Since swimsuit season is year-round in the desert, I indulge my inner foodie with moderation from January through December. But with the holidays quickly approaching, that gets harder and harder to do.

If you’re of like mind, I do have one tip to share that has worked wonders for me in years past. When eating out in November and December, rather than making reservations for a full-scale multi-course dinner, I make a deal with my friends that we’ll meet at one of Rancho Mirage’s many festive bars. There we can not only munch on bar bites (less caloric) but raise a glass during Happy Hour (easier on the pocketbook).

While it would be nary impossible for me to list all of my favorites, I do have a few special hangouts to recommend.

First off, one of the best deals in the desert is at Lord Fletcher’s, that Olde English establishment that is one of the first tenants to ever occupy Rancho Mirage’s Restaurant Row. Served only in The Pub are two prime rib sliders for $6.95. As filling as they’re delicious, it’s a smart choice.

Catalan Mediterranean Restaurant is another top choice, what with its hot and cold tapas—such as Fresh Fish Ceviche Tostada or Suckling Pig & Smoked Manchego Empanadas—20% off between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. Make sure you ask bar manager Cory to tell you about his house-made infusions and specialty cocktails.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at The River has yet another two great bargains: its Five Six Seven and Eight Nine Ten—which translate into selections starting at $6 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. nightly for the former (beer wine, cocktails, and small plates such as roasted Portobello mushroom ravioli), and for the latter, the chance to select any small plate (sliced filet mignon, New Zealand lamp chop, etc.) and add a nine-ounce big pour of wine for just $5.00 more between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. nightly.

To find out all about Rancho Mirage’s restaurant and resort bars, visit and download the companion app. That way you’ll always be in the know and never, ever miss a special. Haven’t you heard? The way to a man’s or woman’s stomach is through his or her smart phone! Bon (petit) appétit!

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