Cello's Keeps Its Menu Secret for Chef's Table

Monthly seven-course meal set to a theme complete with unique table decor

Cello's American Bistro owners Bonnie Barkley and her husband, Tom Steferak, offer their version of a Chef's Table monthly.

Cello's American Bistro

When is the last time you made reservations for dinner and had absolutely no idea what was on the menu?

Welcome to the Chef’s Table at Cello’s American Bistro in Cathedral City where reservations are required a week in advance and the menu is not disclosed until the night of the dinner.

Owners Bonnie Barkley and her husband, Tom Steferak, offer their version of a Chef’s Table with an exclusive seven-course meal selected by Bonnie and Executive Chef Herb Parrott.
Hosted in the main dining area for private parties of eight, Cello’s Chef Table is distinguished with unique table decor set to a monthly theme. For example, each February the chocolate theme features courses that integrate both sweet and savory chocolate notes on each tasty plate.

In addition to its celebrated Chef’s Table, Cello’s Bistro offers diverse menu selections, Happy Hour events, wine tastings, and cooking classes. Located on the unlikely corner of Date Palm and Gerald Ford Drive, the eatery invites curious guests into its exciting culinary world.

Cello’s Bistro will join five local chef-owned restaurants including Dish Creative Cuisine, Rockwood Grill, Wolfgang Puck Pizza Bar and Catalan Restaurant in presenting a special dish at the fourth annual Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert. The March 22-24 weekend becomes a culinary destination with cooking demonstrations, tastings, wine seminars, as well as celebrated chefs from across the country.

Cello’s will present a recipe from the Bistro’s lunch menu along with their signature dessert, Tiramisu, on March 24. Their food will be paired with wine provided by Youngs Market Company.

Don’t let a taste of Tiramisu and a sip of limoncello fool you into thinking Cello’s is just a Mediterranean eatery.

Barkley considers Cello’s menu to be American because of the variety of food and flavor choices.

She believes “people don’t want to eat the same thing all the time.” She is also quick to tell you, “I don’t want food to be boring. Tom and I like to prepare different things because we like to cook the things we like to eat.”

Barkley’s reputation as a fabulous cook and her flair for entertaining evolved into a small local catering business. As her business expanded, Barkley artfully created a kitchen infusing fresh ingredients with an array of foodie delights and activities.

“I like to mix interesting food and interesting people together,” Barkley said.

Settling on the name “Cello’s” is a nod to husband Tom’s version of Limoncello, the Italian inspired lemon liqueur. Tom’s use of the Coachella Valley’s local citrus crop combined with his love of making the sunny spirit earned him the nickname “Tommy Cello”.

Cello’s American Bistro is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, and starting at 4 p.m. for dinner during the season. Non-season starting time is 5 p.m.

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