By Pamela Bieri
Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine, located in the heart of Rancho Mirage’s restaurant district on Highway 111, celebrates a very successful first season with its distinctive concept featuring the tastes of Spain, Italy, and California. Drew Davis, the accomplished young chef at Catalan’s helm, and his wife, Cynthia, warmly welcome guests to their family-owned restaurant. Co-owned by Drew’s parents, Mark and Lecie, the Davis family has clearly taken their place in the desert’s culinary community with passion and sincerity.
The restaurant conveys the Davis’ 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, and Branzino, a Mediterranean Sea bass. Catalan’s service staff is equally passionate and knowledgeable about the menu and the flavor nuances to each dish.
Just as the food is inspired by the Mediterranean, Catalan’s mood conveys the art and music of this region in a comfortable, unpretentious ambiance. Lofty ceilings, contemporary furnishings and artwork, and a tree-shaded inner courtyard set its welcoming tone. You almost feel like you are in Europe while dining in the courtyard.
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 in Hyde Park, N.Y., Drew went on to train with top chefs in the midwest, Florida, and New York. He became executive sous chef at the famed Nick and Toni’s in East Hampton New York’s and was a private chef in Hollywood before opening Catalan with his father.
Happy hour all evening at Catalan’s full bar features a signature sangria, limoncello, specialty cocktails, house-made infused liquors, and a three-course “Taste of Mediterranean.” Dinner is served from 5 to 10 p.m.; prix fixe menu 5 to 6 p.m. in dining room is seasonal. Live music three nights a week.
Catalan Mediterranean Cuisine
70026 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
760-770-9508 • www.catalanrestaurant.com
• Steamed Mussels with chorizo, piquillo peppers, chickpeas, and cilantro
• Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Livers with polenta and wild mushroom port sauce
• Catalan Paella with chicken, calamari, chorizo, clams, mussels, shrimp over saffron Matiz-Valencian rice
• Seared Diver Scallops
• Whole Roasted Branzino
• Assortment of Grilled Skewers
• Chorizo and Manchego Empanadas with salsa verde
• Crab Cakes
• Valencia Rice Pudding
• Housemade Churros with Spanish chocolate sauce
• Catalan Cream
• Cabernet sauvignon Caymus, Napa Valley
• Pinot noir Belle Glos, Clark & Telephone
• Catalonian blend, Vall Llach
• Embruix Priorat Nita by Meritxell Pallejà Garnacha/Cariñena blend Priorat DOC Spain
• Sauvignon blanc, Cloudy Bay, New Zealand
•Hondarrabi Zuri-Bizkaiko Txakolina, Itsas Mendi, Basque
• Chardonnay, Cakebread Cellars, Napa
• Sangria Pineapple-Infused Vodka