serene venue a treat for the eyes, ears, and palate. This is one of the few venues that have great live entertainment year round during Happy Hour which is just one of the reasons it is so special. On Thursdays, one of the desert’s favorite bands John Stanley King with Eric Franksen and James East play on the beautiful patio (when weather permits) from 6-10 with their mellow tunes, a mix of cover and originals. On Fridays, the Stanley Butler Trio entertain and Saturday nights the legendary trumpeter Steve Madaio entertains most recently with CV columnist Lola Rossi as guest vocalist.

There are food and drink specials 7 days a week; $5 well drinks, $5 domestic beer, and $5 glasses of house wine from 5-7. They have a separate bar menu with some delicious entrees including shrimp and crab cake with peppadew pepper coulis for $18. An innovative “Blu Cheese Tasting” for $14 with artisanal cheeses, a fig drizzle, assorted fruit and walnut brittle which is delectable. Vegans can choose from grilled artichoke with caper raisin aioli and charred meyer lemon for $11, hummus for $9 with grilled naan bread, organic carrots, cucumbers, and blood orange oil, sweet potato fries with green garlic aioli for $11, or a Las Palmas Veggie Slider, (house made) for $12. There’s Rancho Hot Wings for $14 and All American Sliders at $15 served with caramelized onions for traditionalists and Mini lobster tostadas $17, Ahi Tunu served with pickled melon and shisito peppers $14 for seafood lovers. They also offer a not so traditional ‘bluEmber’ Nacho platter with braised short ribs for $15. The bar menu is offered during Happy Hour at $2 off per entree.

If you’d like more than a happy hour menu the beautiful bluEmber is the signature restaurant inside the beautiful Rancho Las Palmas Hotel. This sophisticated dining room features food and wine pairings inside or on their award winning patio. You will love the spectacular views of the lush fairways and majestic mountains.

The bluEmber uses ingredients directly sourced from local farmers and their own onsite herb garden. Chef Billy Deaver presents his menu, which features a melting pot of flavors and cooking techniques into seasonal dishes. This is the perfect place to enjoy festive evenings of fine dining in an enchanting setting.

For those that aren’t familiar with the bluEmber it is inside the beautiful Rancho Las Palmas Hotel. The luxurious hotel rooms surround you in Spanish Colonial inspired style with a soothing desert palette of beige, sand, and ivory. This family and pet friendly hotel includes Splashtopia, a spectacular water feature ringed by a 425-foot lazy river. Splashtopia encompasses about two acres of family-friendly features, including two 100-foot water slides, a cliff-side Jacuzzi, and a sandy beach. Splashtopia also features unique water-play zones with fountains and sprinklers for the kids.

There’s a special Azure Adult Pool for just the grown- ups. Spa junkies will love the beautiful spa whose amenities include a steam room, sauna, hot tub and the tranquil Spa pool. For those that enjoy golf, the gently rolling terrain, the palm-tree-lined fairway, the six lakes and the incredible mountain vistas are all reasons to jump into a golf cart and explore the invigorating challenges of their championship 27 hole golf course.

If you haven’t had a chance to try the bluEmber, give yourself a mini vacation and enjoy your favorite music, food and cocktails there.