With all the great food and beverage establishments we have in the Palm Springs Valley, I seldom need to leave my hometown of Rancho Mirage to find somewhere special to dine. To the long list of cuisine choices—including steak houses, Thai, pasta, Japanese, All-American, continental, barbeque, Mediterranean, Italian, Hawaiian, Vietnamese, and Mexican—we can add Caribbean, with a dash of “southern!” Dhat Island has arrived in Rancho Mirage in the location formerly occupied by Marie Callender’s, across Highway 111 from City Hall.
Angela Alce has fused her family’s tradition of Southern cuisine with the Caribbean foods she learned to love while working at Club Med in Eleuthera, Bahamas as a costumier. She and her husband, Carlo, whose family is originally from Haiti, have been running their catering and restaurant businesses in Redlands for decades, and decided to expand to the Greater Palm Springs area. After a soft opening, Dhat Island had its official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, February 3, 2014, an event at which the owners offered attendees a teaser munch of hot house-made mini-beignets.
The space has been renovated to include a casual island décor, and Angela assures me that guests will feel comfortable here whether on an intimate date, out with friends for a fun get-together, or with a large family gathering. And speaking of family, Angela and Carlo work closely with three sons to run their hopping business, with son Fabrice as general manager of the new Rancho Mirage enterprise. I’ll be back soon to check out the food, but the menu is amazingly tantalizing! Starters include Plantain Fritters, Oxtail Tamales, and seasoned chicken fritters called Marinaud. And for main courses, I can’t wait to try the restaurant’s wide selection of seafood, the Creole Beef Meatballs, and especially the Goat Curry—one of their specialties, and something we’re not likely to find available in too many restaurants in the desert! What a welcome addition to the Rancho Mirage food fold. www.dhatislandrm.com