Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine
Father and Son Bring a New Concept to the Desert
By Donna Curran
Catalan Mediterranean Cusine, located in the heart of Rancho Mirage’s restaurant district on Highway 111, debuted in March bringing a distinctive new menu featuring the tastes of Spain, Italy, and California. Proprietors Mark Davis, a businessman, and son Drew, the accomplished young chef at Catalan’s helm, take their place in the desert’s culinary community with passion and sincerity.
The Davis’ aim to offer a different, local family-owned restaurant that conveys their zeal for simplicity and fine food. Drew’s seasonally changing menu reflects a farm-to-table concept using sustainable, locally sourced products — from organic produce to natural, hormone-free meats and sustainably raised seafood. Signature specialties include Catalan Paella, grilled skirt steak, and Branzino, a Mediterranean sea bass. Catalan’s service staff is equally passionate and knowledgeable about the menu and the flavor nuances of each dish.
Just as the food is inspired by the Mediterranean, Catalan’s mood conveys the art and music of the region in a comfortable, unpretentious ambiance. Lofty ceilings, contemporary furnishings and artwork, and a tree-shaded courtyard set its welcoming tone.
Drew knew early on that food would be his life’s calling. Born in Los Angeles, he set out to refine his craft at some of the country’s top restaurants. Graduating from Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, Drew went on to train with top chefs in the Midwest, Florida and New York. He became executive sous chef at the East Hampton New York’s famed Nick and Toni’s and was a private chef in Hollywood before opening Catalan with his father.
Happy hour at Catalan’s full bar features their signature sangria and house made limoncello. Plans are in the works for live music in season. Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m. Two happy hours in the bar are 5 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing.
Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine
Price Range: $$$$
Catalan’s Drew Davis is a world-traveled young chef who finds his passion at his new Spanish-inspired restaurant.
Inspired by the food, art, and music of the Mediterranean, Chef Drew Davis creates a palette of flavors that reflect this magical region. (Clockwise, from bottom) A signature dish, Catalan Paella with monkfish, chorizo, clams, mussels, shrimp with saffron Matiz Valencia rice; Catalan Garlic Prawns with roasted micro vegetables; a half-rack of Colorado lamb with asparagus and grilled marinated purple potatoes and roasted stone fruit; pan-seared Diver scallops with corn and chorizo relish; and Serrano ham with fresh figs and blue-veined Spanish cheese, queso Cabrales. Catalan’s deep selection of Spanish and French wines includes (from left) Criança, 2007 Morlanda, Priorat D.O.Q, Bellmont del Priorat, Spain; Itsas Mendi, 2010, Hondarrabi Zuri, Basque region of Spain; and Gerard Bertrand 2009, Pic Saint Loup, Languedoc, France.
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