During the unrelenting oppressive heat wave in Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean in May 2015, I have been fortunate to
escape some days to the cooler climate of the mountains. But that is not possible everyday, as it is frequently necessary to do business or run errands in Roseau, the main commercial center on the Nature Island. Fortunately, it is no longer necessary to ‘sweat it’ in the sweltering heat for hours in the city without a cool break, thanks to the offerings at Le Café Desiderata – a restorative oasis – in more than one way!
That’s what I have been doing at least once a week to cope with the extremely hot weather when running around Roseau. Sometimes, I may start with breakfast at Desiderata before I hit the streets, and other times, I’ve finished all tasks and go there for a tasty lunch.
If I arrive around 8:30 a.m., I am often the first client, which is perfectly fine with me. While I wait a short while for a delicious omelette with brie, or a mouth-watering smoked marlin and cream cheese bagel or a perfectly-made- to-my-liking creamy cappuccino, I get a little writing or reading done on my laptop or tablet, thanks to wireless in this serene setting. And the comfortable climate-controlled temperature seems to be conducive to creativity! I am usually amazed at the number of words I can churn out before I eat, or when sipping on my coffee or herbal tea afterwards.
Whenever I look at the specials on the board, I am always amazed by the diverse dishes that are offered, and even more surprised to see that they change every day!
Lunches are definitely a gastronomic experience, and as a person who does not each much meat, I am always thrilled by the variety of vegetarian and fish offerings. But I also appreciate that if I want a soup, salad or sandwich/wrap, I can order it off of the regular menu. As the staff well knows, I love the fish wrap, and the generous salads are filled with goodness! I am not the only one to say that Chef Nickie assembles the best salad in Dominica – the ingredients are varied and the end results are exceptional!
Chef Nickie Esprit, the mastermind behind these creations, is a young lady with a real talent in the kitchen. She’s the reigning (2014) Island Chef in Dominica, but I knew she was special long before she was awarded that prestigious title. I have consistently enjoyed her savory concoctions for several years, in fact, from her early days in the food service industry. It was always evident to me that she had a real knack for making an ordinary plate into something extraordinary. Call it a gift, but in terms of her cooking, she is a natural! She is the perfect fit at Le Café Desiderata.
I also enjoy conversation with Dominique, the lovely and knowledgeable wait-staffer. If I don’t know what I want, she is always ready to make a suggestion. It amazes me that I am never disappointed with her idea. Then she follows up to ensure that I am
satisfied with what she has recommended.
Proprietor Portia Bird-Astaphan has definitely got a
good thing going at Le Café Desiderata. Her vision of creating a true oasis in Roseau, with complete consideration for her clients’ comfort,along with the presentation of a varied, tasteful menu at reasonable prices make Le Café Desiderata a ‘must-go’ when spending time in the city. And if you’re in a rush and need to get out-of-town, they do take-out orders too!
Would you believe I have only just scratched the surface? Check Le Café Desiderata’s Facebook page here to learn more – you might also enjoy the tapas bar on Friday nights and Saturday evening dining! They are closed on Sundays for a well-deserved rest – but you can enjoy their offerings on the six other days of the week.
I can’t wait for my next taste of something extremely special at Le Café Desiderata!