It’s nice to get dressed up and have a multi-course meal served to me by a vest and tie, but sometimes I want to roll up my sleeves and dig into some great food where the staff is encouraged to have fun and show some personality.  In effort to ensure variety, not only for this article but for my own palette, I ventured away from the traditional fine dining restaurant to enjoy dinner at The Crab Pot in Rancho Mirage.

            Don’t get me wrong, just because the servers aren’t dressed up and the food isn’t always served on a plate, doesn’t mean they have sacrificed quality of food or overall experience!  We entered the restaurant and immediately noticed a display of fresh crab and other seafood items, as you would see at a fisherman’s market.  It was nice to even see one of the cooks entering the dining area to collect from the display what he would be preparing for guests shortly after.  What happened next is what makes this restaurant unique in the Coachella Valley.

            My guest and I were escorted to a seemingly ordinary room but when we entered, we stepped aboard the SeaVenture, a simulated boat tour of the Frederick Sound in Alaska, starting in Petersburg.  This “boat ride” is complete with an animatronic tour guide, Captain Jack and actual footage taken from a crab boat, giving us an escape from the 100+ degree desert!  The guide was entertaining and unobtrusive while we enjoyed a glass of wine and some appetizers.  The coconut shrimp was a perfect recommendation by our server, Gabe and the crab dip special was rich and creamy, one of the best I’ve ever had!  After enjoying our starters and a fascinating boat adventure, we decided to enjoy our entrees on the patio, surrounded by the sound of water flowing from the garden’s mini waterfalls.

            We decided to try one of their specialties.  A Seafeast for two or more is a great way to have fun while tasting many seafood selections together.  We strapped on our bibs, picked up our wooden mallets and began to enjoy a pile of fresh seafood presented in front of us.  With Dungeness crab, Snow crab, clams, mussels, shrimp and oysters, we were overwhelmed with seafood, not to mention the red potatoes, corn on the cob and Andouille sausage!  It was a treat!  There is no clean way to enjoy this entrée but Gabe readily provided wet towels for us when we finished.  Having saved just enough room for dessert, we decided on the Mud Pie.  Not only was this dessert incredible in taste, it was big enough to draw attention from the surrounding tables!


            With one of the largest seafood selections in the valley, and other menu items like ribs, chicken, burgers and more, this is a great restaurant for the family as well as your friends and colleagues.  The SeaVenture is available for lunch, dinner or you can book it for special occasions.  There is no additional charge but please make a reservation, as it can only accommodate up to 16.  The Crab Pot is located at 70030 Hwy 111 in Rancho Mirage, open from 11 am to 10 pm Sunday through Thursday and serving to 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

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