Palm Desert might have its ever so chi chi El Paseo,  and LaQuinta can offer you its quaint Old Towne charm, but there’s nothing quite like Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, no matter the season.  It’s the perfect amalgamation of glitz, glam and in your sassy face that will enliven even the most sedentary spirit.

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m a woman’s man: no time to talk.  

Music loud and women warm. I’ve been kicked around since I was born.

And now it’s all right – it’s O.K.  And you may look the other way.

Go ahead.  Take your pick and channel The Lady Chablis  or John Travolta  strollin’ down the avenue with Stayin’ Alive  thumping in your brain.   No question the vibe of this street makes you feel alive! And nobody’s gonna give you a second glance.   Pricey art galleries are in cohabitation with tacky tourist traps, and the most divine al fresco dining in the Valley is picture perfect for watching the world drift by.

Down towards the southwest end of Palm Canyon, set back from the sidewalk, is a lovely little oasis – a restaurant that’s a must try on your next foray into Neverland.  It’s called Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill, an absolute gem hiding right in plain sight.  Don’t know how we missed it, but so glad our foodie friends Ron & Ilene introduced it to us.

There is a serene beauty in the Tuscan Villa inspired decor –  cozy dining alcoves glowing with mood lighting are nestled next to other spaces of sweeping, stately grandeur.  The service is more than attentive  but blissfully unobtrusive – not an easy task as anyone knows who has ever worked in hospitality.

But the food…ah, the food.   Our selections included a deliciously fresh calamari, a tender trout almondine, hearty eggplant parmesan and a delicate shrimp risotto.  Every choice assured us that this chef believes in marrying quality ingredients to dedicated processes.

Sammy G’s Tuscan Grill ranks up there with the best of the best.  The pastas are homemade.  The greens are local and organic.  The selections have each received a special twist that elevates the ordinary to the exceptional without crawling out on the limb too far.  Portions aren’t overwhelming, which allows room for a delectable desert or an apéritif.  It’s all part of a grand experience, which is exactly what we wanted and we were not disappointed.

Did I mention there is a lively bar scene with entertainment at one end of the villa?  Can’t wait to go back.  Now dammit, where did I store my elevated boots?