By Denise Ortuno

Tucked away in a small strip mall in Bermuda Dunes off the corner of Washington and Country Club Dr. is hidden foodie fun and entertainment at Chef George’s Picasso.

Owned by famed Chef to the Stars George Ristich and his charismatic and lovely wife Lana, Chef George’s has become a desert favorite for those in the know. The restaurant itself spills over with exaggerated eastern European country kitcheree with tapestry type wall coverings, old world painting of the female form and twinkle lights. But that’s what makes it so special, that and their amazing food. The portions are as over the top as their décor, but in a seriously good way. The food at Chef George’s ranges from traditional Hungarian dishes like Beef Goulash and Chicken Paprikash, to other continental style items like Chicken Parmesan and Paella. One of my absolute favorites at Chef George’s is their Italian Chicken Livers. Now don’t let the “Liver” part of this dish give you pause, this specialty is phenomenal! The flavors abound with sautéed peppers, onions and mushrooms and are oh so good! Another Chef Georges signature dish is their Greek Salad. This salad is unlike traditional Greek Salads, as it has chopped lettuce, but to me, is the best Greek Salad I have ever had. It has something to do with Chef George’s secret dressing that is kept under guard at all times. And although the portions are generous (you will be having a to-go box), there is always room for the homemade Apple Strudel made fresh daily. With all this wonderful food, excellent service and George and Lana to greet you, Chef George’s Picasso is easily one of the best dining spots in the Coachella Valley!

Chef George’s Picasso has expanded in recent years to include a full bar, and a lounge providing entertainment. Diners can enjoy a variety of music in the lounge, or listen to it from the dining room.

Without a doubt, Chef George’s is not where you want to go if you’re in diet mode, or if your pants are a bit tight, they will most likely only get tighter. But Chef George’s is the perfect place for an out of the box romantic dining experience, or to have fun with your family, especially during the holidays. The whimsical décor, entertainment, over the moon friendly service and crazy sized portions are certain to be a highlight in your desert dining experience.

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