The journey begins with a trip up 27 floors in an elevator. Once you step out of the elevator, it really does feel as if you are in the sky, just as Cielo translated into English suggests. The walk down a window-lined hallway to the host stand gives you a view of the desert that cannot be beat.
Plush booths line the edges of the dining room with tables in the middle. If the 27th floor is not high enough for you, there is an upstairs to the restaurant. Windows line Cielo to showcase the view. Hanging from the ceiling are several large chandeliers that slowly change colors to mimic the sunset.
Even more impressive than the view is the menu at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa's restaurant. The steak and seafood selections are inspired by fresh California flavors and produce.
We started out with the panko-crusted artichoke. It was presented on top of a spinach and marinara sauce and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
If seafood is more your style, then try the specialty appetizer: Cielo Assorted Seafood Tower for two (above).
Jumbo shrimp, lobster tail, crab legs and seared scallops are served on a two-tiered platter and finished with cocktail sauce and red wine mignonette.
The entrees are divided up into two sections: seafood and items from the grill. The Crispy Skin Atlantic Salmon was a generous portion of salmon on top a bed of mashed potatoes and spinach and topped with saffron butter sauce.
The Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna is served with ginger risotto and a smoked tomato beurre blanc sauce.
A good choice from the grill is the moist oven-roasted chicken accompanied by fingerling potatoes, cippolini onions, oven-dried tomatoes and natural juices from the chicken. If you are looking for steak, the thick 18-ounce rib-eye with the bone in and distinctive marbling to create great flavor is the option for you. All the steaks are grilled at 1,200 degrees to create a crust while preserving the juicy center.
There is also an extensive side-dish menu that offers everything from vegetables to macaroni and cheese. The lobster macaroni and cheese is a creamy cheese sauce mixed with penne pasta and lobster and topped with panko to create a crispy crust. The grilled asparagus is topped with olive oil, shallots and porcini béarnaise sauce.
The wine options from the Pacific Coast of Australia, South America, and North America are emphasized.
If a climb up a couple of steps of a ladder is about as much height as you can stand, Cielo is probably not the best choice.
But for those that crave a sky-high feast from an eclectic menu, give Cielo a ride -- all the way up to the 27th floor.
Where: Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, 49500 Seminole Drive, Cabazon
Hours: 5-10 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 5:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Beverages: Full bar
Information: 800-252-4499, www.morongocasinoresort.com