Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dinner at Circa 69 at The Riviera Resort & Spa

Last night we went out to dinner at Circa 69, which is the fine dining restaurant at the ultra hip and glam Riviera Resort & Spa in Palm Springs. I've written about this hotel several times; it is one of my favorite new destinations in town. Back in its heyday, "The Riv", as it was known locally, hosted many great music legends who performed here, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Duke Ellington, Elvis Presley, etc. It was a hangout to the stars to see and be seen. Its multi-million dollar renovation two years ago restored the glamour and made it chic once again. As a local, I've frequented the Riviera numberous times for dinners, cocktails, or parties. These first few photos here of the interior I "borrowed" from the web, but I've taken many photos and posted in other posts here previously.
I've dined at Circa 69 several times previously-the food has always been delicious. Its one fault had been service. One time I pitched a fit, as I was entertaining important business associates and the service was downright dreadful. So last night we thought we'd give it another shot. I had heard they had a new General Manager, so we wanted to give him an opportunity to redeem himself. Much to my delight, the service was excellent! Our server was professional, appropriately speedy and knowledgable about the menu. Circa 69 is back on my "recommend list"! Its been awhile since I've posted a restaurant review, so I'm out of practice.
We started out in the "Sidebar Lounge", a sophisticated, hip, cozy room with fun mirrored accents and crystal chandeliers.  I ordered my signature Blue Raspberry Martini. By the way I am happy to report that this shirt I am wearing fits me again. I bought this in Hawaii several years ago; it was made by the locals and I just loved it. I filled it a bit too much for a few years, and now I can wear it again. Ok, back to Circa 69. The dining room is very dimly lit for the ultimate ambience. The servers provide tiny little flashlights that clip onto the menu. I tried to take photos of a few dishes, but my flash was too bright and I was too hungry to fiddle with the settings, so these are a bit washed out. Anyway, here goes:
left: Organic, grass fed filet of beef, with Roquefort crust, short-rib ragout, on a bed of mashed potatoes and asparagus. The top piece was a fancy cut potato crisp.
left: Sea Salt Roasted Organic Chicken, with wild mushrooms, midnight tomatoes, goat cheese dumplings and madiera cream.
left: Red Snapper, served with sauteed shrimp, spanish chorizio, steel-cut oats and piperade sauce. And for desert:
left: Warm  chocolate cake, oozing with warm dark chocolate, servved with sauteed banana on a caramel sauce, with ice cream, garnished with raspberries and fresh mint. Wow it was delish! So Circa 69 redeemed itself and I am pleased to recommend it to anyone visiting Palm Springs. Thanks for reading today.
-Rick Rockhill 


Anonymous said...

Lookin' hot in that new shirt with the martini!


OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It all looks SCRUMPTIOUDm though all the dishes sound very very rich....(yum)...And the Richness and more Yum...!
I don't remember that Hotel at all, which is strange strange...But it sure sounds like they have made it into a very beautiful place.

grace said...

If I ever get your way - Circa 69 will be one place I shall visit! So glad this experience was a good one. It looks beautiful.

rachel said...

nice dinner at nice place, i like it most..thanks..

Enrique.P.Alvarez said...

I stand by this hotel Rick. I have stayed at this one a couple of times this year. I have yet to dine at Circa 69 but will make it one of my destinations when I head back. That sea salted roasted organic chicken sounds amazing!


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