Ristorante Mamma Gina transports the tastes of northern Italy, where its parent restaurant stands in Florence, to the stomachs of eager diners. During dinner, the zuppa papa al pomodoro swathes palates in the warmth of herbal tomato flavors ($8.25), and the lemon-vinaigrette-marinated, thin-sliced artichokes of the carciofi empolese gently rouse taste buds to attention ($11.90). Over the crisply baked eggplant of the melanzane al forno, families can bask in conversation or arm-wrestle their grandparents ($23.90). Meanwhile, lunch-goers enjoy a menu of treats such as the grilled panino filetto, a combination of filet mignon and avocado slathered in light mustard dressing ($13.90).
Housing three restaurants under one roof, The Flame invites guests to enjoy traditionally prepared Brazilian and Japanese dishes along with American bar-and-grill fare. With this Groupon, valid for either Brazilian barbecue or Japanese hibachi, guests can summon meat carvers toting rotisserie-roasted goods, such as slow-roasted pork loin or picanha-style top sirloin, to tables to shave fresh slivers onto naked plates for Brazilian churrascaria ($29.95). This all-you-can-eat feast comes with access to a hot, cold, and antipasto bar, so you can stock up on sides to complement meaty selections in a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves. Diners can also step into the hibachi grill to enjoy a multicourse Japanese meal with appetizers, soup, salad, vegetables, and the meats of your choice, such as baby lobster and filet mignon ($44) or salmon and teriyaki chicken ($26), prepared before your eyes.
Satisfying meals and handcrafted beer intersect with premium sports viewing at Lamppost Pizza and Backstreet Brewery, founded in 1976 by Angelo Barro and his sons, Dan and Tom. Today, the franchise welcomes patrons to 37 locations in three states, and the philosophy remains the same at all of them. Seven big-screen TVs broadcast football, basketball, and baseball games from around the leagues to entertain patrons sipping small-batch draft beers brewed onsite. Fans munch on traditional sports-viewing snacks, such as jalapeño poppers, potato skins, and deep-fried depth charts. Chefs also prepare heartier entrees including garlic-chicken pasta, Pesto Supreme pizzas covered with artichoke hearts, and The Linebacker, a pizza loaded with pepperoni, salami, ground beef, sausage, and two types of bacon.
Located a few minutes from the hotel, Old Town La Quinta is a cluster of boutiques, restaurants, and cafés in Spanish-style buildings. An organic farmers' market is held here on Sunday mornings. Just outside of town, Joshua Tree National Park spreads across some 790,000 acres of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. A haven for rock climbers, the park features thousands of named climbing routes, and several hiking trails wind throughout the area. Be advised that most of the park’s roads are unpaved and require vehicles with high ground clearance and four-wheel drive. Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
The pizza preparers at Rosati's Pizza hand-toss pies and adorn them with morsels from a roster of 19 meaty and veggie toppings. A few nanometers thicker than thin crust, the foundation for a large double-dough pizza flaunts a buttery hand-rolled edge. Toppings such as sausage, mushrooms, or fresh garlic decorate the pizza's melted-cheese surface like multiple badges for sword swallowing decorate a Webelos uniform. A pasta side of spaghetti or mostaccioli, bathed in homemade sauce, rounds out this dine-in, carryout, or delivered Italian spread (delivery fee not included).
The culinary craftspeople at Cello's American Bistro effortlessly assemble a menu full of chic, fresh fare served in a relaxing atmosphere. Starters such as the shrimp scampitini ($14) loosen mouth muscles to prevent chewing sprains and improve the accuracy of howler monkey impressions. Main events such as bone-in pork chops with seasonal vegetables ($25) and mussels flanked by tomato and chorizo ($26) fuel folks with layered flavors and oomphs of freshness. The spinach-and-ricotta-stuffed eggplant cannelloni ($18) heartily sustains plant eaters, and Cello’s welcoming staff can help guests navigate the menu or select an heirloom-tomato variety to name a new baby after.
Helmed by Alabama native Big Dan, Big Mama’s Soul Food smokes up barbecue and fries classic southern cuisine to fill a robust, soulful menu. Dan’s deep-fried catfish sandwich ($8.95) destroys hunger pangs with kicks of golden crunch, and entrees get backup support from a chorus of classic sides such as collard greens, corn on the cob, candied yams, and black-eyed peas ($3.95/8 oz.; $10.95/32 oz.). Dinner plates span the southern spectrum with the saucy barbecue of a half-rack of pork spareribs ($17.95) and fried chicken breast battered and crisped bone-in ($12.95)—all plates come with cornbread and a choice of two sides. Big Mama's Soul Food keeps sugar-spirits up with sweet postprandial treats including peach and sweet-potato cobbler ($6 each).