dining out for life

One Meal Matters

Dining Out For Life Coachella Valley makes it easy for foodies to give back to the Desert AIDS Project.

Erin Peters Restaurants

dining out for life
Ristretto for Coffee Lovers in Palm Springs will donate 100 percent of its proceeds from the April 27 Dining Out for Life Coachella Valley.

April 27 is the one day a year when your appetite helps a good cause.

Dining Out for Life marks its 12th year in the Coachella Valley just as it does in 52 other cities across the country. But of all the cities that participate across the nation, Dining Out For Life Coachella Valley is the third largest fundraiser, beating out majors like Phoenix, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. And the Coachella Valley has more restaurants participating at 100 percent donations than any of the other 52 participating cities.

Restaurant-goers can choose from 62 restaurants in the Coachella Valley to not only enjoy a great meal, but also help raise money for AIDS service organizations. It’s a way for people who don’t have time to be activists to make a meaningful financial contribution to the fight against AIDS.

Each participating restaurant will donate 33 percent or more of whatever is spent at their location April 27 to support Desert AIDS Project’s mission to enhance and promote the health and well-being of the valley.

“I think this community is so unique, in terms of how businesses support non-profits and how, I think for all residents in the Coachella Valley, whether they give them their time or their money, everyone seems to be looking for ways to volunteer, or attend fundraisers,” says Steve Henke, associate director of Community Development for Desert AIDS Project. “I love Dining Out For Life because you don’t have to do anything that you don’t do on a normal day. You just have to go and make one meal matter.”

One of those 62 restaurants is Ristretto in Palm Springs. The coffee lovers restaurant will serve breakfast and lunch, donating 100 percent of its profits from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Located within The Five Hundred Building, enjoy Café au Lait or Quiche Lorraine in the comfort of their indoor and outdoor seating areas.

Located within The Five Hundred Building, Ristretto is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“John [Monahan], the owner of The Five Hundred building and Ristretto, has always believed in being philanthropic in a lot of ways,” says Richard Laferriere, manager of the gallery, gift shop and Ristretto. “He supports a lot of local organizations and he directly supports DAP [Desert AIDS Project] as well as the LBGT Center…he’s always doing things to help where he can…it certainly fits in with his belief in being a part of the community and supporting non-profits.”

Laferriere says Ristretto was one of the first 100 percent donors that Dine Out For Life Coachella Valley has had.

More 100 percent participants include Townie Bagels Bakery Café (actually donating 110 percent — 100 percent from the business and 10 percent from owners Andy Wysocki and Bill Sanderson), The Barn Kitchen at Sparrows Lodge, Pho 533 and Rooster and The Pig.

If you’re down valley, on the east side, enjoy more delicious food from generous restaurateurs like Vicky’s of Santa Fe in Indian Wells, or Fox & Fiddle in Rancho Mirage.

“It starts with the generosity of the restaurants,” henke says. “I think businesses in general in the Coachella Valley have a really deeply ingrained habit of giving back.”

Dining Out For Life, April 27. Visit www.diningoutforlife.com/palmsprings to view participating restaurants.

Pho 533 in Palm Springs is among the restaurants donating 100 percent of their April 27 proceeds to Dining Out For Life.